Indonesia-Land Swap, Meant to Protect Peatlands -NGOs

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  • 10 Apr 2018 12:00 AM
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Indonesia-Land Swap, Meant to Protect Peatlands, Risks Wider Deforestation—NGOs

NGOs have warned that a new program in Indonesia under which pulpwood and logging companies must preserve and restore any peat habitats that fall within their concessions could actually lead to greater deforestation. Under this new program or the ‘land swap scheme’ approximately half that could potentially be awarded to these companies is classified as natural forest. This amounts to 9,719 square kilometers (3,753 square miles) of forest, an area roughly the size of Lebanon.

The coalition of NGOS contend that vast areas of natural forest, especially in Kalimantan [Indonesian Borneo], Sumatra and Papua will be designated for ‘land swaps’ and converted into pulpwood plantations in the name of peatland restoration. It is feared that Papua faces the biggest risk of deforestation under the program of any region in Indonesia as it is being targeted by the government and businesses as a new frontier ripe for logging concessions and oil palm plantations. The forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan have already been depleted of their natural forests.

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