President signs decree
on forest moratorium

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has signed a decree suspending new concession permits and to improve good governance on primary forest and peatland in Indonesia.

Suspension of all new concessions will be enforced for 2 years, and will be effective immediately.

The Presidential decree is intended to balance and harmonize economic development with social development, cultural promotion and environmental protection, as part of a comprehensive national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam said in a statement Friday that a key goal of the 2-year moratorium was to give time and attention to improving the governance of peatland areas and the forest sector in Indonesia so that they could be significant contributors to the national goal of reducing GHGs by 26 percent by 2020.

"I hope the establishment of a degraded lands database can be accelerated, so pulp and oil palm industries will have clarity on the land where their business can be expanded.  This is part of what President Yudhoyono has committed to providing, as Indonesia pursues the twin objectives of 7 percent of economic growth while reducing emissions by 26 percent," the statement says.

Suspension for all new concessions will be applied for primary forest and peatland in Forest Conservation, Forest Protection, Forest Production and Other Uses of Land.
Agus Purnomo, President Yudhoyono’s special advisor on Climate Change, said the government will harmonize its development agenda with environmental conservation, economic growth, emission reduction, good governance and increasing the involvement of local communities.

"Indonesia has been in the right direction, heading to a sustainable prosperous future and will not return to the past of unsustainable development practices that harm the environment and sacrifice our future generations," said Agus.

Exception for moratorium will be applied to: a) an application that already receive principal permit from the Ministry of Forestry; b) development that are vital to the nation, such as geothermal, oil and gas, electricity, land for rice and sugar cane; c) Extension of forest utilization licenses and/or use of existing forest area as long as business licenses remain valid and d) Ecosystem Restoration.

The Head of the Coordination Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakorsurtanal), in cooperation with Ministry of Forestry, National Land Agency and REDD+ Agency, will renew the maps of forest cover and peat lands in accordance with the “Indicative Map” for moratorium every six months.

The Coordinating Board of the National Spatial Agency will accelerate mapping consolidation into a revision of spatial and mapping, as part of an effort to improve governance on land use.

Reporting and monitoring of this Presidential Decree will be conducted by UKP4 and REDD+ Agency.

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