Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan confirmed on Tuesday extension of the 2011 forest moratorium due to expire this May.
'The moratorium will be extended. We are still discussing when it will be extended until and whether coverage will be expanded,' said Zulkifli as quoted by Antara news agency.
Under the President Instruction ( Inpres ) No.10/2011, the government no longer issues permits for conversions of natural forests or peatland. The moratorium extension is crucial as it is part of the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020.
Zulkifli warned that forestry companies may file lawsuits against the ministry. 'We will take that risk,' he said.
On Monday, the Forestry Ministry in cooperation with the United Nations of Development Programme launched the first forest governance index to address current state of forest protection and management.
Indonesia has had one of the world's highest deforestation rates since 1990 due to logging, pulp and paper production, agricultural expansion, fire and oil palm plantations.
'More than half of the forest in Aceh National Park is disappearing. The implementation of good forest governance through REDD+ is expected to reverse deforestation rates,' said Zulkifli. ( nai/ebf )