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Jakarta Post

More protected forests up for grabs

  • Ika Krismantari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 1 2008   /  03:26 am

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told hundreds of mining investors on Friday they would soon be able to apply to operate in productive as well as protected forests. Purnomo cited a newly issued forestry regulation and said, "Under the new government regulation, we will allow you to mine in productive and protected forests, subject to you giving us compensation". At present, there are 13 mining companies operating in protected forests. The companies were granted an exception by the government in 2004 via a presidential decree, despite the fact their operations would violate a forestry regulation completely banning all mining activities in protected forest areas. The exemption was allowed despite intense public opposition that said the mining operations jeopardized the nation's already depleted forests. Those 13 companies i...