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Jakarta Post

Govt to allow peatland plantations

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    THE JAKARTA POST

JAKARTA   /   Fri, February 13 2009   /  10:04 am

The Agriculture Ministry will  issue a decree to allow businesses to dig up the country’s millions
of hectares of peatland for oil palm plantations. Gatot Irianto, the ministry’s head of research and development, said his office was currently drafting a ministerial decree that would explain in detail the mechanism to turn the peatland areas into oil palm plantations, a move that many say will further damage the country’s environment.
“We still need land for oil palm plantations. We must be honest: the sector has been the main driver for the people’s economy,” he said Thursday on the sidelines of a discussion about adaptation in agriculture, organized by the National Commission on Climate Change.
The draft decree is expected to go into force this year.
“We’ve discussed the draft with stakeholders, including hard-line activis...