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Jakarta Post

Peatland conversions conditionally approved

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    THE JAKARTA POST

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 19 2009   /  11:52 am

The environment minister has approved the conversion of peatlands to oil palm plantations, if an environmental impact analysis (Amdal) is done.

State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar was responding to Tuesday’s issuance of a decree by Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono on the use of peatlands, despite strong criticism from environmentalists that the move could release more CO2 emissions. “The conversion of peatlands is possible for certain criteria, but should be done very selectively,” Rachmat told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“The conversion is strictly forbidden in [peatland] more than 3 meters deep.”
Asked if the Agriculture Ministry had discussed the decree with the commission, Rachmat said, ”No.”
Rachmat, who is also executive chairman of the National Commission for Climate Change, warned the co...