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Jakarta Post

Logging moratorium `a must' to save Riau forests

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Sat, May 16 2009   /  02:05 pm

The NGO Riau Forest Rescue Working Network (Jikalahari) is urging the central government to reform forestry policies and end land disputes to slow the pace of deforestation in the province. "Deforestation in Riau is due to the paper industry and oil palm plantations' conversion activities," Susanto Kurniawan, the organization's coordinator, said Thursday at a seminar on the logging moratorium to help save the Semenanjung Kampar area. "The most jaw-dropping fact is that *the area stipulated in* land use permits issued by the government for those two *business* sectors have actually exceeded Riau's total area. This means that many licenses are overlapping each other, and this can be settled only by a moratorium." He said deforestation was the main cause of the increasingly intense floods, landslides and hazes that occurred in Riau every year. According to Susanto, defor...