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Jakarta Post

Govt defends decree as first step in saving forests

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 23 2011   /  08:00 am

Deforestation has severely ravaged Indonesia’s tropical forests, and a recently introduced moratorium on forest conversions would help reverse the trend, a senior official says.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono’s special aide on climate change, Agus Purnomo, said illegal practices such as squatting and logging, had encroached on primary forests, leading the government to consider it necessary to give double protection to areas already under legal protection from exploitation.

“The decree will help stop such problems, as it will explicitly emphasize the duty to protect forests. With the decree, the Presidential Work Unit for Development Control and Monitoring [UKP4] will be able to issue recommendations to the president on punishing perpetrators,” he said.

Brought on by the relentless expansion of palm oil plantations and mining and logging activities, defo...