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Jakarta Post

Govt torn between courting business, protecting forests

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 24 2011   /  07:00 am

On shaky ground: Forestry Minister Zulkifl i Hasan (right) and Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta (second right) walk on the “canopy trail” in Ciwalen, Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Bogor, West Java, on Monday. The 60 meter-long canopy trail can accommodate fi ve to 10 people with a total weight of 300 kg to enjoy the beauty of a tropical rain forest from 30 to 40 meters above ground. Antara/Rosa PanggabeanIn a move seen by critics as a sign of the government’s waning drive to save the nation’s forests, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently added the phrase “pro-business” to his strategy for achieving sustainable development.

He first used the slogan during a speech at an international conference on businesses linked to the environment, which was attended by officials from palm oil companies, in Jakarta on April 28.

The President and his mini...