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Jakarta Post

Presidential order vs. forest conversion moratorium

  • Muhammad Teguh Surya

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 20 2011   /  08:00 am

Many questions entered my mind when the plan to impose a moratorium on forest conversions was delayed for five months, beginning in January 2011.

I optimistically thought at the time that the President and his staff were pondering appropriate measures to rescue the remaining natural forest in the country.

This hope completely evaporated when Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No.10/2011 on the postponement of new license issuance and the improvement of primary forest and peat land management was announced on May 20.

It turned out the delay was not due to any substantive reason regarding the rescue of Indonesia’s natural forests, but rather a maneuver to accommodate the interests of mining companies, oil palm estates, forest concessionaires and timber estates. In principle, the new instruction enables deforestation.

This is evident because the Inpres only g...