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Jakarta Post

House to endorse controversial deforestation bill

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 9 2013   /  10:11 am

The House of Representatives is expected to endorse the bill on combating deforestation later this week despite mounting criticisms that the bill could be used by the authorities to prosecute members of indigenous communities who have lived off the country’s forests for generations.

The bill, which has been discussed at the House Commission IV overseeing forestry, agriculture, plantations and fisheries since 2010, will grant the Forestry Ministry the authority to determine forest areas, issue permits for business exploitation of the forests, as well as bringing criminal charges against those carrying out illegal activities in the forest area, including illegal logging.

Article 15 of the bill, for example, makes it mandatory for anybody conducting any activity in forests to secure permit from the ministry.

The article also obliges any individual or party to secure p...