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Jakarta Post

NGO urges Jokowi to issue moratorium on oil palm plantations

  • Moses Ompusunggu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 12, 2017   /   09:38 pm
NGO urges Jokowi to issue moratorium on oil palm plantations Valuable commodity: A worker loads oil palm fruits onto a truck during harvest at an oil palm plantation owned by PT Wanasawit Subur Lestari in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, in December 2015. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Environmental group Sawit Watch is urging President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to fulfill his pledge to declare a moratorium on the issuance of new permits for oil palm plantations, arguing that a moratorium will provide the necessary momentum to reorganize Indonesia’s palm oil industry.

The group said no progress had been made to follow up on Jokowi’s moratorium pledged in April last year, when he also promised to halt the issuance of new permits for coal mining operations.

Sawit Watch deputy director Achmad Surambo said in a press briefing on Friday that an oil palm moratorium was badly needed to stop environmental destruction in the form of land clearing for plantations.

Moreover, there was no sign that the government would revise Presidential Instruction (Inpres) No. 8/2015 on a moratorium of new permits for primary forest and peatland areas, which was due to expire on Saturday, he added.

Achmad said Inpres No. 8 and the promised oil palm moratorium were both important to ensure there would be no more land clearing for oil palm plantations. Land clearing was the prime driver of the annual land and forest fires across Indonesia.

“It will be better if Indonesia has a moratorium, as stipulated in Inpres No. 8 and another moratorium for oil palm plantations. They will complement each other,” said Achmad.

“During the moratorium, the government could revisit and then reform the management of the forests and the palm oil industry,” he went on. (ebf)