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Jakarta Post

Job Creation Law may have devastating impact on forests

The Tomawankng Ompu' communal forest.(JP/Syafrizaldi Jpang)
Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman
Jakarta   ●   Fri, October 23 2020

A provision in the controversial Job Creation Law raises the risk of further forest devastation as it relaxes rules on environmental protection, a local think tank says.

The recently passed legislation removes the minimum relative forest cover to be preserved by the government. Previously, Article 18 Paragraph 2 of Law No. 41/1999 on Forestry stipulated that the government should maintain a forest area equivalent to 30 percent of watershed or an island area for the environmental, social and economic interest of the locals.

“The removal of this provision [creates a chance] for environmental damage that is worse than what we see today,” Mirah Midadan, a researcher at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), said in a virtual discussion on Monday.

“Without the provision on that percentage, the governmen...

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