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Jakarta Post

Licensing loopholes threaten Papuan forests

Greenpeace Indonesia activists stage a protest against the destruction of forests in Papua at the Environment and Forestry Ministry's office in Jakarta on April 8, 2021. The environmental group urged the government to follow up on the alleged permits issuance for concession area on forests in Papua to stop deforestation on Indonesia's easternmost island.(Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)
A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil
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Jakarta   ●   Tue, April 13 2021

Swaths of forest in Papua are facing destruction because of loopholes in the government’s licensing system, Greenpeace Indonesia has found, despite a moratorium on forest concession permits and oil palm development.

The environmental organization analyzed Environment and Forestry Ministry records from 2000 to 2019 and found that some 950,000 hectares of forest in Papua and West Papua had been released for plantation concessions in the period.

Around 685,000 ha, or 70 percent of the concessions, still had tree cover. Some 440,000 ha was primary forest and around 108,000 ha was peatland, an ecosystem known for its role in mitigating climate change by storing carbon.

Greenpeace’s report corroborated other recent reports of deforestation in Papua, including a Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) study that found that around 168,000 h...

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