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Environmentalists Say Moratorium on Forest Conversion an Empty Promise

Source:  Copyright 2011, Jakarta Globe
Date:  February 20, 2011
Byline:  Fidelis E. Satriastanti
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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Green activists said on Wednesday that the government’s much-hyped plan for a moratorium on new logging concessions would only apply to forests that were already protected in the first place.

The two-year moratorium on new concessions in peatland and primary forests is part of a bilateral agreement with Norway, in exchange for which Indonesia will receive $1 billion in funding for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD-plus) activities.

In order for the moratorium to be legally binding from its Jan. 1 start date, it must be backed by a presidential decree, which has yet to be issued.

The Civil Society Organization Common Platform, comprising the groups Greenpeace Southeast Asia, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law and Sawit Watch, a palm oil industry watchdog, said even if enforced, the government’s claim that the moratorium would protect more forested areas ...

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