Climate Action

Indonesia has just made its moratorium on forest clearance permanent

An aerial view of the Cikole protected forest near Bandung, Indonesia November 6, 2018.  Picture taken November 6, 2018. Antara Foto/Raisan Al Farisi via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. - RC1CDCB8FCB0

An aerial view of the Cikole protected forest near Bandung, Indonesia Image: REUTERS

Tabita Diela
Economics Reporter, Reuters
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Climate Action?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of the Environment

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued a permanent moratorium on new forest clearance for activities such as palm plantations or logging, the environment minister has said.

While likely to be welcomed by green groups, some do not think it goes far enough to protect remaining forests in the tropical archipelago.

The moratorium, which covers around 66 million hectares (254,827 square miles) of primary forest and peatland, was first introduced in 2011 and has been renewed regularly as part of the efforts to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation.

"The president signed an instruction on stopping new permits and improving primary forest and peatland governance," Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said in a statement.

Image: Global Forest Watch

Bakar said the Aug. 5 presidential instruction mandated that ministers, governors and other officials could not issue new permits within the moratorium area.

Indonesia has had one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, with more than 74 million hectares (285,700 square miles) of rainforest - an area nearly twice the size of Japan - logged, burned or degraded in the last half century, according to Greenpeace.

The moratorium decision comes after authorities declared an emergency in six provinces on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo where smoke from outbreaks of forest fires have started causing acute respiratory infections.

Have you read?

The air pollution in Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo was getting worse and had forced authorities to restrict school hours, said Arie Rompas, a Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner.

Rompas said the permanent moratorium still did not provide adequate protection for primary forest and peatland in the long run, blaming a lack of punishment and loopholes in regulations.

"The policy should not be via a presidential instruction because it is the weakest among legal instruments," he said.

According to the ministry's data, the area mapped out for the moratorium had been changed from 69.1 million hectares initially to 66.1 million hectares recently.

"If it's a permanent one, changing the map should not be allowed anymore," he said, adding that Greenpeace had found that permits for palm-oil, pulp wood, logging and mining had been granted on 1.6 million hectares from the original moratorium.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Climate ActionNature and Biodiversity
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

'Every fraction of a degree matters': Why climate action needs a new narrative

Liang Lei

May 27, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum