News / Asia

Indonesia Delays Start of Forest Development Moratorium

Firefighters work to extinguish forest fires in Bengkalish district of Riau province, Indonesia (file photo – 22 Oct 2010)
Firefighters work to extinguish forest fires in Bengkalish district of Riau province, Indonesia (file photo – 22 Oct 2010)

Indonesia has yet to implement a moratorium on the burning of forests and peat lands that was scheduled to start on January 1st. The moratorium is part of a $1 billion deal with Norway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. Competing government groups are still arguing over elements of the plan.

An Indonesian government task force last year developed a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. A key part of the plan is a two-year moratorium on clearing forests and peat lands.

The moratorium is part of a $1 billion deal with Norway to reduce Indonesia's carbon dioxide emissions, which primarily come from burning of forests and peat lands for farming and other development. Indonesia is the world's third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, which many scientists say contributes to global warming. The government aims to slash emissions by 26 percent by 2020.

But the forestry ministry has also submitted a plan and is arguing it should oversee the moratorium. As a result, neither plan has been implemented, while the task force and forestry ministry reconcile their differences.

Hadi Daryanto is a member of the task force and the ministry's director general of forestry management. He says it is a question of legal authority.

He says the president's instructions were only for the forestry minister and all the provincial regents because only they have the authority.

Joko Arif is a forestry activist with the environmental organization Greenpeace. He says the competing plans differ on specific types of permits that would be affected, such as logging and mining, and on which government agencies would be involved in enforcing and overseeing the moratorium. He says the plans do not even agree on what areas will be protected.

"Up until now there are no clear definitions of forests which will be implemented related to this moratorium," Arif said. "For example the ministry of forestry said it is only for primary forests but some of the people in government said it is also for other type of forests, not only primary but also secondary forests."

Primary forests have never been cleared and secondary forests have re-grown.

Daryanto plays down any differences in the plans and in the delay in announcing the moratorium. He says the ban will protect almost 44 million hectares of primary forests, while applying sustainable forest management practices to an additional 48 million hectares.

And Daryanto says the national government has stopped issuing permits to develop primary forest land based on existing law.

He says using law number 41, the moratorium has already begun because it says that protecting the natural forests is a priority.

But he says illegal logging remains a problem and getting local authorities and other agencies involved is more complicated than anticipated.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More