Indonesian President Extends Weak Forest Moratorium

Press release - May 13, 2015
Jakarta: Indonesian president Joko Widodo today extended a moratorium on new concessions over forest areas, but failed to heed bipartisan calls from civil society and progressive industry to strengthen the measure in order to fully protect forests and peatlands. The renewal comes after Greenpeace conveyed the voices of over 12,000 concerned Indonesians calling for a strengthened moratorium ahead of the 13 May 2015 expiry of the existing presidential instruction.

The ‘copy-paste’ moratorium signed today is understood to leave at least 48.5 million hectares of forest – over three times the area of Java – under threat, including 16.5 million hectares of primary forest and peatlands. The remaining 32 million hectares is under threat because it is natural forest classified as ‘secondary forest’, which the current moratorium excludes; while such forest may have been disturbed by selective logging for example, it is an important carbon store and critical wildlife habitat. Much of the country’s remaining forested orang-utan habitat for instance is classified as ‘secondary forest’.

Indonesia’s forest policy is of international importance not least because clearing and draining of peatlands and forests makes the country one of the world’s top contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. President Widodo’s predecessor committed to a 41 percent reduction in business-as-usual emissions by 2020 with international support, which has been pledged by countries such as Norway through a $1 billion deal. International eyes are on the country’s new president to see what concrete steps he will take ahead of the Paris climate talks later this year.

“President Joko Widodo has failed to listen to the public demands to protect our remaining forests and peatlands. While environment minister Siti Nurbaya today issued a statement leaving the door open to strengthening the forest moratorium in future, the problem is that she has not presented any timeline. While the government prevaricates, our biodiversity dwindles and our international emissions reductions obligations go unmet. Strengthening forests protection is urgent,” said Greenpeace Indonesia forests campaigner Teguh Surya.

Notes to Editor:

Photos: http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIF3WB3S8&CT=Story

Background: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/04/a-strengthened-forest-moratorium-expected-jokowi.html

Media Contacts:

Teguh Surya, Forest Campaigner Greenpeace Indonesia, +6281915191979 <>

Igor O’Neill, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaign, +62 811 1923 721 <>