Greenpeace, Indonesian NGOs call on Ministry of Economic Affairs to make a good moratorium possible

Press release - March 31, 2011
Greenpeace activists dressed as endangered species of Indonesian forests, together with a coalition of Indonesian NGOs, today went to the Ministry of Economic Affairs to call for the immediate implementation of moratorium on forest destruction that can successfully protect vital rainforest, as well as Indonesia’s biodiversity, people and economy which depend on it. on forest destruction.

“Sustainability and economic development go hand in hand.  Ensuring sustainable development will avert further ecological degradation. And a good moratorium is key toward real and lasting development that will improve the welfare of all Indonesians.  The Ministry of Economic Affairs must realise that it has a stake in the success of a good moratorium, and in its function to coordinate economic policy, it should work to push the government toward a greener and fairer economy,” said Yuyun Indradi, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forests Political Campaigner.

The moratorium on forest destruction was supposed to have been implemented on 1 January 2011.  But after three months, the moratorium still remains to be finalized.  Many believe that the three-month delay is related to intervention from industry interests,  and that no delay would happen if all government departments are together in a strong commitment to save and protect Indonesia’s forests.

Greenpeace together with a broad coalition of NGOs in Indonesia is calling on the President to issue a moratorium that is not time-bound, which protects all natural forests and peatlands, including secondary forests.  It should apply to areas within existing concessions and those areas granted in principle to industry on 31 December 2010.  Last month, Greenpeace revealed maps that show how the proposed draft ‘moratorium’ which was being considered by the government was inadequate and would fail to protect the crucial forest areas.

During today’s activity, the “endangered animals” handed to the ministry recommendations which define a ‘good moratorium.’

“We support President SBY’s commitment to implement a moratorium on deforestation. The moratorium is an important first step to a long term scheme to improve Indonesia’s forests governance, particularly in forest-related sectors such as forestry, plantations and mining.  But the forests cannot wait.  Any delay in the implementation of a good moratorium means forests continue to be bulldozed day after day.   Data from the Ministry of Forestry states the rate of forest destruction in Indonesia is 1,1 million hectares per year.  This means that the three month delay in the moratorium implementation has already resulted in deforestation of approximately 275,000 hectares, equivalent to four times the land area of ​​Jakarta," said Mansuetus Darto, National Coordinator Palm Oil Farmers Association.

Last year, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged that Indonesia will undertake a bold commitment to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and announced a target to reduce emissions by 26% by 2020 compared to business as usual and by up to 41% with international support.  Greenpeace and Indonesian civil society agree that this target can be achieved with a good moratorium if implementation is backed by strong law enforcement, and accommodates rights of local communities.