Permanent forest and peatland protection the true test of Jokowi’s climate commitment

Press release - December 1, 2015
Paris, 30 November 2015 - Greenpeace welcomed President Joko Widodo’s promise in Paris to end Indonesia’s recurring forest and peat fires, which regularly made the country the world’s worst carbon polluter in recent months. However, success depends on strong leadership from the president and decisive action to permanently protect Indonesia's forests and peatlands.


President Jokowi receives a banner signifying delivery of a petition signed by 253,800 people worldwide supporting Indonesia to save its forests and peatlands, moments after his speech at the COP21 climate talks. Credit: Greenpeace

Responding to Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s opening speech at the Paris climate talks, Teguh Surya, Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner said:
“The president has gone halfway towards tackling Indonesia's emissions, but it seems he can’t see the forests for the peat. His landmark pledge to protect and restore peatlands, if given the force of law, could do much towards cutting Indonesia’s emissions. But by failing to announce any new protection for forests, he is allowing the juggernaut of deforestation to roll on, and guaranteeing future bouts of devastating forest fires.”

Forest and peatland destruction is Indonesia’s largest source of emissions. Since 1990, Indonesia has lost 31 million ha of rainforest, an area nearly the size of Germany. Indonesia currently has the highest rate of deforestation, due in large part to its role as the world’s largest producer of palm oil. Despite the introduction in 2011 of a government-imposed moratorium on granting new plantation or timber concessions on primary forests and peatlands, the national deforestation rate has risen.

Indonesia holds the key to some of the cheapest, most effective and immediate potential cuts to global GHG emissions -- and that is to invest in forest protection and restoration. I urge the President not to miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Paris to save Indonesia’s forests and peatlands,” Teguh said.

“We need laws that fully protect forests and peatlands. We need sanctions for anybody who breaks those laws. And we need full transparency about who controls the land and the state of Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. Those are the boxes that need to be ticked if we’re serious about tackling forest fires and climate change in Indonesia.”

Media Contacts:

In Paris:

Teguh Surya, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner, Mobile: +33 674440188

Annisa Rahmawati, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner, Mobile: +33 633653918

Rodrigo Estrada Patino, forest communications,

Mobile: +33 633742007

In Indonesia:

Yuyun Indradi, Forest campaigner, Greenpeace Indonesia, , Mobile: +62 8122 616 1759

Igor O’Neill, International media, Greenpeace Indonesia Forests Campaign, Mobile: +62 8111 923721