Green groups, analysts slam Indonesia logging ban

A A A

Environmentalists said Friday a long-awaited moratorium on logging in Indonesia, part of a $1 billion climate deal with Norway, is a "disaster" for forests and will do little to fight global warming.

Indonesia banned logging in primary forests and peatlands for two years on Thursday under a deal announced in Oslo in 2010 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation while protecting rich biodiversity.

But environmentalists doubted whether the long-awaited moratorium would save any significant forests that were not already protected, or make any reductions to the massive archipelago's carbon footprint.

"We are very disappointed. We're concerned because it only covers primary forests and peatlands," Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said.

He said the moratorium should also protect woodlands defined as "natural forests", but these had been left at the mercy of the logging companies.

Chris Lang, author of the REDD-monitor blog which tracks efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, said the moratorium was a "disaster for Indonesia's forests, indigenous peoples and local communities".

He said the moratorium decree announced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono late Thursday - five months after it was due to be in place - contained "gaping loopholes".

There were exemptions for existing logging concessions and those that only had in-principle approval, as well as for "national development" projects such as geothermal power plants and key food crops.

Green groups say forests covered by such concessions store vast amounts of carbon and contain habitats of endangered species such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers.

The moratorium applies to about 88 million hectares (217.5 million acres) of primary forest and peatland, but Maitar said that according to Greenpeace's maps such areas actually covered 104 million hectares.

Elfian Effendi, executive director of forestry policy analysis group Greenomics, said the moratorium "still creates potential for Indonesia to destroy its natural forests".

The regulations have been the subject of intense lobbying from the pulp, paper and palm oil industries, which tried to limit the reach of the moratorium while protecting their vast logging concessions.

Presidential advisor on climate change Agus Purnomo told reporters logging would be banned in "forests that haven't been touched by humans and where there has been no concession activity before".

"Indonesia has been on the right track, heading into a prosperous and sustainable future, and will not return to past development practices that damage the environment at the expense of future generations," he said.

The moratorium is part of a national effort to combat climate change through a UN-backed scheme known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).

REDD promises to slow the release of greenhouse gases from the destruction of forests and carbon-dense peatlands by having rich nations pay emerging countries to preserve their jungles and woods.

Rampant deforestation is one of the main reasons Indonesia is the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter behind the United States and China.

The Indonesian government has set goals to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent while at the same time doubling palm oil production by 2020. It is already the world's biggest palm oil exporter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines