Norway’s environment minister recently urges Indonesia to avoid backtracking on its own policies to protect tropical forests, saying up to $1 billion in aid promised by Oslo in exchange for Indonesia implementing the two-year moratorium hinged on proof of slower rates of forest clearance.
Maybe Norwegian Environment Minister Baard Vegar Solhjell appeal has had an effect on the Indonesian government. Yesterday Jakarta Globe wrote that the government is set to conduct a field survey this month to update its map for deforestation moratorium, after various stakeholders submitted conflicting claims on the actual situation. It will be the third revision of the map.
“There will a field survey of five provinces — North Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and South Sulawesi — from September 19 to 30,” said Priyadi Kardono, Geospatial Information Agency deputy and member of the dedicated task force responsible for the update.
He tells that the task force had received a report from the Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation (YEL) about a forest area in Batang Toru, Tapanuli district, North Sumatra, which was supposed to be protected under the moratorium map but which was in reality classified as a production forest, where logging is permitted.
Priyadi said another report came from the South Sumatra Forestry Agency, which reported four companies engaged in deforestation on sites included in the existing moratorium map.
A Greenpeace aerial survey reveals an area of deforestation in Sumatra
An earlier review of the moratorium map by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that it left almost 50 percent of Indonesia’s 100 million hectares of natural forest and peatland unprotected.
“The current moratorium is weak and does very little to protect the Indonesia’s forests,” said Deddy Ratih, an activist with Friends of the Earth Indonesia.
Baard Vegar Solhjell called the imposing the moratorium on forest clearance in 2011 “a big step forward,” but continued:
“[Indonesia] needs to move from this initial phase into a phase of actual reductions of deforestation.”
The moratorium to protect primary and peat forests came into effect last year as the centerpiece of a deal with Norway.
The third revision of the moratorium would be issued in November.