Indonesia Agrees on Forest Cutting Ban

Indonesia has imposed a two-year ban on cutting down peatland and primary forests as part of a US$1 billion deal with Norway.

Presidential adviser Pungki Agus Purnomo said Friday the decree will protect up to 64 million hectares (158 million acres) from logging and conversion into palm oil and other plantations.

Deforestation is thought to account for up to 20 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and has made Indonesia the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Under the deal signed last year, Norway will pay a fixed sum per ton of CO2 emissions that Indonesia reduces through rain forest preservation. The agreement is meant to help finance an independent system of monitoring and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions.

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