President SBY last Thursday signed a Presidential decree No. 10/2011, authorizing a two year moratorium on new logging concession, under a billion dollar concession with Norway.
This decree is an implementation of an agreement signed by Indonesia and Norway on May last year, in which Indonesia promised to carry out a moratorium (halt) on the cutting of forest and peatlands for two years in exchange for $1 billion in funding from Norway, under a UN-backed scheme designed to pay developing countries to preserve forests.
However, this moratorium is only for new forest licenses, and will exempt permits already given in principle by the Forestry Ministry and extensions of existing permits, as well as projects to develop supplies of energy, rice and sugar.
This decree was welcomed by the Norwegian government who said that the moratorium is one important step forward for Indonesia
But it was protested by the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) who felt that the decree would restrict business activities.
While green activists said the moratorium would only be applicable to 64 million hectares of the country’s 132 million hectare forest coverage.
In spite of the pro and contra, I hope that the Indonesian government would carry out the moratorium i.e stop cutting forests and peatlands in the next two year as it promised