2.7 Million Hectares of Forest Loss After Six Years of Moratorium Implementation

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Jakarta (Greeners) – At least 2.7 million hectares of primary forest and peat lands lost during six years of moratorium policy implementation, said an activist, in Jakarta, on Friday (5/5).

In addition, 28 percent of hotspots have destroyed protected forest included in the moratorium map every year.

Recent finding from the policy revealed by Civil Society Coalition for Saving Indonesia’s Forest and Global Climate that there had been a reduced of 2,701,938 hectares for the past six years.

“Ironically, where they’re converted, it’s still unknown,” said Linda Rosalina of Forest Watch Indonesia.

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For more than two decades, Rosalina said, environmental disaster caused by forest damages had seriously impacted people’s lives. Forest and peat fires for the last three months in 2015 were the hardest hits.

Indonesian government has made commitment to improve forest and peat lands management by issuing Presidential Instruction No. 10/2011 on Halting New Permits Issuance and Primary Forest and Peatlands Management for two years.

The policy was extended under Presidential Instruction issued in 2013 followed by another instruction issued two years later but without strengthening protection.

“In practice, though it had been implemented for six years, the policy has yet to solve issues related to primary forest and peatlands management,” she said. “The policy was implemented partially and does not have significant impacts for protecting the remaining primary forest and peats.”

Yustina Murdiningrum of Epistema Institute said that 69,044 hotspots were spotted in 2015 and 31 percent or 21,552 hotspots were spotted in areas declared as protected under the moratorium indicative map.

Meanwhile, the spread of hotspots on moratorium areas accounts for 28.5 percent of national hotspots between 2011 and 2016, which shows the trend, was increasing.

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Meanwhile, forest covers from first to ninth revisions were showing decreasing of a total of 831,053 hectares which showed that the policy has yet to stop deforestation even in moratorium areas. In addition, people’s areas included in social forestry scheme also included in moratorium areas.

“This is obviously disturbing existing management permits and submitted proposals which would hamper social forestry target,” said Murdiningrum.

Teguh Surya of Madani Berkelanjutan Foundation said the president should have been encouraged for next strategic actions along with other stakeholders by setting up Indonesia’s Road Map Towards Zero Deforestation in 2020.

Surya said the roadmap similar to Indonesia’s Action Plan towards Zero Deforestation in 2020, monitor the implementation, speed up One Map Policy, evaluate integrated permit mechanism, law enforcement and conflict resolution.

“The six strategies are positive and strong indicators as well as measured from Indonesian government to the world as its commitment to stop tropical rain forest destruction as promised by President Jokowi in Paris, in 2015,” he added.

Reports by Danny Kosasih