Indonesia’s forest moratorium: to extend or not to extend?
Climate Conversations - Indonesia’s forest moratorium: to extend or not to extend?|AlertNet|06/12/12
DOHA, Qatar (6 December, 2012)_ Experts on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Doha are weighing in on whether Indonesia should extend its two-year ban on the issuance of new forestry concessions in order to give the country a chance to meet its emissions reductions goals by 2020.
In May 2011, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a two-year ban on new forestry concessions in primary forest and peatlands, as part of the country’s aim to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent from a projected 2020 baseline.
Last week, Indonesia’s Forestry Minister announced that he will recommend to the President that the moratorium be extended when it expires in May 2013.
But in response, lawmakers in the House of Representatives threatened to freeze the budget for reforestation projects should Yudhoyono decide to extend the ban until the end of his term in 2014.
“It’s not worth it,” the head of the House of Representatives forestry and agriculture commission Romahurmuzy said, according to the Jakarta Globe. “The reward is not equal to the economic potential being lost in the forest sector.”
But at the UN climate change talks in Doha, during a side event organized by Washington DC-based World Resource Institute (WRI), some experts had different views.
“Extension is a lot better than creating a new one later, because you already have buy-in from stakeholders, as well as established cross-ministerial processes which were never exercised before this moratorium,” said Daniel Murdiyarso, senior CIFOR scientist.
Murdiyarso said the government should consider expanding the ban on new forestry concessions to include Indonesia’s vast secondary forests, and carbon-rich mangroves.