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INDONESIA BANS FOREST CUTTING FOR TWO YEARS

05/23/2011

In a financial deal with Norway, Indonesia has agreed to set a two-year moratorium on new permits to clear primary forests and peatlands. The deal, which took effect Friday, will protect 158 million acres of trees from logging and conversion into plantations. As part of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, Norway will pay a fixed sum per ton of CO2 emissions Indonesia prevents through forest protection. The agreement could yield up to $1 billion. However, the agreement allegedly fell short of some projections. "Based on map analysis by Greenpeace, the moratorium should cover 104.8 million hectares (259 million acres) of Indonesian forests to make it a more meaningful commitment," said Bustar Maitar, Southeast Asian forest campaigner of Greenpeace. Also, the moratorium excludes permit extensions and permits already given in principal by the forestry minister; energy development projects including geothermal, gas, and power plants; as well as plantations for rice and sugar. For the full story, see http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/05/20/science-as-indonesia-forest-moratorium_8476633.html. For limitations to the deal, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/20/indonesia-environment-permits-idUSJKB00453020110520.