Indonesian Decree To Halt Primary Forest Loss

Source : WWF
May 23, 2011

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a presidential decree today that bans logging of 64 million hectares of carbon-rich primary forests and peatlands and suspends the granting of new permits for clearing these lands for two years. The moratorium, which goes into effect immediately, is part of an agreement worth US$1 billion between Indonesia and Norway aimed at reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Indonesia has vowed to cut its emissions by 26 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020, or by 41 percent with sufficient international support.

“WWF recognizes the two-year ban on logging and clearing of primary forests and peatlands as a foundation for Indonesia’s ambitious shift towards a low carbon economy,” said Dr. Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia. President Yudhoyono announced plans to reduce forest loss by moving economic development practices, such as pulp and palm oil plantations, onto degraded lands at the Business for the Environment Global Summit in April of this year. “The government can now shift its focus to the bolder steps necessary to protect high carbon stocks found in secondary forests, as well as their biodiversity and cultural values.”

According to a WWF analysis, the moratorium’ will extend protection to only an additional 14 per cent of primary forest, as the majority of Indonesia’s primary forests are already protected by law. The potential emissions reductions from land use, land-use change and forestry could be far greater under this decree if the moratorium was extended beyond primary forests to include secondary forests as well, said WWF. “Because concessions can continue being awarded in secondary forests, the moratorium’s impact will be limited as it will reduce deforestation and cut carbon emissions by only about 4percent,” said Nazir Foead, Director of WWF-Indonesia. “There is clearly much more that must be done if Indonesia is to achieve its ambitious emission reduction targets.”

Yet, the moratorium could be an opportunity to help put in place effective forest governance and sound ecosystem-based spatial planning, particularly in settling overlapping land-uses. WWF is calling on Ministries and other government agencies to use the two-year period of the moratorium to review and improve governance on issuing licenses to industrial timber plantations, agro-industrial plantations and mining in secondary forests and other land uses. Strengthening the analysis of ecological and cultural values in these forests could contribute to this, said WWF.

“We must absolutely make the most of these two years to strengthen this commitment from Indonesia, so that it indeed catalyses the international community to address deforestation”, said Rasmus Hansson, CEO of WWF Norway and chair of WWF’s global Forest and Climate Initiative, “The Norwegian government and other donor countries must step forward and support Indonesia’s efforts to advance the conservation, sustainable management and enhancement of these globally significant forests.”

For further information:

* Nyoman Iswarayoga, Climate & Energy Program Director, WWF-Indonesia, Phone: +62 811 1284868,
* Nazir Foead, Director of Governance, Community & Corporate Engagement, WWF-Indonesia +62 811 977604,

Note to Editor:
Presidential Decree or INPRES No. 10 /2011 can be downloaded here:

President Yudhoyono at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 committed to reduce GHG emissions up to 41 per cent with international support, and 26 per cent with domestic resources. The forestry sector should contribute up to 54 per cent of this reduction target.

The speech of President Yudhoyono for the Business of the Environment Global Summit can be downloaded from

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF-Indonesia Jakarta office leads and coordinates 25 field offices. WWF-Indonesia conservation programme takes place in protected areas in 17 Indonesian provinces. WWF-Indonesia’s vision is “Conservation of Indonesia biodiversity for the well-being of present and future generations”.

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