Indonesia Places Moratorium on Forest and Peatland Conversion

15 June 2010: The Government of Indonesia has announced that it will place a two-year moratorium on the conversion of natural forests and peatlands. Beginning in 2011, no new conversion permits will be issued, although permits issued before 2011 will not be affected.

The moratorium is one of the measures to be taken as part of the US$1 billion partnership agreement between Norway and Indonesia for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation and sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). As of 2011, mining, agriculture and plantations operations will only be permitted in degraded forests or idle lands, but industrial forest estates and forestry concessions will not be affected. The moratorium will contribute to achieving the Government's target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% before 2020.

The Indonesian Government's action plan for implementing the partnership agreement and moratorium includes enhancing communication with the private sector to address concerns amongst industry and civil society on ensuring an adequate wood supply. [ITTO Market Information Service Report, 1-15 June 2010]