Indonesian president signs 3-year freeze on new oil palm licenses

first_imgEnvironment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Land Use Change, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Transparency, Tropical Forests Article published by mongabayauthor The moratorium has been in the works for a long time. President Jokowi first announced it more than two years ago, in the wake of the 2015 Southeast Asian haze crisis.The moratorium will remain in place for three years. Environmentalists had called for there to be no limit on its duration.The policy also mandates as sweeping review of oil palm licenses across the country. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed a moratorium on new licenses for oil palm plantations.The presidential instruction, signed on Sept. 19, will remain in place for no more than three years, according to the policy document, seen by Mongabay.Environmentalists previously called on Jokowi to impose no limit on the duration of the moratorium, arguing it should remain in place until it achieves its goals.The policy appears to constitute a freeze on the entire licensing process for oil palm plantations in Indonesia, the world’s top producer of palm oil, a ubiquitous commodity found in everything from chocolate to laundry detergent.It explicitly applies not just to new requests for licenses but also to projects that have obtained some but not all of the permits needed to begin operating.The signing of the policy comes more than two years after President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, declared he would impose it.Jokowi made the announcement in the wake of the 2015 fire and haze crisis, in which vast stretches of swampy peatland that had been drained and dried by the plantation sector burned for months, blanketing Indonesia and its neighbors in choking haze.A peatland planted with oil palm burns in 2015, on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra. Image by Rhett A Butler/Mongabay.In the past two years, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry has released several tracts of land from the country’s “forest zone” to oil palm companies. Most recently, dozens of square kilometers were handed to PT Sawit Makmur Abadi, a plantation company operating in the Nabire district of Papua province that has been linked to current and former senior police officials.At the same time, the land released for oil palm under the current administration pales in comparison to the enormous area that was rezoned during the tenure of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who served from 2004-2014.The policy constitutes not just a freeze on new licenses, but an order for the relevant central government ministries and regional governments to conduct a massive review of oil palm licensing data.The review is to be presided over by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, which is supposed to report to the president every six months on the progress of the initiative.The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s largest environmental NGO, welcomed the issuance of the moratorium but suggested the president should have signed it much earlier.Ideally, Walhi said in a statement, the moratorium would stay in place for 25 years, because “environmental recovery takes a long time.”A baby orangutan in Sumatra. The apes’ forest habitat is shrinking as oil palm and other industries expand. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Indonesia has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates, in large part due to uncontrolled expansion by the plantation industry. This has made the country of 250 million people a top greenhouse gas emitter.Corruption in the issuance of licenses for plantations is rife. Mines too; Indonesia is a top coal producer. When the president announced the moratorium on new oil palm licenses two years ago, he also said he would impose a moratorium on new coal mines, but this has yet to be implemented.Christian Purba, chairman of the executive board of Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), an NGO, called the issuance of the moratorium a “good step,” although he thought it was lacking in some respects.One of these is law enforcement, he said. The policy makes no mention of Indonesia’s anti-graft agency or the police.“However, the moratorium as a presidential instruction will serve as a legal basis for rejecting any applications for new licenses from palm oil companies,” he told Mongabay.Christian called for data gathered under the permit review to be made available for public review. FWI is currently fighting the agrarian ministry over a Supreme Court order for it to release right-to-cultivate permits for plantation and farming businesses, known as HGUs, something the ministry has refused to do.A PDF of the order enshrining the moratorium can be downloaded here.Banner: A Bornean orangutan. The critically endangered species is being driven to extinction as the forests of Borneo are cleared by humans. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img