Olso approves Indonesian forest plan

Norwegian officials have expressed approval of Indonesia’s new two-year logging moratorium.

The news comes despite the Asian nation’s government delaying the programme by nearly six months. The two nations had agreed on the scheme in May of last year as Norway pledged to pay USD 1 billion (EUR 7.15 million) for the cause, pending on the Indonesian government’s ability to effectively enforce it.

Erik Solheim, Norway’s environment minister, said last week, “The launch of the moratorium is one important step forward for Indonesia,” Reuters reports. He added, “What Indonesia is embarking on is a very serious development choice. Indonesia’s efforts to combine the goal of seven percent economic growth with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020 are commendable.”

Despite Oslo’s approval, some environmental groups and scientists have said the programme doesn’t go nearly far enough in protecting the rapidly depleting rainforests in Indonesia.

But last Friday saw the controversial moratorium go into effect for the first time following the delay, in which the Indonesian government exempted numerous entities from regulations, due heavy lobbying from the plantation industry.

Still, Norway’s environmental ministry said that it would aid in the effort of cutting greenhouse gases. According to Reuters, the agency added that it was “an important part of a broader land use reform agenda in Indonesia, though it will not in itself ensure success.”

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