15 May 2015:
Indonesia Extends Major Logging
Moratorium, Which Critics Decry as Weak
Deforestation for a palm oil plantation in Indonesia.
Indonesia has extended a major logging moratorium
aimed at preserving the archipelago's vast swathes of tropical rainforest, but environmentalists say the logging ban does not go nearly far enough. The country, home to some of the world's most biodiverse rain forests and endangered species such as tigers and elephants, first enacted the moratorium in 2011, banning new logging permits for primary and virgin forests and peatlands. The moratorium was first extended until 2015, and now has been extended again, to 2017. Environmental groups have criticized the moratorium, however, saying that it still allows deforestation for ventures deemed in the national interest, such as infrastructure projects and agricultural plantations. Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and huge swathes of its forests have been chopped down by palm oil, mining, and timber companies. Emissions from those industries and the associated deforestation have made it the world's third-largest carbon emitter.
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