Conservation News: Forest Destruction Ban Announced

Indonesia’s province of East Kalimantan announced the imposition of a one-year ban on forest destruction last week. The need to curb mining and palm oil expansion in particular mentioned by a governor on the island of Borneo has rung alarm bells among some Indonesian investors. The moratorium, however, is a result of significant and ongoing international pressure for Indonesia to protect its amazing rainforest heritage and biodiversity.

Indonesia is home to the world’s third-largest expanse of tropical forests but is also the world’s top producer of palm oil, with estates growing palm sprawling across 8.5 million hectares and expected to add about 200,000 hectares a year.

“We have applied this moratorium policy for new permits on forestry, mining and plantation since several weeks ago and it will last for a year,” an East Kalimantan governor informed Reuters.

Kalimantan is the second largest contributor to Indonesia’s palm oil production, with a share of 35 percent, after Sumatra, which has a 55 percent share, said Joko Supriyono, secretary general of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association.

Palm oil plantations now cover about 700,000 hectares of East Kalimantan and produce 2 million tonnes of output each year, Supriyono added. Many investors see Kalimantan as the best and easiest site for future expansion.

Since palm oil trees take at least 3 years to bear fruits, the impact on palm oil production will not be seen until around 2017.

This article and photo appeared on and are courtesy of the Cool Earth website.

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