Saturday, April 20, 2013

Indonesia moves towards approving deforestation plan

Terra Daily via AFP: The Indonesian government has said it aims to approve within a month a plan that would free up vast swathes of protected virgin rainforest on Sumatra island for commercial exploitation. Rights groups reacted with outrage at the news that the plan, which also needs to be passed by the Aceh provincial parliament, was making progress, saying it would only benefit huge foreign companies and not the area's people.

But Canadian mining company East Asia Minerals, which conducts gold exploration in Aceh, hailed the progress as "positive news for mineral extraction in the area". The government aimed to approve the plan "in up to a month", senior forestry ministry official Hadi Daryanto said late Thursday. Rights groups say it will free up around 1.2 million hectares (three million acres) to be cleared.

The head of the Aceh parliamentary committee overseeing the project, Tengku Anwar, said it had a lot of support in the legislature. "We hope it will go through as soon as possible," he said. Approval of the plan would open up the forest, on the northern tip of Sumatra province and home to critically endangered orangutans, rhinos, and elephants, for mining, paper and palm oil plantations...

From Hermann von Rosenberg: „Der Malayische Archipel. Land und Leute in Schilderungen, gesammelt während eines dreissigjährigen Aufenthaltes in den Kolonien.“ Leipzig, Verlag von Gustav Weigel, 1878.

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