Indonesia Expands Moratorium on Logging

In 2011, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a deal with Norway to stop logging in Indonesia for two years to protect the rainforests. Norway would give Indonesia one billion dollars for putting a moratorium on logging. Last month, the president agreed to extend the ban another two years. This is a victory for the preservation of the rainforests and animal species of Indonesia. Besides the obvious advantages, this ban also helps to limit the greenhouse gases that Indonesia emits. Indonesia is the third largest producer of carbon in the world, behind China and the U.S.A; except most of their emissions are not from cars and houses. It is from the burning of the soil in the peat swamps that are deforested. In order for the land to be used for the palm oil plantations, the swamps need to be drained. Peat soils contain an immense amount of carbon, that once burned is released into the atmosphere.

This is a great victory for environmentalists and a sign the Indonesian government is headed in the right direction saving their rainforests. Unfortunately, the ban does have some loopholes. No new contracts can be made to cut down trees, but the ones made before the 2011 ban are still in effect. Therefore those companies are still able to cut down trees in the very vulnerable rainforests. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

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