“Obviously the moratorium does not hinder investments in the forestry sector.
The development of both industrial plantations and oil palm plantations is
still allowed as long as industrial forestry firms develop them on degraded
land and do not burn forests,” Hadi told The Jakarta Post.
The government is currently developing productive forests on 35.4 million
hectares of previously degraded land. Of the total area, 9.19 million hectares
are allocated for HTIs, 13.23 million hectares for primary forests, 7.46
million hectares for ecosystem restoration projects and 5.53 million hectares
for public plantation forests (HTR).
The moratorium on new permits for companies to exploit primary forests and
peatlands covers 72 million hectares and was issued on May 20 through a
It marks part of the government’s efforts to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas
emissions by 26 percent by 2020 as targeted by the National Action Plan to
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (RAN-GRK).
Forestry companies looking to develop HTIs are required to identify remaining
natural forests by using remote sensing satellite imagery.
Hadi added that the process was important to determine which forest areas could
be exploited and which should be protected as a high conservation value forest
As of 2010, HTIs produced 31.99 million cubic meters of timber, comprising
fast-growing species such as eucalyptus, acacia and teak, while primary forests
produced only 5.3 million cubic meters of timber.
Indonesia is the world’s tenth-largest pulp producer.
“We may rank fifth by 2020 if we have a surplus of raw materials,” Hadi said,
adding that any surplus could be used to strengthen the panel wood industry.
Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) campaign manager for forests and
large-scale plantations Deddy Ratih said the government should clearly define
what it called degraded land.
“In many cases, HTIs are developed not on degraded land but in areas that still
have healthy forests,” he said, referring to HTIs in Padang Island and Rangsang
Island in Riau.
There are HTIs in several regencies that are developed in areas that serve
unique ecological functions, Deddy said.
He said half of the raw material for the country’s pulp industry came from
“Instead of issuing new licenses for HTIs, it would be better for the
government to evaluate HTI areas and optimize productivity.”
— JP/Elly Burhaini Faizal