New Indonesian president talks deforestation

4 November 2014

Yogyakarta. Indonesia, under President Joko Widodo and Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, faces an uncertain path going toward sustainable development and striking a balance between economic progress and protection of its forest, land and sea, experts say.

While Joko’s predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, kicked off several environmental policies such as a moratorium on the issuing of new forest-clearing concessions and the establishment of a body to oversee programs under the Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism, the incumbent has not yet made any promises on whether to continue with those initiatives.

He has, however, shown a high degree of awareness the ongoing destruction of the country’s forests and the need to protect them, says Nasir Jamil, a legislator from the opposition Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

“He knows the importance of protecting the forests,” Nasir told the Jakarta Globe during a forest workshop in Yogyakarta last week.

“But we hope he also has a sense of urgency and crisis on the matter.”

Read more from The Jakarta Globe