Indonesia to Allow Underground Mining in Protected Forests


photo: Doug Wheller via flickr.

Indonesia and protecting forests haven't really played well together in recent years. Due to high deforestation rates, the nation ranks among the top tier of greenhouse gas emitters--not to mention the effect all this habitat loss has on animals. Well, the Jakarta Globe (via Mongabay) reports that some of Indonesia's supposedly protected forests are going to be slightly less protected, with the expected implementation of a plan to allow certain types of mining underneath these areas:Forestry Minister Zulkifi Hasan describes the regulation:

The regulation will only allow mining activities to operate under the forest areas. So this is not for open mining and hopefully will only bring a minimum impact to the ecosystem in protected forests.

Another forestry ministry official said,

We are now waiting for a presidential decree to bring the regulations into force. A number of firms have applied for mining permits in protected forest areas.

Which I suppose on the face of it doesn't sound so bad, but to my mind does bring a new meaning to the concept of protected forest.

As Mongabay points out, the regulation is designed to attract more mining investment by clarifying regulations, cutting red tape and allowing mining in numerous areas that had been off limits.

Which again, makes me wonder what's the point of setting aside forest for conservation if you're just going to enable development of it in one form or another.

More info: Jakarta Globe
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Tags: Conservation | Deforestation | Indonesia

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