JAKARTA May 10 The president of Indonesia, home
to the world's third-largest tropical forests and a powerful
palm oil industry, has agreed to extend a ban on forest
clearing, a government official said on Friday.
Southeast Asia's largest economy is under international
pressure to curb deforestation and destruction of carbon-rich
peatlands and forests that palm oil and mining companies say
they need for expansion.
The world's biggest producer of palm oil imposed a two-year
moratorium on clearing forest in May 2011 under a $1 billion
climate deal with Norway aimed at reducing emissions from
deforestation, covering 65 million hectares of forests, but this
is due to expire on May 20.
"The president has agreed... It should be signed in one or
two days. It may have been already," an official said, referring
to a revised moratorium and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Another source with direct knowledge of the matter said the
revised moratorium document would be signed before the existing
ban ends, extending it to October or December 2014.
Earler, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, a technocrat who oversees
forestry sector reform and heads a presidential delivery unit
aimed at cutting through red tape, said he had recommended
Indonesia extend the ban.
(Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Anthony Barker)