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Indonesia to extend ban on forest clearing - govt official

by Reuters
Wednesday, 1 April 2015 05:06 GMT

A farmer harvests palm fruits at a palm plantation in Langkat at Indonesia's North Sumatra province, Jan. 12, 2013. REUTERS/Roni Bintang

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Indonesia is under international pressure to curb destruction of its carbon-rich peatlands and forests

JAKARTA, April 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia, home to the world's third-largest tropical forests and a powerful palm oil industry, will extend a ban on forest clearing, a government official said on Wednesday.

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.

"Indonesia will extend the moratorium policy," Nur Masirpatin, policy advisor for the ministry of environment and forestry told reporters at a media event, without giving an exact timeframe or length of the renewal. "The policy will certainly continue."

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, and extended for two more years in May 2013.

(Reporting by Randy Fabi; writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Michael Perry)

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