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Indonesia plans more detailed map to settle land use conflicts

by Reuters
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 10:30 GMT

A general view of land recently burned and now for sale is seen west of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, Oct. 30, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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New map aimed at lowering chance of clashes between mining and plantation permits and forest protection plans

JAKARTA, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Indonesia will take a step forward in resolving conflicting land use claims with plans to finalize this year a map reflecting the nation's geographical features in greater detail, two ministers said on Tuesday.

The map of scale 1:50,000 will reduce the chance of clashes between permits for mining and plantations and plans for forest conservation, Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil told reporters.

"With this map, we can put things in order," Djalil said, but added that only the basic map would be made available this year, while overlapping claims would take longer to resolve. "Land conflicts can be avoided, we can protect peatlands, etcetera."

The government now uses a map of scale 1:250,000, which results in overlapping permits in many areas.

Coordinating Minister for Economics Darmin Nasution said President Joko Widodo ordered his team to finish the map more quickly after forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan sent choking smoke across much of Southeast Asia.

The government has said it was also reviewing laws that allow farmers to burn up to 2 hectares (5 acres) of land and may issue a new decree to regulate such practices. (Reporting by Hidayat Setiaji; Additional reporting by Bernadette Christina; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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