Indonesia extends logging ban to protect rainforest
JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia has extended a logging ban aimed at protecting rainforest despite fierce industry pressure, the government said on Wednesday, although green groups say the move still does not go far enough.
Vast tracts of the sprawling Indonesian archipelago are covered in trees, including some of the world's most biodiverse tropical rainforest that is home to endangered animals such as orangutans, tigers and elephants.
But swathes have been chopped down by palm oil, mining and timber companies in South-east Asia's top economy, which has become the world's third-biggest carbon emitter as a result.
Under a US$1-billion (S$1.24 billion) conservation deal with Norway, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono two years ago signed the moratorium, which bans new logging permits for primary, or virgin, forest, defined as forest not logged in recent history.