NGOs warn that if the DRC government follows through with its plans to lift the country’s logging moratorium it would result in a climate and biodiversity catastrophe.
By Chris Lang Last week, Eve Bazaïba, the vice prime minister and environment minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced plans to lift a ban on new industrial logging concessions that has been in place since 2002.
Last week, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo agreed to extend the country’s moratorium on new forestry concessions. Also last week, Jokowi visited Papua and relaunched the disastrous Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE).
A recent study revealed that the Indonesian government has been telling lies about its rate of forest loss. The study found that between 2000 and 2003 the rate of deforestation in Indonesia was about one million hectares per year. In the years 2011 and 2012, the rate doubled to about two million hectares per year.
Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has extended the moratorium on new forest concessions for a further two years. Despite the flaws in the moratorium an extension is better than a return to business as usual. But the President has missed out on a chance to strengthen the moratorium.