Indonesia steps up audits of operations in peatlands and forests

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Source: Wetlands International

Wetlands International welcomes new commitments by the Indonesia government to strengthen law enforcement of the moratorium on new permits to develop peatlands and primary forests.

Indonesia's REDD+ agency is auditing 18 companies to check for proper licensing of companies operating in peatlands and rainforests. Illegal licenses will be revoked. The environment ministry is separately investigating 29 cases this year against 26 companies accused of using fires to clear land in Riau, a national center for palm oil, pulp and paper production.

“These steps by the Indonesian government are very encouraging, and much needed to create a level playing field for responsible industry”, according to Marcel Silvius, Programme Head on Climate-smart Land-use at Wetlands International.

“Just counting on the captains of industry to enhance sustainability of their sector through voluntary schemes such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is not enough. Government has to strongly enforce rules and regulations and adopt and integrate lessons learned from best practice from responsible industry into legislation, to ensure sector-wide improvements.”

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