April 29, 2020

Minister: Permanent forest moratorium greater in extent

JAKARTA ( - The extent of the Indonesian permanent moratorium on primary forests and peatlands - signed by President Joko Widodo in early August last year - has remained stable, staying above 66 million hectares, equivalent to more than double the area of Italy.

There have been very minor fluctuations in the total area covered by the permanent moratorium in the last three changes to its indicative map.

In the most recent update, as of the end of February 2020, there was an increase of 314,000 hectares in the total area of the permanent moratorium map, or more than 4 times the size of Singapore. This brought the total area covered by the permanent moratorium to 66.32 million hectares. 

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya says that despite various situations that continue to be complicated at the ground level, Indonesia is still striving to maintain the area of primary forest and peatlands under protection at a stable rate (by means of the permanent moratorium).

“In essence, this is not only a matter of the extent of the permanent moratorium map, but we must continue to undertake clear efforts to pursue an ever-increasing level of improved forestry and peat governance,” Minister Nurbaya explained in a written communication with (Apr 27).

She reiterated that the permanent moratorium guarantees that no extinction of key wildlife will occur, especially of flagship species considering that their habitat makes up major parts of the indicative permanent moratorium map.

The photos below show Tapanuli orangutans, significant parts of whose habitat are included in the indicative permanent moratorium map.

More than 26 times bigger than Bali

Minister Nurbaya also reminded that the permanent moratorium move also provides certainty in the long-term protection of biodiversity to a stable extent.

“The indicative permanent moratorium map not only ensures biodiversity protection in conservation areas and protection forests, but also to a fairly significant extent in production forests, which are state forest areas and included in parts of the indicative map,” she explained. 

“Furthermore, the indicative permanent moratorium map also covers some areas that have been legally allocated for the development of transmigration, settlements and agriculture, which are non-state forest areas,” the minister added.  

Referring to the February 2020 indicative permanent moratorium map, there was a rise in the area consisting of production forests (HP/HPT/HPK) and non-state forest areas (APL), from the previous figure of 14.73 million hectares to 15.25 million hectares, or more than 26 times the size of Bali.

“The additional area from these components (HP/HPT/HPK/APL) in the permanent moratorium map remains within the stable range,” the minister pointed out. 

Minister Nurbaya also said it is important to remember the uniqueness and greatness of the permanent moratorium, given how it protects biodiversity and key wildlife habitats at a huge and massive level. 

“The President’s permanent moratorium move is unparalleled in the world and we should be grateful for it. In the event of shortcomings and weaknesses, we need to continue to get stronger, in a gradual yet consistent manner, in the spirit of improved governance,” she asserted.