Indonesia Pledges to Save its Forests by Banning New Palm Oil and Mining Operations

In an effort to save its vast tropical forests, Indonesia will temporarily bar new palm oil and mining operations following international criticism over its environmental stewardship. The ban will take effect this year and is likely to last for an undetermined period. This moratorium will halt new permits for palm oil and mining operations, the main sectors of the Indonesian economy. Environmentalists have criticized Indonesia for the rapid loss of its tropical rainforests, mainly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Dry-season fires used by farmers and companies to clear forest and scrublands regularly send toxic smoke throughout the region, raising air pollution levels in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

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