31 Mar 2008

Log ban in Indonesia's Papua appears effective

4:26 pm on 31 March 2008

The environmental group Greenpeace says the ban on log exports in Indonesia's Papua province has proven successful so far.

The ban was spearheaded by Papua governor Barnabas Suebu last December in an effort to save the region's remaining rainforests from rampant deforestation.

A Greenpeace spokesman in Indonesia, Bustar Maitar says that the governors of both Papua and West Papua provinces have withstood recent industry pressure to loosen the ban.

He says Governor Suebu this month met with 40 forestry investor representatives who asked him to loosen the regulation, a call backed by Indonesia's president.

"They asked (the) Governors to reconsider, to reopen again the log exports from Papua to other places in Indonesia because the industry in Java and also Sulawesi, it's difficult to get the source for furniture and things like that there. But the Governors are still with their commitment to not allow any single logs to be transported outside Papua."

Bustar Maitar says while it's hard to monitor all logging in Papua,

the forestry industry appears to be abiding by the ban.