May 5, 2014 – Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on his successor to extend a ban on new logging licences, adding that “more remains to be done” to address unsustainable land use practices in Indonesia and across the region.
Speaking at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta on Monday, the outgoing Indonesian president also warned Southeast Asia to stay clear of a self-destructing path of development.
Dr Yudhoyono said: “I also call upon governments in Southeast Asia to continue developing a regional strategy, a strategy to increase their adaptive capacity and to promote a low-carbon economy. I also urge businesses across the ASEAN region to commit to sustainable land-use and investment practices.”
Touching on the regional haze situation, the president also said he hoped Indonesia would learn from this season’s Riau fires, and that companies responsible for illegal burning, logging and farming would not go unpunished.
Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who also spoke at the summit, called for stronger measures to be taken against those responsible for the haze.
“There is therefore an urgent need for governments, for NGOs and for local communities to insist on transparency, to collaborate more effectively to pursue investigations and to prosecute those responsible,” he said.