The highway – the third controversial logging road associated with APP — runs through protected areas, proposed protected areas and deep peat areas banned from clearing because of their massive carbon stores.
Eyes of the Forest – which includes WWF-Indonesia and local NGOs Jikalahri and Walhi Riau – revealed the road’s existence on Monday, just over a week after Indonesia and Sumatran officials announced a commitment to protect the natural forests and ecosystems of the world’s sixth-largest island. The ministers of forestry, environment, interior and public works – plus all 10 Sumatran provincial governors – pledged their protection at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
The central Sumatran province of Riau has recorded some of the world’s highest deforestation rates. Currently, a province-wide de facto logging moratorium is in place as police conduct an illegal-logging investigation involving APP and other companies. NGOs accuse the company of using the moratorium to put roads and other infrastructure in place for a renewed assault on Sumatra’s forests.
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