Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono plans to sign a presidential decree on a moratorium on forest exploitation this month, Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam said here on Friday.

"The decree will be signed soon by the President. Yes, after the ASEAN summit," he said after attending the moving of an African Baobab tree to the yard of state University of Indonesia.

He declined to disclose the exact date of the signing of the moratorium on primary forest and peat land forest exploitation, saying only it was the implementation of the Letter of Intent between Indonesia and Norway (Oslo agreement).

"For the details just ask the minister of forestry. They are all the same including size, REDD Plus mechanism, date of signing," he said about points in the decree which were reported to be different in wording from that in the proposal of the forestry ministry and the UN Task Force on REDD.

On the same occasion Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said the signing of the decree would give legal certainty with regard to the implementation of the Oslo agreement.

The forestry ministry, he said, is the party that is intensively preparing the decree according to use of forestry sectors.

He admitted that the preparation had been done since September although the LoI was only made as of January 1, 2011 and would only be effective in the next two years.

"It will indeed be signed in May. Although without a presidential decree the forestry ministry however has already stopped issuing any kind of new license for primary natural forests," he said.

He admitted that under the presidential decree 40 to 50 hectares of primary forests and 12 million peat land forests may not be touched.

"The size has been agreed upon by the UN Task Force for REDD and the presidential decree will ease its implementation in the regions," he said.

The minister said although the LOI would be implemented it would not hinder government efforts in developing industrial forest (HTI) development as part of the country`s economic corridor development and efforts to meet national food needs.

"The HTI must go on. There are still 30 million hectare forest areas that have no forests and 12 million hectares of neglected areas. In principles the development of cane plantations and other efforts to assure food security will continue," he said.

He said the signing of the presidential decree will also be followed by the readiness of financial and funding institutions to implement more than US$1 billion in grant from Norway.

Besides financial institutions there will also be monitoring, reporting and evaluating institutions that would measure the results of efforts in reducing emissions and sustainable forest management in all regions. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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