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Monday, April 7, 2008

Indonesia failing to stop forest destruction: Greenpeace

JAKARTA (AFP) — Indonesia is failing to halt the destruction of its peatland forests despite promising to do so during last year's climate change conference in Bali, pressure group Greenpeace said Monday.

Greenpeace said its workers had witnessed two palm oil companies illegally clearing government-owned land on Sumatra island in March.

"Last month, a Greenpeace team revisited an area of Sumatra's Riau province where it had monitored palm oil expansion in 2007, to find that further large tracts of peatland forest had been destroyed inside (areas) which had not been granted permits," the group said.

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, driven by voracious demand for commodities and weak law enforcement.

Large swathes of peatland forest are being cleared to make way for the booming palm oil industry.

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