Indonesia won't allow oil palm growers to cut primary forests for establishing plantations, State Minister for Environment Rachmat Witoelar said.
Indonesia is trying to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, 75% of which result from deforestation. The country is set to overtake Malaysia this year as the world's largest palm oil supplier and plans to add 1.5 million hectares of the crop over the next three years, the government said.
“Expansion of palm oil plantations will not be allowed to sacrifice natural forests,” Witoelar said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “They will be planted in lots that are already empty. There are plenty of these, 18 million hectares of them.”