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Indonesia’s Aceh extends moratorium on new mining sites

12 / 01 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — The government of Indonesia’s Aceh province will reject applications for new mineral and coal-mining projects in the region for another half year, in a bid to protect some of Sumatra’s rich rainforests and natural resources. Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf last month signed off the freeze on new mining deals until June this year, after the previous moratorium ended last October. The province has maintained a series bans on such permits since 2014. The administration said it would continue to review and improve the management of the mining sector in Aceh during the ban. “This is also to keep protecting our environment as a source of life for our people, and to prevent any disasters from happening,” said provincial administration spokesman Edrian, who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name. “We hope everyone will support the governor’s policy.” New applications for mineral and coal exploration activities will also be denied by the administration; however, it will process and evaluate requests for extensions up to three months before an existing exploration permit ends. Rainforests in the Mount Leuser ecosystem, which straddles the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Askhalani, an activist with the anti-corruption NGO GeRAK, welcomed the renewal of the moratorium, saying it had saved hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests in Aceh, home to some of Indonesia’s last biodiversity and natural resources hotspots. “The government of Aceh must keep evaluating all permits and check in person what’s happening on the…

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