Indonesia: The Ministry of Forestry is of the view that more detailed surveys are needed to determine which forest areas could be released under the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate in Papua.
The Merauke project, which spans three districts in Papua, is part of the government’s plan to develop agricultural estates in remote areas such as Papua and Kalimantan so that they can become self-sufficient in food production and eventually major food exporters.
It was scheduled for inauguration in February but was delayed by land-zoning problems, specifically over which kind of land would be used. Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan had earlier informed that the land demarcation for the Merau¬ke Integrated Food and Energy Estate in Papua has been delayed because the government was still mapping the forest areas to avoid protected forests being converted into plantations.
However, the land demarcation under the project has not gone down well with the environmentalists who argue that more than 1.1 million hectare of forests converted into agricultural estates.
Source: Jakarta Globe