Indonesia not to sacrifice rain forest for economic growth: President
Source: Xinhua
Time: 2011-Sep-27 09:11

JAKARTA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Tuesday that the country will not sacrifice its rain forest while boosting economic growth amid the gloomy global economy.

The statement was made amid concerns that the weakening global economy may lead countries lose vigour in meeting their environment-related commitment.

President Yudhoyono stressed that Indonesia aimed to boost the economic growth, at the same time protect forest sustainability.

"As a developing nation, we prioritize the promotion of growth and the eradication of poverty. But we will not achieve these goal by sacrificing our forests. We must attain both development and the management of our forests simultaneously," President Yudhoyono said in his speech at a forest conference at Shangrilla Hotel here.

The global economic slowdown had plunged Indonesia's stock market index by about nine percent, the highest ever, last week, and depreciated rupiah sharply to about nine thousands against the U.S. dollar.

Nevertheless, the central bank and the government convince that the risks could be addressed as the bank has more than sufficient foreign exchange reserve of about 124 billion U.S. dollars at the end of August, while the country's macro-economic fundamentals are better prepared. Besides, the country's exports to the United States and Europe are small.

"Indonesia, as custodian of one the largest tropical forests of the world, will continue to maintain a pro-environment growth strategy," President Yudhoyono said.

Yudhoyono said that Indonesia's move was part of global participation to curb increased global warming threat.

The government has pledged to cut gas emission by 26 percent by 2020 and to expand the target by 41 percent by the year under international assistance. In May the government instituted a two- year moratorium on new licenses to exploit natural primary forest and all peat lands.

President Yudhoyono called the people to intensify efforts to cut down emissions from land use and forestry exploitation.

Indonesia's tropical forests are the third largest in the world and have over 10,000 species of trees. The forests are homed by 12 percent of the world's mammals, 16 percent of its reptiles and amphibians and 17 percent of all bird species.

Editor:Xu Rui
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