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Indonesian Court - Go Ahead, Mine In Protected Forests

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:42 PM
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Indonesian Court - Go Ahead, Mine In Protected Forests
JAKARTA, Indonesia "Thirteen mining companies will be able to operate in protected forests in Indonesia after the country's highest court Thursday rejected a petition by environmental groups claiming the practice was illegal.

The Constitutional Court ruled the 13 companies, which media reports said included local and foreign outfits, should be allowed to mine in the forests because they had signed contracts to do so before a 1999 law banned the practice. "The sanctity of the contracts must be upheld," said the court's head Jimmy Asshiddiqie, while delivering the verdict.

The immediate repercussions of the ruling were not immediately clear. The companies affected by it were not named in the verdict, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

However, environmental groups who filed the petition claimed that it would lead to further degradation of Indonesia's forests, already under threat from illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and urban expansion. "It is very disappointing," said Yayat Afianto, from Telepak, a prominent forestry conservation group. "Allowing mining in protected forests means that they will be spoiled for ever. The only virgin forests we have left are protected ones."


The sanctity of the contracts must be upheld.
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