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*many Indonesians no respect for life

Indonesia: Habitat sacrificed to warn the world

Source:  Copyright 2012, Sydney Morning Herald
Date:  April 6, 2012
Byline:  Michael Bachelard
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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THE man who signed the permit that allowed 1600 hectares of carbon-rich peat forest and orang-utan habitat to be razed and turned into a palm oil plantation agrees his decision was ''morally wrong''.

However, Irwandi Yusuf, the former governor of Aceh who is seeking a second term in Monday's election, said he had done it as a wake-up call to the international community over its failing climate change policies.

Dr Irwandi - who once worked in a project to conserve endangered elephants - signed a pledge shortly after becoming governor in 2007 to protect all his province's primary forests, which lock away billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide in their metres-deep peat swamps.

He was also active in international climate negotiations, arguing that Acehnese forests could be saved if international companies were prepared to pay to protect them as a way of offsetting their emissions in so-called REDD+ schemes.

However, in an interview with ...

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