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Firms owned by the Indonesian government will have a 49 per cent stake in 2 forest concessions of Barito Pacific Timber, according to an agreement reached in September between the government and the timber giant. The government, in turn, will renew Barito's permits for logging.
Indonesian officials are euphoric over pulling off this coup because it underlines the government's professed commitment to improve environmental conditions in some of the world's biggest rainforests outside Brazil. As Indonesian forestry minister Djamaluddin Suryohadikusumo points out, the government is moving into private timber concessions with "questionable" forestry practices.
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