2014 March 13 -Jakarta. Deputy Chairman of the Aceh Parliament, Muhammad Tanwir Mahdi, has announced to local media that Aceh Parliament rejected the Ministry of Domestic Affairs’ official evaluation of the Aceh spatial plan by-law (Qanun RTRWA) 2014-2034.

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12 February 2014- Mongabay.com.  The Indonesian government has rejected nearly 932,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) of oil palm, timber, and logging concessions due to its moratorium on new permits across millions of hectares of peatlands and rainforests, reports Mongabay-Indonesia.

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19 January 2014 - Jakarta / Indonesia- SOCP.   On 27th December 2013 the Aceh Parliament dismayed local community members, NGOs and scientists around the world by passing a highly controversial new land use plan. If approved by Indonesia’s Central Government later this month, the plan (known locally as Qanun RTRWA) will severely threaten Aceh’s last remaining lowland forests and the life support they provide to millions of Acehnese people.

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9 January 2014 - Mongabay.com - In a precedent-setting case, an Indonesian court has found a palm oil company guilty of violating environmental laws and ordered it to pay $30 million in fines and reparations for clearing an area of protected peat forest that is a stronghold for endangered orangutans in Indonesia’s Aceh Province. (UPDATE: Clearing continues according to the Green Journalist)

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Aceh’s Governor is under pressure to sign a new regulation contravening Aceh Governance Law No 11 / 2006, that was mandated under the Aceh Helsinki Peace Accord, provoking international scientists, environmentalists and community representatives to launch campaign urging against illegal destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem.

11 December 2013 - Jakarta-   Paragraph 150 of Aceh Governance Law No 11 2006, which was mandated in the Helsinki Peace Agreement between the Government of Indonesia and the Aceh Seperatist movement states very clearly that “National Government, Provincial Government and District and Municipal Governments are forbidden to issue destructive business permits within the Leuser Ecosystem.” Nevertheless, right now Aceh’s Governor is being pushed to sign a new Governor’s Regulation regarding issuance of cultivation permits within the Leuser Ecosystem, opening up the possibility of new permits being granted and legalisation of current illegal activities within the Ecosystem.

This draft has the potential to cause the destruction of at least 643,602 ha of the total 2.25 million ha region of the Leuser Ecosystem that sits within Aceh Province. The Leuser Ecosystem is renowned globally for its unique and extremely rich biodiversity.

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