In Indonesia, the year 2020 has been marked by a number of events and decisions with significant, and likely long-lasting, environmental impacts. Here, we review five of the key stories and trends from Indonesia this year, ranging from the passage of sweeping new legislation to the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has both helped and hindered conservation efforts. Rainforest cleared for an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Omnibus bill ushers in deregulation The far-ranging and long-lasting impacts of this year’s biggest story have yet to be felt. After the government hastily compiled a massive deregulation bill largely in secret with limited public input, the Indonesian parliament pushed the omnibus bill through this October. The bill is wide-ranging, poorly understood, and contains sometimes conflicting provisions that critics warn will cater to the business community at the expense of the environment and social interests. Advertised as a jobs creation and investment bill, and pushed through as part of a rapid COVID-19 response, the revised laws contain so many changes that it is impossible to predict the potential fallout. Among the more troubling are several provisions long sought after by the mining industry, changes paving the way for industrial agriculture and speculative land banking at the expense of local farmers and forests, and revisions that potentially cripple fisheries protections. Of greatest concern, however, are the bill’s recentralization of the permitting process for plantations and mines, coupled with severe limitations on public participation in the environmental assessment process.…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer