The Indonesian Forestry Ministry issued permits to convert more than 300,000 hectares of forest into plantations, an official said. Tri Joko Mulyono, the ministry's director for forest area zoning, said to al Jakarta Globe that permits were issued for 342,709 hectares so far this year, which has to be added to 4.9 million hectares in 2009, 8,613 hectares in 2010 and 366,259 hectares in 2011. Even under the moratorium, he said, there were exceptions to allow conversion for plantations related to vital and strategic projects, including for geothermal energy, oil and gas, electricity, rice or sugarcane."The forestry minister has already allocated 300,000 hectares for food areas and 300,000 hectares for sugarcane this year." 

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