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 ...