A lawsuit has been lodged by nine timber estate companies seeking to have the Indonesian forestry minister’s decision to revoke their logging permits suspended.

Chairman of the Indonesian Forestry Society Sudradjad DP said a suspension of the decision pending the issue of a court verdict could lead to a mutually beneficial solution and give forestry companies more time to return reforestation funds.

He feared the revocation of timber permits would lead to between 21,000 and 28,000 job losses and timber estates uncontrolled and open to theft.

The disappearance of assets would leave forestry companies unable to repay their debts.