Indonesia Loses 1.8 Million Hectares of Forest Annually

    Indonesia is considered the worlds third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly through deforestation. Experts say Indonesias forests are disappearing at a rate of about 300 football fields an hour, releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

    PALEMBANG, KOMPAS.com - Deforestation in Indonesia is continuing on a large-scale causing the loss of 1.8 million hectares of forest every year, a Greenpeace forest campaigner said.

    "Nationally some 1.8 million hectares of forest in Indonesia are being degraded annually due to large scale deforestation activities," said Zulfahmi, Greenpeace forest campaigner, in a talk-show here Saturday.

    In the last three months, he added, almost at every site there had been large scale deforestation activities as seen from aerial monitoring conducted by Greenpeace. Saying that he did not know whether the tree cutting operations had been legal or illegal, the Greenpeace campaigner pointed out that the legality came only on a piece of paper.

    "What we need to make sure is that whether or not those activities comply with the regulations," Zulfahmi said, citing as an example the rule on peat conversion where it would be against the regulation if it was done to peat with a depth of 3.0 meters.

    "We regret the fact that there had been no action taken by the government to save the condition of the environment," Zulfahmi said. Greenpeace noted that during 2008-2009, a period when the country held general elections, the government has issued many permits for forest exploitation.

    Anwar Sadar, director of Walhi South Sumatera-branch office, also said in the talk-show that the transfer of natural forest functions into the so-called industrial planting forests and plantation estates had exceeded the set limit.

    "As evidence, from the 3.7 million hectares of forests in South Sumatera, or some 3.4 percent of the total nationally, have been dwindling. Natural disasters have hit many regions here, landslides or floods," he said.

    Indonesia is home to between 10 and 15 percent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds which make up the world’s treasure chest of biodiversity. Orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, more than 1,500 species of birds and thousands of plant species are all part of the country’s natural legacy. But many of these unique forest-dwelling animals, including the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger, are on the brink of extinction, Greenpeace notes.

    Most of Indonesia’s pristine intact forest landscapes have already been degraded. Seventy two percent of Indonesia’s large intact forest areas have already been degraded and 40 percent of its forest have been completely lost. Pulpwood plantations, timber industries and oil palm plantations, are driving the destruction of Indonesia’s forests.

    Oil palm plantations have massive expansion plans which are being pursued with a ’gold rush’ mentality. Palm oil, one of the world’s leading vegetable oil commodities, is used in various products including food and cosmetics.

    source: KOMPAS

    No comments:

    Post a Comment



    Antara Kita