Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Indonesian rainforest vulnerable to fire

Indonesian rainforest is the third largest rainforest in the world. Indonesia has major deforestation problem as after 1996 deforestation rate reach critical level with the rate of over 2 million ha per year. This is mostly because Indonesia is one of the top world's producers of pulp and paper, and this is major source of revenue for this highly populated country. And when you add into this whole scenario long history of corrupt political and economic system it is really no surprise that Indonesian rainforest is disappearing.

Rapid deforestation In Indonesia is very likely to result in more frequent fires in years to come.

The latest study found out that because of this excessive deforestation forests in Indonesia have become more drier, and therefore more vulnerable to fire, especially as global warming impact is likely to grow in years to come. The ones responsible are of course humans that are clearing more and more trees in order to make room for more farms as the population grows. The worst fires were in 1997 to 1998, causing smogs in cities hundreds of kilometres away. These fires are very likely to be much more frequent in years to come.

Deforestation is also the main reason why Indonesia is world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter with more than 85 % of its emissions resulting from excessive deforestation. More fires will of course mean more greenhouse gas emissions, and more impact to global warming which is something that Indonesia should really avoid. Indonesian government on the other hand shows no intent to stop this forest massacre, in fact it is doing the opposite as the latest government's announcement was that two-year moratorium on turning peatlands into oil palm and tree plantations has ended. This will cause even bigger deforestation which will of course lead to more fires.

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