Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deforestation in Indonesia not stopping

Indonesia is world's third largest CO2 emitter, behind China and United States, and deforestation is the main cause for such excessive emissions. In the middle of the last century Indonesia was heavily covered with rainforest (about 80%), but in the last 50 years deforestation, mostly in form of logging and burning has destroyed half of Indonesia's forest cover.

As the Indonesian rainforest keeps disappearing at the alarming rate, this also shrinks habitats for many endangered animal species such as tigers, elephants and orangutans. In fact Indonesia is the fastest destroyer of the rainforest in the world, and Indonesian rainforest is disappearing even faster than Amazon rainforest. The facts that Indonesia loses in average two million hectares of rainforest each year should ring alarm not only in Indonesia but also in entire world.

Indonesia is also doing double damage to climate change, not only that Indonesia destroys rainforests that would otherwise absorb large quantities of CO2 but the destruction of forests accounts for 80 percent of the 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted in the country per year.

Sadly deforestation in Indonesia looks very likely to continue in years to come too because of poor land management, lack of adequate laws, and heavy corruption. Logging and clearing of forests for agriculture and industrial plantations, including oil palms will destroy much more forest area in years to come, and create even bigger CO2 emissions, some estimates showed that Indonesian Co2 emissions will increase 57 percent from today's level.

The third largest rainforest in the world (behind Amazon and Congo rainforest) definitely deserves more protection, and international community should put more pressure on Indonesian government to introduce new measures that would halt deforestation in Indonesia.

Logging and burning have destroyed half of Indonesian rainforest in the last 50 years.

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