Massive deforestation in Indonesia alarming, study says

aerial documentation of Tanjumg National Park degradation

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Despite the government’s total log ban and pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the rate of Indonesia’s forest loss is speeding up each year, according to a new report published this week in the Nature Climate Change journal.

 

The study reveals that from 2000 to 2012, Indonesia lost over 6 million hectares of primary forest and is increasing by an average of 47,600 hectares each year.

 

Indonesia even surpassed Brazil deforestation in 2012 with Indonesia’s primary forest loss of 840,000 hectares compared with 460,000 hectares for Brazil.

 

According to the study, led by researchers at the University of Maryland in the United States, proportional loss of primary forests in wetland landforms increased and almost all clearing of primary forests occurred within degraded types, meaning logging preceded conversion processes.

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Around 40 percent of the forest loss from 2000-2012 happened within national forest land such as national parks and other protected areas.

 

The study suggests that the continued deforestation doubt on whether the moratorium, extend until 2013, is the most effective way to manage clearing and logging.

 

“ Although Indonesia recently implemented an implicit deforestation moratorium, beginning in May 2011, it seems that the moratorium has not had its intended effect,” the authors of the study said. “ In fact, the first full year of this study within the moratorium period, 2012, experienced the highest rates of both lowland and wetland primary forest cover loss.”

 

Written by Imelda V. Abano

Photo credit: University of Maryland; Greenpeace

Imelda Abano
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Imelda Abano

Editor-in-Chief at Philippine EnviroNews
--Founder and President of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists;
--Asian Developmental Journalist of the Year, 2009
-- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) media fellow 2008-2014
-- Council of Leaders of the US-based Earth Journalism Network;
--Board of Director of the US-based Society of Environmental Journalists
Imelda Abano
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