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Deforestation in Indonesia on the decline

Date: 14-Jan-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Indonesia's primary rainforests are home to many spectacular species, including orangutans. Image: Fabrizio Frigeni/Unsplash © Fabrizio Frigeni/Unsplash

Indonesia's primary rainforests are home to many spectacular species, including orangutans. Image: Fabrizio Frigeni/Unsplash

Researchers documented a 60 percent drop in tree cover loss in Indonesian primary forests between 2016 and 2017, welcome news following the second-worst year for tropical tree cover loss ever recorded.

The data was released by the University of Maryland and calculated total tree cover loss within Indonesia’s primary rainforest and protected peatland. The largest reductions in forest loss were recorded on the islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra, home to the majority of Indonesia’s primary forests and peatland.

The reductions are equivalent to savings of approximately 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, the amount of emissions that would be released from burning over 90 billion kilograms of coal. Authorities have attributed the achievement to the national peat drainage moratorium introduced in 2015 as well as ongoing education campaigns and increased enforcement of forest laws.

Indonesia is home to some of the most biologically diverse rainforests in the world, yet holds the unenviable title of being one of the fastest forest clearing nations in the world. As a result and despite comparatively low levels of industrialisation, Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Addressing the issue has been problematic for the national government as an estimated 73% of logging in Indonesia is believed to be illegal. This, coupled with the tendency to start forest firest to quickly clear new agricultural land, makes reporting on deforestation a complex process.

There remains significant work to be done in terms of both policy and action to protect Indonesia’s rainforest, but for now the nation is trending in the right direction.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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