Monday, March 1, 2010

More Deforestration

Last year, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono promised the international community that Indonesia will reduce its Gas Carbon emission to 26% by 2010.

When I read about that promise, I thought that Indonesia would stop deforestation and start replanting forest trees.

That's why I was very surprised when I read on The Jakarta Globe that President SBY has signed a decree that will allow mining, power plants and other projects deemed strategically important to take place in protected forests. This means that more deforestation can be expected in the coming future.

Frankly speaking, I hope that the news is not true.

Indonesia continues to have one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. (Reuters Photo/Yusuf Ahmad)

Indonesia's Protected Forests Now Open to Development

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has signed a decree to allow mining, power plants and other projects deemed strategically important to take place in protected forests.

The decree, which took effect on Feb. 1, is certain to anger environmental groups given that the country already has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world.

“The use of forest areas for development activities can be done for unavoidable strategic purposes,” said the decree, which said key development projects included power plants, renewable energy, toll roads and train lines.

The decree said open-pit and underground mining could take place in production forests, which is a forest area considered neglected or abandoned after trees have been cut.

“In a protected forest, mining can be done through underground mining,” the decree said.

The decree defined mining activities as including oil and gas, minerals, coal and geothermal.

Yudhoyono has pledged to cut red tape and prevent overlapping regulations from slowing down projects ranging from mining to toll roads. Increasing exploitation of mineral resources and speeding up infrastructure development are seen as keys to boosting growth and creating jobs.

State-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina has urged the Forestry Ministry to allow geothermal activities in protected forests as most of the country’s geothermal reserves are located in these areas.

There has frequently been confusion over whether companies can exploit resources in forest areas, with various ministries requiring permits.

The Forestry Ministry recently asked Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold to submit a request to use land in a protected forest area, a ministry official said on Tuesday. Freeport operates the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua. Grasberg has the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper and the largest gold reserves.

In 2004, the government allowed 13 mining firms, including Freeport, to continue mining operations after the introduction of a law in 1999 that banned open-pit mining in forested areas.

Last month, police temporarily shut the Jorong coal mine in Kalimantan operated by a unit of Thailand’s top coal miner, Banpu, over a permit problem. Banpu said the closure would only have a slight impact on production at its domestic unit, PT Indo Tambangraya Megah.

Indonesia has struggled to attract fresh investment into mining, as well as for developing new oil and gas fields, partly due to uncertain regulations and red tape.

The government has previously said it expected mining investment to hit $2.5 billion this year, up from $1.81 billion in 2009, supported by greater certainty after the introduction of new mining regulations.


Reuters

14 comments:

Saung Web said...

Sangat dilematis memang ya.. satu sisi pembangunan demi kemaslahatan rakyat itu perlu.. tapi satu sisi kerusakan hutan juga perlu dijaga.. wish dah.. gimana kata bapak2 gede aja ..

Bobi said...

i don't understand what saung web had to say, but it's probably something like this : WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? CAN'T THEY SEE THAT THEY'RE DESTROYING OUR PLANET!! Stop killing mother nature!

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

We dont have the deforestation issue, but our new National government intends to look at mining on Department of Conservation lands. Our Greens Party are creating a lot of opposition to the new policy.But the government is not even half way through its three year term.

H. Nizam said...

@Saung Web,
Terima kasih atas komentar anda.
Mudah2an para 'bapak2 gede' sadar bahwa kita harus memelihara alam termasuk hutan, agar alam tidak mendatangkan bencana kepada kita

Bobi,
That's what he implied.
Stop killing mother nature, otherwise it will kill us with disasters.

Peter/Kiwi Riverman,
Opposition parties should play their role in making corrections to the government's mistakes.

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Edwin's Personal Blog said...

More deforestation in our land?
It's a pain to see our resources devastated day by day. Now how are Indonesia's biodiversities supposed to sustain their life?

Belajar Ekspor Impor said...

why don't take a look at many disasters happened in our country? Floods, landslides, forest fire?
Would be more disasters happening?

H. Nizam said...

@Saling Berbagi,
Terima kasih.
Saya pasti akan kunjung balik.


@Edwin,
It's difficult to imagine how will we be able to maintain biodiversity in our country.


@Belajar EI,
We should learned from all the natural disasters that have plagued us very often. Floods, landslides are all caused by human inability to maintain trees and our surroundings.

umihoney said...

How sad.Time and time again when disaster strikes we regret for the things that we should have done and neglected to do.

colson said...

I of course share your hope. Though I have to admit this kind of news fuels some cynical ideas about human nature - especially about economical and political human nanture.

Michael said...

This picture is just sad

H. Nizam said...

@Umihoney,
The problem is that although natural disasters have plagued Indonesia, authorities tend to be inconsistent with their environmental policies.


@Colson,
Development needs money, that is a fact. But it doesn't mean that Forest that are Protected can be
sacrificed.
The fact shows that many natural disasters like Floods, Landslides are caused by human's cutting of trees, throwing thrashes wherever they want, etc.

@Michael,
Yes, very sad indeed

Thomas said...

It is highly unfortunate that they are destroying the forest without hesitancy. Hurts to view those pictures!

H. Nizam said...

@Thomas,
Yes it really hurts to see the photo of Forrest.