Friday, April 16, 2010

Forest and Plantation

Environment activists have been campaigning against the transformation of forests into commercial plantations in Indonesia..

They have successfully persuaded two of the world's largest buyer of Crude Palm Oil (CPO), Unilever and Nestle, to stop buying from Indonesia's Palm plantation and producer of CPO i.e. PT Sinar Mas, because it has allegedly cut and burned trees to clear the forests therefore driving away endangered species like the Sumatera Tigers, Elephants, Rhinoceros, etc from their natural habitat... 

Meanwhile, The Jakarta Post reported that the government has recently dropped its plan to regard Plantations as Forests.

I hope that the government would stop granting license to transform forest into commercial plantations so that Indonesia can reduce gas emission by 26% in 2020 as promised by President SBY.

Friday, April 16, 2010 9:33AM 

Govt drops designating plantations as forests 

Adianto P. Simamora ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Wed, 04/14/2010 8:43 AM  |  National 

The forestry ministry dropped its controversial initiative to classify oil palm plantations as forests after strong protests from environmental activists on fears that it would speed up deforestation.

The statement was made by the ministry’s head of research and development Tachrir Fathoni on the sidelines of a seminar on Indonesian forestry following the Copenhagen climate talks.

“We have dropped it. No more talk about it,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
He said the ministry acknowledged that any changes on forest definitions should be made by amending the 1999 forest law.

The law defines forest as an integrated ecosystem in the form of land comprising biological resources, dominated by trees in natural forms and surrounding environment, and which cannot be separated from each other.

The same statement was also made by Nur Masripatin, the ministry’s director of the center for social economics and policy research.

“Indonesia will not include palm plantations as part of forest although some countries have done it,” she said on the sideline of seminar.

Malaysia, the second largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia, uses the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standard to identify forest — which is land with tree crown cover of more than 10 percent and an area of more than 0.5 hectares with trees reaching a  minimum height of five meters.
The forestry ministry planned to draft a ministerial decree to include oil palm plantations as forest after the Copenhagen meeting.

But a group of activists from  Greenpeace Indonesia and the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) criticized the government over its plans accusing the authorities of not being serious on promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenpeace Indonesia then put a giant banner at the ministry of forestry building reading “plantations are not forests”.

Greenpeace said inclusion of ‘plantations’ in the definition of forests, would lead to massive concealment of emissions from the destruction of peat land and forests.

On Tuesday, Walhi welcomed the decision from the government to drop the plan.
“The ministry’s decision to not include plantations in forest is correct, the most important thing
now is the ministry should exclude the industrial forest concessions (HTI) as part of the forest,” Walhi’s forest campaign director, Teguh Surya.

HTI usually carries monoculture plants like acacia for paper mills.
He said that the ministry should also audit the existing oil palm plantations which converted forest areas without permits.

“Forestry Minister [Zulkilfli Hasan] should gather the courage to withdraw the licenses of oil palm plantations operating in forest areas,” he said.

The Agriculture Ministry earlier said it planned to use 1.8 million hectares of land designated as industrial forests (HTI) for oil palm plantations.
Agriculture Minister Suswono said that of 9.7 million hectares of land available for oil palm plantation, some 7.9 million hectares was already developed, leaving 1.8 million hectares designated as HTI.

8 comments:

Yari NK said...

Yes, it is sad to see how our forests being razed and to see how they are wiping out precious species in the forests. But it is a great news to hear that big companies stop buying products from the parties which benefit from deforestation.

Our greed must be stopped now or else in the future we won't even be able to support our own need.... because everything has gone..

H. Nizam said...

Yari,
You are very right my friend.

Although the plantations and CPO factories provide benefits like:
employment, tax, etc. however they should obey all laws & regulations, cannot just do anything as they pleased.
The government must also ensure that protected forest are maintained.co

Herdoni Wahyono said...

Since reforms in 1998 we are very concerned about the occurrence of logging on a large scale. Millions of hectares of forest in Indonesia have been damaged and bare. Indonesia is the country with the world's fastest deforestation rates and large emitters in the world.
The Indonesian government needs to take sensible steps to resolve the issue. Moratorium policy can be considered as the most effective solution.

H. Nizam said...

Herdoni,
The government has no other way but to stop transforming forest into plantations (and mining), and impose strict control over forests.
Beside that massive replant of forest trees should be conducted if we want to keep SBY's promise to world leaders that we will reduce 26% emission by 2020.

colson said...

Politically correct but still encouraging words. Let's hope they will be translated into laws and rules, be carried out, monitored and enforced next.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,
Let's hope that the government will be more serious this time.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

I support your government's decision.

peter

H. Nizam said...

@Peter,
Yes the govt's decision not to regard plantation is correct,,