04 November 2008

Indonesia's Papua rainforest under mounting threat

Jakarta - An international environmentalist group on Friday called on the Indonesian government to urgently declare a moratorium on deforestation to save the rainforest in Papua province from destruction. Rainforests in Papua on New Guinea island have been under a mounting threat from expansion of palm oil production and logging, said Greenpeace, revealing new findings regarding deforestation activities in Indonesia's easternmost province.

"During our helicopter flyovers, in the past week we have seen the magnificent beauty of Indonesia's last frontier of intact forest and also witnessed illegal and increasing deforestation activities," Bustar Maitar of Greenpeace said in a statement.

Maitar was aboard the ship Esperanza the group uses to tour Indonesia's easternmost province since October 6 to raise awareness on forest destruction and climate change issues.

"The forests of Papua are under heavy pressure from palm oil expansion, logging operations and other drivers of forest destruction," Maitar said.

"We all need to play out part in safeguarding Indonesia's forests and the global climate by calling on the Indonesian government to declare a moratorium on deforestation now."

He added that a moratorium will not only help curb the country's greenhouse gas emissions, but also safeguard the wealth of tropical biodiversity and protect the livelihood of forest-dependent communities all across Indonesia.

Deforestation releases around 20 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, Greenpeace said. Indonesia is currently the third-largest contributor emissions after the US and China, with most coming from deforestation, the group said.

Greenpeace earlier accused the Papua authorities of turning a blind eye to illegal logging.

Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, produced 17.18 million tons of crude palm oil in 2007, and production is expected to rise to 18.6 million tons this year
Sumber : http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/237469,indonesias-papua-rainforest-under-mounting-threat.html

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