Indonesia’s Biofuel Expansion on Rainforest Peatlands to Accelerate Climate Change

Indonesia’s Biofuel Expansion on RainforestPeatlands to Accelerate Climate Change

18 February 2007

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Indonesia — Indonesia’s Biofuel Expansion on Rainforest Peatlandsto Accelerate ClimateChange.
Climate Ark & Rainforest Portal projects ofEcological Internet

Let the President know the world expects Indonesia tokeep the Environment Minister’s promise to tackle the root causes of rainforestfires and peatland drainage.

Indonesia’s rainforests contain 60% of all the tropicalpeat in the world. Such rainforests on peat soils are one of the world’s mostimportant carbon sinks and play a vital role in helping to regulate the globalclimate. They are also very rich in biodiversity and a refuge for species likeorang-utans.

Rainforest peatlands are being destroyed fast;primarily by palm oil, timber, and paper and pulp companies. The Indonesiangovernment has endorsed a massive biofuel program which foresees an increase inoil palm plantations to eventually over 26 million hectares. Far from reducingclimate change emissions, it will rapidly release up to 50 billion tons ofcarbon into the atmosphere.

This is the equivalent of over 6 years of global fossilfuel emissions and could well make the generally accepted 2 degree C of warmingthat is considered “dangerous” unavoidable. A recent study has foundthat one ton of biodiesel made from palm oil grown on Southeast Asia’speatlands is linked to the emission of 10-30 tons of carbon dioxide. Shockingly,this is 2- 8 times as much carbon released as in production of a ton of fossilfuel diesel.

Please write to the Indonesian government now toexpress your grave concerns over biofuel expansion plans which threaten tofurther destroy rainforests and peatlands, and to thus dangerously accelerateglobal warming.

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For more information, please contact:
Watch Indonesia!
e.V. Tel./Fax +49-30-698 179 38 Planufer 92 d
10967 Berlin

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