Indonesia govt denies report on increased deforestation rate

Indonesia govt denies report on increased deforestation rate

8 May 2012

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Indonesia — The government has declared that a report regarding the country`s loss of almost 5 million hectares of forest and peatlands since the implementation of a moratorium on deforestation is a misleading falsehood.

“The report cannot be understood because it`s so different from the report of the UN (FAO) and the forestry ministry`s record that the deforestation rate over the past few years has drastically decreased to around 500,000 hectares annually,” stated Agus Purnomo, a presidential special aide on climate change, here on Monday.

Purnomo`s statement come in response to the information on deforestation issued by the Indonesian Forest and Global Climate Salvation Coalition to commemorate one year of implementation of the presidential instruction on forest and peatland deforestation issued in May 20, 2011.

According to Greenpeace, a revision of the forest moratorium implementation from November 2011 to May 2012 revealed that Indonesia has lost some 4.9 million hectares of its forests and peatlands. This figure amounted to 5.64 million hectares from June to November 2011.

“By May 2012, Indonesia could lose 4.9 million hectares of its forests and peatlands. With each revision of the forest moratorium, the acreage of forests and peatlands continues to decrease,” said Yuyun Indradi, political campaigner of Greenpeace, recently.

Agus Purnomo, however, cited the forestry ministry`s report that Indonesia`s deforestation rate has decreased over the last 10 years. During the 1990-1996 period, the deforestation rate was 1.87 million ha/year, which increased to 3.51 million ha/year in 1997-2000.

Forest fires, decentralization and weak law enforcement led to a deforestation rate of 1.08 million ha/year in 2001-2003, 1.17 million ha/year in 2004/2006, 0.83 million ha/year in 2007-2009, and 0.45 million ha/year in 2009-2011.

“We invite Greenpeace to explain its methodology used to determine the forest degradation in order to clarify the issue. Determining whether the figure is just imaginary or an accurate figure might lead to the correction of Indonesia`s deforestation rate,” Purnomo noted, adding that the dramatization of this issue could reinforce a lie.

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