The government’s much-campaigned tree planting program may help endorse forest conversions by plantation firms in the country that would harm the country’s plans to slash carbon emissions from forestry sector, activists warned.
Greenpeace Indonesia criticized the government over its mitigation plans, which included industrial forest concessions (HTI) as a priority sector in the tree planting program.
“We worry the tree planting program is a way to hide conversion activity by plantation companies,” Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner said Thursday.
He said that most plantations usually cut trees to clear land before replanting it, including Acacia trees.
“If planting Acacia trees is considered as part of climate mitigation, the government has made a public lie,” he said.
Forestry Ministry campaigned that 1 billion trees be planted this year as the country’s climate mitigation to cut emissions from the forestry sector.
The ministry’s mitigation agenda put the enhancing carbon stocks from planting trees including by the HTI and communal forest as top priority to meet the 14 percent emission cut from the forest.
It said that planting trees would be held in 5.8 million hectares of the HTI areas, including in Riau, Jambi and West Kalimantan.
The ministry also promised to combat illegal logging and reduce forest fires to slash emissions.
Greenpeace said that planting trees would never balance the deforestation rate, which reached over 1 million hectares per year.
Greenpeace forest campaigner, Yuyun Indradi said that clearing forest would also damage the ecological aspect of the forest.
“Replanting it would never return such an ecological aspect,” he said.
“The government’s proposal for the replanting program must mean ecosystem restoration, not more timber plantations.