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Jakarta Post

Forests losing battle against plantations

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 30 2008   /  10:31 am

Massive forest conversions, rising demand for timber and infrastructure projects are the main causes for Indonesia's world-leading rate of deforestation, a new study has found. The study by the Indonesian Forest Watch (FWI) categorically blamed deforestation on forest conversions into palm oil plantations conducted by big companies. "We find palm oil companies prefer to convert forest areas rather than utilize idle land for their expansion as they get extra incentives from trees in the cleared forests," said Wirendro Sumargo, FWI coordinator for public campaign and policy dialogue, on Tuesday. The field study was conducted in Central Kalimantan and Riau and Papua. It said Central Kalimantan was seeing the fastest rate of conversion of forest area into palm oil plantations. "In the last 17 years, the rate of forest conversion to palm oil...