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Jakarta Post

Biodiversity in the balance

  • Ashim Paun


Jakarta   /   Tue, June 30 2020   /  08:21 am
Crisis: Indonesia’s palm oil plantations have been accused of triggering land and forest fires. The National Development Planning Agency says Indonesia needs to intensify its campaign on sustainable palm oil to save the country’s palm oil industry. (

The year 2020 is a mere six months old, but it’s already been a bumper year for natural disasters. The devastating Australian bushfires in January, broken heat records, the most damaging locust plague in 70 years in parts of East Africa, a super-cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, and the worst drought in centuries in Central Europe. Most damaging of all, of course, has been COVID-19 – a consequence of our increasingly close contact with hitherto undisturbed ecosystems. The pandemic has revealed the massive and unpredictable interconnectedness between natural environments and global economies. Damage to ecosystems across the world, and the resulting loss of biodiversity, has received less attention than other sustainability challenges – climate change risks, pollutants, poverty and conflict. Yet the biodiversity crisis is a direct risk to humankind. It is hard to quanti...