Indonesia’s Tipping Point

A Sumatran tiger, one of thousands of species threatened by palm oil plantations and paper and timber businesses. Photograph: Allan Baxter/Getty Images

Photograph: Allan Baxter/Getty Images. A Sumatran tiger, one of thousands of species threatened by palm oil plantations and paper and timber businesses.

A recent headline in the Guardian‘s Environment section was titled:

Indonesia’s tropical forests set to benefit from further clearing ban

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expected to sign extended deal to help restore habitat of tigers and orangutans

This was bound to get our attention, especially after a series of articles in recent months showing that this could go in either direction, not only for Indonesia but any number of countries in the region.  Indonesia is a developing country whose fulcrum might allow market forces to push (or pull?) it to ecological dystopia, or toward some more sane ecological outcome.

The story that follows the headline above:

A ban on the clearing of tropical forests in Indonesia is on the verge of being extended in a historic deal that could protect some of the world’s most threatened habitats.

Indonesia is home to about a third of the world’s remaining tropical forests, which provide a habitat for endangered species such as the orangutan and Sumatran tiger.

For the past two years the government has imposed a moratorium on felling forests in an effort to halt the deforestation that has laid waste to much of the country’s virgin habitat and cleared the way for plantations of palm oil and pulp, paper and timber businesses.

But that moratorium is about to expire, and the termination would leave loggers and plantations free to expand into fresh areas.

Reports from agencies and local press on Friday night suggested the country’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was about to sign up to an extension of the deal.

Reuters quoted an unnamed government official who said the fresh agreement would be signed within a few days.

The extension would be a big victory for green campaigners…

Read the rest of the story here.

4 thoughts on “Indonesia’s Tipping Point

  1. The next step would be to impose harsher and stricter regulations on these “ungreen” palm oil plantations. It was a close victory, and a temporary one. It’s up to the next presidential cabinet to build upon this victory. I’m sick of politicians and businesses ruining my beautiful country.

  2. Pingback: From Rudi Putra in Indonesia: | Sunset Daily

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