Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Indonesia To Auction Permits To Log Old Forests?

Jan 25 2007 (TODAY)

JAKARTA - Environmental watchdog Greenpeace yesterday protested the
Indonesian government's plans to auction permits to log old forests in
Borneo and Papua, home to a rich variety of plant and animal life.

Within two weeks, forest lands in 16 locations - including Papua,
Kalimantan on Borneo island and on the islands of Sulawesi, Maluku and
Sumatra - will be offered for bids.

"More than one million hec-tares of forest lands, or twice the size of
Bali, will be offered on the chopping block.

"Instead of taking drastic measures to reverse the destruction of our
remaining forests, the forest ministry is hell-bent on issuing new permits
to the highest bidders," Greenpeace South-east Asia campaigner Hapsoro
said in a statement.

Indonesia loses about 2.8 million ha of forests each year - among the
highest rates in the world.

Experts say deforestation reduces the capacity of the ecosystem to
regulate the water and also leads to soil erosion and landslides.

Indonesia had lost more than 72 per cent of its intact ancient forest
areas, according to Greenpeace.

Kalimantan and Papua have some of the last areas of Indonesian rainforest
and are home to a rich variety of plant and animal life, with new
discoveries being made on an almost monthly basis. - AFP