Indonesian “Production Forests” May Help Develop the Economy, But at What Cost?

indonesia forests


On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Aceh, the northern province, could be at risk for some major catastrophes if the land-use plan proposed by Aceh’s governor, Zaini Abdullah is approved. This proposal could turn Aceh’s 1.84 million hectares of protected forests into “production forests,” concerning conservationists who predict the deforestation could gravely affect the already endangered species that rely on the forests for survival.


KALUL VILLAGE, Indonesia “” Near a palm oil plantation here, bulldozers and chainsaws can be heard in what is officially “protected forest.” The hilly terrain is not ideal for large-scale agriculture, but with few areas left for expansion, the loggers are denuding the land anyway.

Aceh, the northern province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is a region made famous by separatist conflict and natural disasters, calamities that long held back economic development but helped preserve one of the world’s richest ecosystems. Now conservationists say the rapid clearing of virgin forest is paving the way for environmental catastrophe, turning critically endangered orangutans, tigers and elephants into refugees, and triggering landslides and flash floods.

Much of the current activity is illegal, they say, but if a land-use plan proposed by Aceh’s governor, Zaini Abdullah, is approved by the national government, currently protected forests could be rezoned as “production forests,” paving the way for logging, palm oil and mining concessions. The Aceh government argues that the change is needed to develop the local economy”….Continue Reading

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Niki is currently exploring Asia while working on a children’s book series about travel. As a child, she traveled and moved often for her parents’ jobs. As a result of this, she has always felt most at home when she’s off and away. She is interested in international films, working on building an impressive tea collection, and can often be found with her camera in hand. You can have a look-see at her blog and follow her on Twitter @nikidding.


Photo by hippz

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