Main Causes of Deforestation in Indonesia

Posted: July 11, 2013 in President University
Tags: , , , ,

Indonesia is an archipelago with 17,000 islands which also known as “emerald equator” and has biodiversity. Indonesia considered as one of the largest areas for tropical forest in the world. According to Foods and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations almost 50% of Indonesia is forested. This number is not much because it has been destroyed and declined every year. Indonesia has lost more than 28 million hectares of forest between 1990 and 2005 (Butler, 2006). The deforestation comes up as a crucial issue regarding some facts found in Indonesia. The deforestation means an activity or process in order to clear a forest that has done by people. While Nix (2013) said that deforestation is the removing or clearing of a forest to include the cutting of all trees, mostly for agricultural or urban use. This issue bring some places where covered by forests in Indonesia keep decreasing now. Based on FAO’s State of the World’s Forests 2009, Indonesia has the world’s highest deforestation rate from 2000-2009 which lost 1.87 million hectares per year (Gilbert, 2009). However, all the forests in Indonesia are supposed to be State Forest Land and have regulation if it is going to be used by the citizens without any exception. In Siscawati’s view the Constitution 1945, Article 33 mentioned all Indonesian natural resources controlled by the State. It is clear that Indonesia areas are protected by law, but the deforestation still occurred very quick and easy. Indonesia must struggle to combat deforestation unless there will be no any forests. A high rate of deforestation has become a national issue in Indonesia and also a concern globally (Resosudarmo, 2012). There are several possible causes of deforestation in Indonesia which are population growth, the existence of corruption and the development of some industries.

One of causes of deforestation is population in Indonesia. The populous of Indonesia is on forth place after China, India, and USA. McNicoll (1997) claims that the population growth in 1995-2050 had rate projection 58% increasing. Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia becomes people’s target to stay. Many people choose to move from the original place to the cities because of a better education and get a proper job due to have a better life (Sukandi, 2013). This process named urbanization, when people from rural area move to urban area which makes a density in one place as the impact. It can be seen from World Population Review (2013) mentioned 58% of Indonesia’s population live in Java Island where Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia is on it. It shows uneven distribution of citizen and it will be over-population. “Nobody can deny the serious global problem of population growth” (Revingto, 2000).People will need a place to stay which means there will be deforestation to build a house or just to fulfil their needs. Tulloch (2009) mentioned one third of world’s population mainly used firewood to cook or heat their homes and the tropical forests have been lost for 21% to support population growth regarding infrastructures necessary (Chakravarty et al., 2012). It shows that population plays a role of deforestation cause in Indonesia.

Another possible cause of deforestation in Indonesia is corruption. The United Nations of Food and Agriculture Organization has identified forest crime and corruption as one of main causes of deforestation in report of 2001 and warned many countries to give attention for corruption in world’s forests (Koyumen, 2009). Corruption could be considered as an intentional act and it is illegal. It defines as the unlawful use of public office by politicians or civil servants for private gain (Koyumen, 2009). The contribution of corruption to deforestation in Indonesia also has happened since a long time ago. It has been a tradition. In Soeharto era, it is practically impossible to eliminate corruption because the business elite and the military had joined for logging contracts with Suharto’s family (Palo, n.d.). President at that time will be able to protect business elite who did illegal actions and had taken court, from implementation of penalties. In Butler’s view (2006) based on IMF managing director, Indonesia was unable to use its special off-budget reforestation fund. Mostly it has been used to provide low-interest loans to commercial timber and plantation companies for land clearing and replanting virgin rainforest. This situation showed corruption occurred in forestry Indonesia. In other hand, the regulations of Indonesia also could be a reason why corruption might happen. There is no strict law because of a huge area. According to Koyumen (2009), the forest sector tends to be easy in having illegal activities and corrupt acts rather than other sectors due to free power of local forestry officers to decide a number of highly subjective matters, poorly-designed regulations, uneven distribution of power among players and the improbability of harsh punishment. This situation describes the forest management in Indonesia is not good. The implementation of any policies is inappropriate and lack of governance capacity at central cause deforestation in Indonesia (Resosudarmo, 2012). Society seems like ignoring the environmental regulations. For these reasons, corruption in Indonesia becomes one of deforestation causes.

Deforestation also might be happened because of the development some industries in Indonesia. There is a lot of wood industry that causes deforestation. A high number of wood’s demand also influences logging activity. In 2004, the environment minister of Indonesia said that 75% of logging in Indonesia is illegal (Butler, 2006). Besides that, the expansion of agriculture supports the deforestation in Indonesia. According to Eastwood (2012) the agricultural land expansion has 60% in contributing for total of tropical deforestation. As increasing the population, it will be followed by enlarging the agricultural land which has become one of economic reason. In Indonesia itself, it has cleared close to half of its forested land for agricultural development (Eastwood, 2012). The plantations also grow up very fast in Indonesia. Some areas of forests have been converted for oil palm plantation. It covered approximately 4.4 million hectares in 2008, and 70% of these plantations were developed on former state forest land (Resosudarmo, 2012). This situation is called as forest conversion. Another contribution of deforestation comes from the development of mining industry in Indonesia. Mining industry will cause a serious deforestation if wood is used as fuel in mining operations and it is sources from plantations established for the purpose in region (Chakravarty, et al., 2012). Those industries really have a big influence in deforestation process. It forces people to clear the forests in legal or illegal way due to develop their industry and take some benefits or profits from it. That is why the development of some industries in Indonesia considered as cause of deforestation.

The phenomena of deforestation showed a serious problem that happened in Indonesia. Some institutions have done researched with amazing result. The number of population becomes one of deforestation causes in Indonesia. As mentioned above, the population keeps growing which make uneven the distribution of citizens. The necessary of wood in human life takes a part of deforestation which happened in Indonesia. People will need firewood and also the infrastructures need to be built up. In other hand, corruption in Indonesia has been a tradition. This situation has contributed much for deforestation. The lack of regulation and punishment trigger the citizen to do illegal logging very easy. There is no strict policies and inappropriate forest management. It happens inside the government which seems to support deforestation. Moreover, deforestation also happened in Indonesia because of industry development. As a rich country, Indonesia is a potentially to develop some industries such as agriculture, oil palm plantation, and mining. It is called as the forest conversions which use state land to do business. Some experts found that Indonesia the extensive areas of forest have been lost and converted for certain purpose every year. The number of places where covered by forests is also decreasing rapidly. Perhaps those are the main possible causes why deforestation issues exist in Indonesia.

 

Bibliography

 

Butler, R.A. (2006). INDONESIA. Mongabay.com. Retrieved July 5, 2013 from http://rainforests.mongabay.com/20indonesia.htm

Chakravarty, S., et al. (2012). Deforestation: Causes, Effects and Control Strategies. Global Perspectives on Sustainable Forest Management: http://www.intechopen.com

Eastwood, B. (2012). The (other) oil industry greenwashes de-forestation in Indonesia. The Seattle Globalist. Retrieved July 9, 2013 from http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2012/11/21/oil-industry-greenwashing-deforestation-in-indonesia/8001

Gilbert, D. (2009). Indonesia’s deforestation: no mystery here. The Understory. Retrieved July 5, 2013 from http://understory.ran.org/2009/09/11/indonesias-deforestation-no-mystery-here/

Koyunen, C. & Yilmaz, R. (2009). The Impact of Corruption on Deforestation: a Cross-Country Evidence. The Journal of Developing Ideas

McNicoll, G. (1997). Indonesia’s Population Growth and Distribution in the 21st Century: Projections and Speculations. Indonesia Assessment: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Nix, S. (2013). Deforestation. About.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013 from http://forestry.about.com/od/foresttermsandglossary/g/Deforestation.htm

Palo, M. (n.d.). How Does Corruption Drive Deforestation in the Tropics. Forest Research Institute METLA

Resosudarmo, B.P., Nawir, A.A., Resosudarmo, I.A.P., Subiman, N.L. (2012). Forest Land Use Dynamics in Indonesia. Australian National University

Revingto, J. (2000). The Causes of Tropical Deforestation. Renaissance Universal. Retrieved July 9, 2013 from http://www.ru.org/ecology-and-environment/the-causes-of-tropical-deforestation.html

Siscawati, N. (n.d.). Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Indonesia: A Case Study on Forest Fire. IGES International Workshop

Tulloch, J. (2009). Ten Causes of Deforestation. Open Knowledge. Retrieved July 8, 2013 from http://knowledge.allianz.com/environment/climate_change/?665/ten-causes-of-deforestation-gallery

World Population Review. (2013). Population of Indonesia 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013 from http://worldpopulationreview.com/population-of-indonesia/

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s