May 10, 2007

New record for deforestation

How much the annual lost of Indonesian forest is remains debatable. Recently, FAO released data on deforestation which submitted to Guiness Book of Records (GBoR) mentioned Indonesia as the fastest forest destroyer in 2007 (here). Forest has been lost about 1,9 million hectares annually or 2 percent of the remaining 2005 forest, according to FAO. But everyone seems pointing government who solely responsible for the lost of forest which I think it is not necessary so.

Deforestation doesn’t just happen anyway. Many factors have been argued to be the root cause of deforestation (see here). Two of them are the growing demand of commercial commodity for instance palm oil plantation. Second, timber demand has contributed to deforestation in many ways.

Therefore blaming just GoI may ignore the fact that there are other explanations on why forests are dissapearing? On economic point of view, demand on commodity has affected resource allocation and to overcome problem like deforestation, reducing demand would be one of the alternatives. Controlling demand would induce producer to reduce its capacity to supply. So we need some billateral and global cooperation to reduce demand of commodities derived from converted forest such as palm oil and in the other hand, governments who have large area of forest should improve forest management in their own territory. In this light, the lost of forest is not only my responsibility but also yours; it is not only developing countries but also developed countries. In order to be fair, GBoR should find new category of award for the countries who consume a lot of derived products from converted tropical forests together with forest destroyer category.


Yudo said...

mas bayuni,..i agree with you that bilateral and regional-but not global (coz wasting energy and time) cooperations are in need. But i think, the focus is supposedly not by halting demand for wood, but by transfering (creating/ or monetizing) the forest without fell the trees.

How? well kyoto protocol is not working and to some extent i think that's good :) because, as expected, the cost of emission is not distributed "fairly" among emitters and even we have no idea how much cost of emission should be borne by a country. More annoying, in what sense is China being released from reducing carbon emission?...

If kyoto does not work, bilateral or regional agreement can create market for emission, that is licence for poluting. This licence can work through market mechanism and this licences are not only hold by the country but also by firms. Money from selling the licences can be channeled to alter demand for wood, that is, income from managing good forest and it should be distributed among local communities or stakeholder. is it a sound forest policy? :D

Lucky me meet Warwick Mckibbin (one of prominent economists doing research on environmental policy) and discuss about this issue and the possibility of implementing this kind policy in Indonesia. Since he has worked in Indonesia, he said, it's very possible :D..please have a look to his web

Keep promoting and posting sensible poliy on environmental issues :D

aroengbinang said...

it's happened, and it's still happening, and it will still be happening.

awareness is one thing, criticizing is another thing, contribution is what we are lacking of.

NIP said...

5 tahun silam...
saya sedang bertugas di kalimantan
habis subuh, kami dan kawan2 bertolak dari Balikpapan menuju Samarinda dan TEnggarong.
Dalam perjalanan, tidak terasa air mata saya mengalir sewaktu melihat kiri dan kanan jalan.
Luar biasa...
manusia serakah telah menghabisi hutan kita.

Sampai detik ini, perasaan itu masih membekas kuat...


pelantjong maja said...

yudo: i have one comment regarding promoting forest' monetary value. i ve done a lot of work on this before and many local stakeholders didnt see this as a good opportunity. later i saw some problems such as how can we accurately measure the value of forest? do we just count timber and animal? how can we measure ecosystem services? all these things are using proxy number which can be abused by researcher. another thing is access to information to locate where are the valuable forest and whom are going to buy the forest. lastly, does local people really get benefit from this scheme? as far as i know, the research is still undergoing to find out the benefit streams to the poor.