Indonesia surpasses Brazil in deforestation rate

Scientists stated that in 2012, Indonesia lost 8,400 sq km of forest compared to Brazil which lost 4,600 sq km.

Indonesia surpasses Brazil in deforestation rate

World Bulletin / News Desk

A new study has shown that Indonesia lost about 60,000 sq km of virgin forest - an area close to the size of Ireland - over a period of 12 years.

Indonesia has for the first time surpassed Brazil in the rate of its clearance of tropical forests due to the increase in the rate of deforestation.

The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Between 2000 and 2012 scientists monitored the growth of deforested land in Indonesia by using satellites. 

They say the land was cleared to make way for palm oil plantations and other farms. 

Scientists stated that by 2012, the loss of primary forest every year in Indonesia was estimated to be higher than that in Brazil.

During that year, Indonesia lost 8,400 sq km of forest compared to Brazil which lost 4,600 sq km. 

The researchers, from the University of Maryland, said increase in greenhouse gas emissions and a loss of biodiversity was due to deforestation.

Indonesia is known for its diverse wildlife which includes orangutans and Sumatran tigers and has 10% of the world's plants and 12% of the world's mammals.

A government moratorium on deforestation was signed in 2011 and was intended to slow down the pace of deforestation. 

However, BBC's Karishma Vaswani stated that environmental activists say corrupt politicians are quick to sell off huge swathes of rainforests for profit, and they point to the need for more monitoring and sanctions to stop the rate at which Indonesia is losing its forests.

Norway has pledged a billion dollars to Indonesia if it can prove it is serious about stopping deforestation. 

Agencies report that Norway helped to set up new institutions to reduce deforestation by paying almost $50 million to Indonesia.

However, Indonesia will only start to get large amounts of money if deforestation is slowed down. 

Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2014, 15:49
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