Long term solutions

Background - 9 October, 2007
We are calling on the Indonesian government to commit to a moratorium on deforestation and industrial logging; a review of laws, governance and law enforcement; and the implementation of a responsible and just land-use planning system.

Local children on a wooden raft surrounded by smoke from tropical rainforest on fire in Indonesia.
© Greenpeace / L. Lily

On the national level, we are calling on the Indonesian government to commit to a moratorium on deforestation and industrial logging, to conduct a review of laws, governance and law enforcement around forest protection and to implement a responsible and just land-use planning system.

In the short-term, prior to December's Kyoto Protocol meeting, we are exerting pressure on the Indonesian government to commit to a moratorium on the conversion and destruction of Indonesian peatland forests and to ensure the implementation of an effective action plan against forest fires.

If nothing is done this is what the future holds, according to a report by the Indonesian Forest Ministry and the European Union:

"The world demand for palm oil is forecast to increase from its present 20.2 million tonnes a year to 40 million tonnes in 2020. If this demand is to be met, 300.000 ha of new estates will need to be planted in each of the next 20 years.

"We predict that by far the largest slice of this new land will come from within Indonesia where labour and land remain plentiful. And we expect that Sumatra, with its relatively well-developed infrastructure and nucleus of skilled labour, will absorb 1.6 million hectares of this expansion. It is inevitable that most new oil palm will be in the wetlands, as the more 'desirable' dry lands of the island are now occupied."

That's a long-winded way of saying that Indonesia's peatlands will destroyed for palm oil.

Stabilising the world's climate depends on countries agreeing to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and industrial sectors and completely  halting deforestation. And, above all, ensuring that this is firmly written into the revised Kyoto Protocol.