Greenpeace Publishes Contested Data on Indonesian Forest Development

Feature story - December 7, 2010
Jakarta - Greenpeace released maps that reveal Indonesia’s forest development plans that are being pushed by the pulp, paper and palm oil industry with support from some key ministries, which if allowed to advance, will make mockery of President Yudhoyono’s commitment to reduce emissions from the forest sector.

>> Maps that reveal Indonesia’s forest development plans

The maps, based on Indonesian government and sectoral data, project the risks of high-carbon, high deforestation development path which Greenpeace first revealed in its recent report, “Protection Money,” . The report has shown how Indonesia can actually meet its economic and industry development objectives without depleting its remaining natural resources.

Yet current expansion plans, pushed by industry with support within some Government ministries, seek to treble pulp and paper production by 2025 and double palm oil production by 2020, with additional targets for agriculture and biofuel production.

Greenpeace forest campaigner Yuyun Indradi :

“These maps allow anyone, anywhere, to see for themselves what could be the future for Indonesia’s forests and peatlands if they are not protected from further conversion,”

“The way to save these tropical forests is for a strong climate deal that includes an effective mechanism to protects forests, not with offsets that allow polluters to keep up business as usual.”  

Indonesia’s forests are at the heart of a critical decision point for negotiators at the international climate talks, currently underway in Cancun, Mexico.

Governments and civil society are debating a pivotal agreement on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), a proposed climate policy that has the potential to protect tropical forests, biodiversity, and indigenous inhabitants, while promoting economic prosperity for countries like Indonesia.

The decision to release the maps comes as Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, met with the Head of Indonesia’s task force on REDD.

Kumi Naidoo :

“Greenpeace is absolutely committed to supporting the Indonesian government in its search for a low-carbon development path, which protects natural forests. To help secure this future, we have released the government and industry data  that underlies our own analysis.  We look forward to detailed and constructive discussions with all those working for a good deal on REDD.”

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says he is committed to low-carbon development. A presidential decree to ensure the immediate protection of all natural forests and peatlands through a moratorium on additional forest clearance in new and existing concessions, and a plan for sustainable land use, would ensure that Indonesia does not sacrifice its natural resources to meet its development goals.

With these conditions in place, Indonesia, can become a model for REDD and for low-carbon development through its protection of forests which helps tackle climate change.