Indonesia destroys about 51 square kilometers of forests every
day, equivalent to 300 football fields every hour -- a figure,
which should earn the country a place in the Guinness Book of World
Records as the world's fastest destroyer of forests.The group based
this calculation on data from the UN Food & Agriculture
Organization's (FAO) recent 'State of the World's Forests 2007'
report. According to the report, ten countries account for 80
percent of the world's primary forests, of which Indonesia,
Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Brazil saw the highest losses between
2000 and 2005.
"The exceptional and mind-boggling rate of forest destruction
in Indonesia qualifies it to enter the Guinness book of World
Records and join Brazil, which holds the current record for
largest forest areas destroyed worldwide," said Hapsoro,
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner.
"These new figures demonstrate a lack of political will and
power by the Indonesian government a to stop Indonesia's runaway
deforestation rates. A series of natural disasters in recent
years, floods, forest fires, landslides, droughts, massive erosion
are all linked to the unprecedented destruction of our forests.
Forest fires from concessions and plantations have already made
Indonesia the world's third biggest contributor of greenhouse
gases," Mr Hapsoro said. To make its point, Greenpeace activists
dressed as loggers, chain-sawed a 20-meter wooden wall symbolizing
the Indonesian forests in ademonstration at the Proclamation
Monument, Central Jakarta on Friday. Greenpeace supporters,
celebrities, politicians and musicians participated in the
According to the FAO, Indonesia's deforestation rate from
2000-2005 reached 1.8 million hectares/year. This rate is lower
than the official rate declared by the Indonesian Ministry of
Forestry, of 2.8 million hectares/year. Indonesia is second only
to Brazil which, with 3.1 million hectares lost per year, the FAO
puts at the top of the list for the largest deforestation area.,
However, since the Indonesia's total forest area is much smaller
than Brazil's, the deforestation rate is higher. Indonesia's
deforestation rate is 2% every year, compared to Brazil's 0.6%
"We need a moratorium on commercial logging operations
nationwide to protect what is left of this fast diminishing
resource. Public pressure is needed to force the government to
recognize the enormity of this problem and to take action
immediately. We are therefore calling on the Indonesian people to
join us as Forest Defenders(1) and demand a stop to all large
scale and destructive logging activities responsible for wiping
out our forests at such a fastrate," Mr Hapsoro said.
"The exceptional and mind-boggling rate of forest destruction in
Indonesia qualifies it to enter the Guinness book of World Records
and join Brazil, which holds the current record for largest forest
areas destroyed worldwide."
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner
"This record is something the people of Indonesia should not be
proud of, but it doesn't have to be this way. We take pride in
many things this country has to offer. It is after all the world's
largest archipelagic state with more than 18,000 islands. It
supports the world's second highest level of biodiversity, and is
a critical carbon sink for the planet. It is crucial now that the
people of Indonesia take action to pressure our government to stop
this destruction," he added.