17 March 2007

Deforestation, Indonesia's latest record?

Hmm, yet another fact that makes me wander about Indonesia's future along with the future of our beloved planet. Anyway as reported on the news, Indonesian Greenpeace claims that Indonesia is destroying it's forests with the highest rate in the world. For the same reason they are suggesting that Indonesia should be in the Guinness Book of Records. A kind of record nobody should ever be proud of.

So what's the damage? The answer is 51 km2 (square kilometers) of forest per day!! With that kind of rate of destruction soon there will be no forest left, along with it all the biodiversity will be gone too and not to mention earth's lungs. Combine that with green house effect it will further speed up the global warming and we all know where that ends.

Now where is the problem? It's easy to point fingers on who is to blame, anyone can do that because nowadays everyone is an expert on criticizing. Unfortunately seldom do these critics also provide solutions. In Indonesia everyone blames the government, the corruption, the ignorance, etc. Now instead of doing that we need to think what needs to be done to prevent the further damage.

If we take a look in the history we can learn that deforestation is not a new thing, some of the western countries have already been through that long before developing countries like Indonesia. So let's take a look what is the problem here before jumping to any conclusions.

Like any other developing country Indonesia is still battling poverty and corruption is still a big problem. At the moment I would say these are the main factors causing the deforestation at the current rate. Of course talking about poverty many of disadvantaged people are exploiting the forest simply to get by, to survive. However the amount of damage they do although it is not right, it is nothing compared to the damage inflicted by the logging companies and illegal logging which brings us to corruption factor where greed plays it's role.

So in brief yes the government needs to step in and re-examine all the permits given to the logging companies, close down the bad ones and punish anyone who has violated the forest. In addition new laws and more severe penalty for anyone involved in illegal logging should be introduced to prevent it happen in the future. However there is more that needs to be done to ensure that forests will be there for generations to come.

People need to be educated of importance of forests and why we need to leave them intact. Such education has to be introduced through public schools and be given since early age. Ignorance is after all as dangerous as the corrupted mind.

I remember when several years ago my parents bought a house in the area where we still live today. Not long after we planted trees in front of the house, sprouts maybe 20-30 cm in height. At the time a friend of mine who came for a visit told me that it would take ages for those sprouts to grow into a tree. My dad offered a neighbor to plant the same sprouts but he refused saying that there is no place in front of his house.

Only in two years our sprouts grow into trees several meters high and provide a nice shade to our house. It was only after that some of our neighbors decided to follow our steps, of course they still have to wait for their trees to grow but in a year or two our street will have a nice tree line and shade in hot days. Bottom line people follow only after they see the benefit.

We need to make people understand that preventing deforestation is in the end for our own good. This planet could survive without us humans, but not the other way around. That's why we need to preserve the forest, preserve the nature, make this planet a better place to live for many generations to come.

I find it quite amazing in observing plants growing, from seeds, to sprouts ... How about you?


coupdecoeur said...

a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
thanks for making us share your moments
cordially from France
¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-


inna said...

Dear Rai,
orang Bali pandai-pandai, ya? Semua teman saya dari Bali pandai.
Saya setuju dengan Chris, this is a very beautiful blog.
And I'm glad that you also interested in nature, especially forest.