Risa's blog

deforestation in Indonesia

Posted on: March 1, 2008

  1. Introduction

Indonesia is a rich country. It has many natural resources, such as natural gas, timber, copper. Besides, it also has botanical and zoological diversity which spread in almost tropical forests in all parts of Indonesia.

The total of tropical forest in Indonesia is about 10 % of total amount of tropical forests in the world.[1] Nevertheless, there are significantly large areas of forest that are being lost year by year. In Sumatra, million of hectares of forest have been cleared under the command of the central government in Jakarta in order to pay off International debt obligation and develop the economy. In Kalimantan the consequences of deforestation have been profound and between 1997 and 1998 large areas of the forests have been burned because of uncontrollable fire causing atmospheric pollution across South-East Asia.[2]

Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines deforestation as “the conversion of forest to another land use or the long term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10 % threshold”.[3]

Regarding that definition, it is sure that Indonesia does deforestation toward its own forest. Besides, some of Non-governmental Organization which focuses on Environment and Forestry, such as The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Green Peace, and WALHI also found some proofs of depletion of forest.

One of report from WALHI is the deforestation rate in Indonesia was higher than the average rate of tropical forest in the world which has only 987,000 per year. Primary forest coverage left nowadays is only 53 millions hectares of 37 % of total forest area before (WALHI, 1998).[4]

 

 

B. Actors behind Deforestation

It is ironic that Indonesia is popular with wood exporting, but in the other hand Indonesia is also included in the most notable country of massive deforestation. The deforestation range is higher than other countries, such as Sudan, Zambia, Republic of Tanzania, Myanmar and Cameroon.

The latest report is that Green Peace proposes Indonesia in the Guinness World Record as the fastest country in deforestation in the world.[5] Consequently, Indonesia’s record will be included in Guinness 2008 record book that will be published in September 2007.

Indonesia’s record will be written: “of the 44 countries which collectively account for 90 per cent of the world’s forest, the country which pursues the highest annual rate of deforestation is Indonesia with 1,8 million ha (4.447.896 acres) of forest destroyed each year between 2000-2005; a rate of 2 per cent annually or 51 km2 (20 miles2) destroyed every day.”[6]

Actually, there are three main factors which cause deforestation grows rapidly, namely illegal logging, legal logging and fire. Beisides, many actors are included as wrongdoing, namely illegal loggers, people who helps the illegal logging and illegal cutting and last government.

Government is categorized as wrongdoing, because government gives a cutting forest or timber estate of private concessionaires or HPH (Hak Pengelolaan Hutan) / HTI (Hutan Tanaman Industri) to some people. So, government encourages legal logging in our forest or in the other word, government legalize illegal logging. Yet unfortunately, legal logging is also included in main factor that cause deforestation.

Government also has more power and authority in controlling anything which relate to society needs, such as utility of forest. Therefore, government needs to control the implementation of cutting forest private concessionaire, because some legal loggers often misuse the cutting of forest private concessionaire. They cut more and more without regarding the environmental damage. They export thousand million cubic meters of logs to other countries. Moreover, they usually convert tropical forest to agriculture, water reservoir or even they replant forest with palm oil plantation. Unfortunately, government let some people who have cutting forest of private concessionaire cut tress continuously.

A weak government institution is also one supporting factor that contributes in deforestation. According to Koes Saparjadi, Director of Forest and Natural Concervation, there are 18 institutions that relates to illegal logging. Four of them are Forestry Department, Judiciary, Police and last Politic and Security Department.[7] Government never takes serious action toward people who involved in cutting trees.

Even when government caught some illegal loggers, the punishments never give deterrent effects to loggers and other people. Besides, the main actors behind illegal logging are seldom to be caught, since they know how the law enforcement in Indonesia is. As a result, they are not afraid of law institution

 

C. Where is our duty?

Every human in this world is khalifah.[8] In other word, we have responsibility to preserve the earth. We have the right things to maintain and to keep earth. Allah gave us the opportunities to use and manage all things in this world, but we can not destroy the earth. Allah emphasizes the warning of destroying earth in Q.S Al A’raaf 56.[9] We can not exploit all of natural resources without regarding environmental aspects.

Since we should have to be good khalifah in this earth, we also have duty to stop deforestation. Besides, we have duty to forbid wrongdoing. We can not let other people do something wrong, even if those people do something that can bring harm to other people and environment. Deforestation will lead to greater disaster, such as flood, line slide, fire, dryness, the extinction of animals and plants, etc. Most of those disasters are caused by human being.

It is not a wise thing if we only blame the government as the agent of wrongdoing. We need to cooperate with all of people to stop deforestation in our country.

As the part of society, we need the consciousness that the forest is important to our life. Do not cut the trees and burn down forest. We need to preserve it for ourselves and our next generation. If anyone knows about illegal logging, he should report it to government or any Non Governmental Organizations which focuses on conservation of forest and environment.

Government which has more authority in this country should regulate the using of forest wisely. It has to control and oversee the implementation of cutting forest or timber estate of private concessionaires. Someone who has those concessionaires can not cut the trees at random. Moreover, government should decrease the export of log and wood carving, because exporting of log can lead the greater deforestation. Consequently, government should encourage the exporting of other commodities.

Besides, government should command reforestation in order to change some damage areas of forest[10]. Every tree which is cut, for the same time, a new one should be replanted. So, there will be a tree in forest forever.

Government with all of its institution should do cooperation. Police and Judiciary need to do law enforcement. Police will catch the illegal logger and judiciary give the punishment based on regulation. There are corruption, collusion and nepotism in action against deforestation. Government needs political will and action seriously.

 

 

 

D. Conclusion

As Muslims, it is sure that we have duty to forbid wrong doing. We should remind other people who will do something wrong, even the wrongdoer is government.

In deforestation case, Even though government is not a single actor in deforestation, government also gives the contribution in growing of deforestation. It means that government is an agent of wrongdoing. Therefore, we need to ask government to stop deforestation. Government should take serious action to eradicate deforestation. Besides, as a good khalifah, we need to preserve earth and our environment. Finally, all people to stop deforestation now for the better future of our life and our next generation.

 

E. References

Article in Jawa Pos Daily newspaper, “RI Masuk Rekor Dunia Negara Perusak Hutan” on May 4 2007

http://www.walhi.or.id/kampanye/hutan/hut_punah/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation. Page was last modified 17:57, 4 May 2007

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0801.htm

http://www.veggieglobal.com/ggl/deforestation.htm

http:// indocir.com/id/guiness_book_of_record_for_indonesia_deforestation

http://www.indonesia.go.id/index.php/content/view/3461/694/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=249&Itemid=753

http://hidayatullah.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33167Itemid=60

http://www.solutiontoearthdestruction.com/How_To_Stop_Deforestation.html


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation. Page was last modified 17:57, 4 May 2007

[5]http:// indocir.com/id/guiness_book_of_record_for_indonesia_deforestation

[6] Article in Jawa Pos Daily newspaper, “RI Masuk Rekor Dunia Negara Perusak Hutan.” on May 4, 2007

[8] Q.S Al Baqarah 30 : “Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi”.

[9] http://hidayatullah.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33167Itemid=60

Q.S Al A’Raaf 56: “Dan janganlah kamu membuat kerusakan di muka bumi, sesudah (Allah) memperbaikinya dan berdoalah kepadaNya”.

made on April 2007

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