Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Deforestation in Indonesia

A veterinarian examines an injured orangutan found by environmental activists at a palm oil plantation in Rimba Sawang, Aceh province, Indonesia. The caption to this photo said, “Indonesia has lost half of its rain forests in the last half century, putting the remaining 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans that live in scattered, degraded forests in frequent, and often deadly, conflict with humans.”

Workers on palm oil plantations deliberately attack & kill orangutans who have lost their habitat to stop them from scavenging seedlings for food. Workers have an economic motive for killing orangutans since they have to pay companies for any loss of seedlings.

There is no evil fairy carrying off the rain forests; they are being deliberately cleared in a collusive plan between the Indonesian government & palm oil companies to make Indonesia the world’s largest palm oil producer for global food, bio-fuel, & chemical industry markets even though Malaysia & Indonesia already account for 85% of world production. Nearly 17 million hectares (42 million acres) of forest have already been cleared & about 7 million hectares (17 million acres) have been planted with the crop.

Deforestation for palm oil plantations has made Indonesia the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases which is involved in climate change & massive flooding of the tropical archipelago. Indonesia has laws for biodiversity conservation & the government has been urged by environmentalists & animal rights activists to enforce them. But canceling concessions to palm oil companies to protect orangutans & the environment would interfere with the massive fortunes being accrued & massive political pressure is required to even get the laws enforced.

(Photo by Binsar Bakkara/AP)

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