Last week, Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann spoke about the illegal logging, wildfires and peatland forest destruction behind climate change in Indonesia on her weekly Earth Minute segment on KPFK radio’s Sojourner Truth show.
Indonesia’s primeval and biodiversity-rich forests continue to face a devastating triple threat.
Forest fires once again rage across parts of the country, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency.
Worst hit are Borneo and western Sumatra. The fires have been raging since July 2015, with efforts to extinguish them hampered by unusually dry conditions.
Meanwhile, illegal logging in Indonesia runs rampant with hundreds of cubic meters of timber stolen daily from national parks. Many of the logs are over a meter in diameter and are carried out freely through corridors of forest owned by logging companies.
Illegal logging has contributed to Indonesia recently surpassing Brazil as the deforestation capital of the world.
Add to that the draining and burning of Indonesia’s peatlands to make room for oil palm plantations, a process that not only destroys critical forests, but releases two potent greenhouse gasses.
All of this: illegal logging, wildfires and peatland forest destruction, makes Indonesia among the world’s five greatest contributors to climate change.
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.