Deforestation process in Indonesia was regarded as the second largest by magnitude in the world next to Brazil. Therefore, without proper space planning, Indonesia’s forest which still covered 63% of land surface, the third largest next to Brazil and Congo was most threatened. Imam S. Ernawi, Directorate of Space Control, Ministry of Public Works disclosed to Business News in Jakarta Tuesday (1/6).
The total expanse of forest in Indonesia is 88.4 million hectares, in Brazil it is 477.6 million ha, followed by Congo 133.6 million ha. But, of the 88.4 million hectares of forest in Indonesia, the deforested part in 2005 reached 1.440 thousand ha per year. Meanwhile the deforestation level in Brazil reached 3,460 thousand ha/year and in Congo it is 532 thousand ha per year.
The severe deforestation was triggered by utilization of forest for non forest utilization like large plantations and minery. Furthermore there were “foresty areas regarded as being unproductive” which appeared attractive to non forest activities like plantation, mining etc. Development of infra-structures which “trespassed” forest areas also accounted for deforestation. Furthermore there were settlements and land exploitation by people in the forest areas, and changes of forest purposes not followed by uplifting of regional economic activity for people’s welfare.
Based on statistical data of 2005, the main cause of deforestation was land clearing for small-scale farms and large scale plantation, livestock breeding, illegal logging etc.
Of 63% of forest areas in Indonesia, 14% of forest were being damaged/destructed, 26% forest moderately good and only 23% remained blooming. Of the total forest in Indonesia, 36% was in the Province of Maluku and Papua, 20% in Sumatra, 2% in Java, 31% in Kalimantan, 9% in Sulawesi and the remaining 3% in Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.
The extent of deforestation correlates with high population growth, and extent of poverty and unemployment. To illustrate, the population of Indonesia in 2008 was 228.5 million people. The number increased by 1.36% compared to population of year 2000, meanwhile the present state of poverty is posted at 14.1% of that number, based on statistical forestry data of 2004, 5.5 million people live in forest areas or around 18.5% of the number of people in forest areas 2004, posted at 29.9 million. Meanwhile, the unemployment figure of 2009 was 9.26 million or 8.14% of workforce, of which the number of people of productive age in 2007 was posted at 164.12 million.