Communities seeking redress for their lands, grabbed for pulpwood plantations in Sumatra, are let down by resolution process, reveals new report.
Indonesia’s new president sets himself a major challenge to clean-up bribery and corruption in the forestry industry.
By Patrick Anderson
In late November, after a month in his new job, Indonesia’s president Joko Widido (Jokowi), travelled to Riau Province, Sumatra, to see for himself the forest destruction that causes smoke and haze to blanket Sumatra, Malaysia and Singapore.
The global forest crisis is worsening and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are rising, according to a detailed assessment of nine country cases. Climate change mitigation and conservation policies must place community land rights and human rights centre-stage if they are to achieve the goal of sustainably reducing deforestation says the report.
Deforestation and forest degradation in Malaysia is a complex phenomenon with varying causes. So far, however, the focus has been largely on direct causes like industrial logging, large-scale commercial oil palm plantations and agribusiness, road construction and large dams. Far less attention has been paid to the indirect or underlying causes and agents, inter-linking and working to enrich the very few while creating hardships for many people as a result of degraded or diminished resources.
Indonesia is losing its forests faster than ever. Government efforts to halt the hand out of industrial permits for logging and plantations are failing. Despite its promises to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, the country is experiencing a run-away process of forest clearance for oil palm estates and pulpwood plantations.