Rate of Deforestation in Indonesia has Surpassed Brazil

Rate of Deforestation in Indonesia has Surpassed Brazil

A recent study has shown that Indonesia lost approximately 60,000 sq km of virgin forest over a period of 12 years. This area is almost the area of Ireland.

The rate of deforestation has increased at an alarming rate in Indonesia and it has surpassed Brazil for the first time in the rate of clearance of its tropical forests.

Nature Climate Change published the study.

Scientists monitored the increase of deforested land in Indonesia between the years 2000 and 2012 using satellites.

They say that the land was cleared to make area for palm oil plantations and other farms.

The researchers from the University of Maryland said that deforestation had led to an increase in emissions of greenhouse gas and a loss of biodiversity.

Indonesia has 10% of the plants of the world and 12% of the mammals of the world too. It is known for its diverse wildlife which also has orangutans and Sumatran tigers.

A government moratorium was signed in 2011 on deforestation and was intended to slow down the rate of deforestation.

But environmental activists say that corrupt politicians are quick to sell off huge areas of rainforests for profit. They also point to the need for more monitoring and sanctions to stop the rate at which Indonesia is losing its forests.

Last year, massive forest fires in Indonesia which were made to clear forests caused a heavy smog to blanket neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore too, triggering health concerns in those countries.

Forests play a major role in mitigating carbon emissions and also preserve biodiversity and therefore, help in tackling the effects of climate change. They are also said to be essential in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.

Indonesia boasts of having the third most biologically diversified forest in the world but this has come under increasing threat over the past decades.

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