Could sustainable logging save Indonesia’s mangroves?

It’s possible that selective and sustainable logging of mangroves can be done while retaining much of their carbon – and save them from worse fates. Kate Evans/CIFOR

It’s possible that selective and sustainable logging of mangroves can be done while retaining much of their carbon – and save them from worse fates. Kate Evans/CIFOR

It sounds counter-intuitive.

Indonesia’s vast mangrove forests, CIFOR has recently discovered, are a valuable carbon sink. They shelter unique species, protect coastlines from stormy seas – and they are fast disappearing.

Conservationists would see them protected from the logger’s chainsaw.

But it’s possible that selective and sustainable logging of these forests can be done while retaining much of their carbon – and save them from worse fates.

“The threat to mangrove forests is not the cutting of the above ground wood, but conversion to other uses,” says Muljadi Tantra, the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of a group of companies that harvest mangrove wood for charcoal and paper pulp in the provinces of Kalimantan and Papua.

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