Indonesia's forests make up one of the world's most biologically diverse ecosystems. They have long been harvested by local people to meet their daily needs. Since the 1970s, a combination of demographic, economic and policy factors has driven forest exploitation at the industrial scale and resulted in growing deforestation. Key factors behind the forest loss and land use change in present-day Indonesia are the expansion of oil palm, plywood production and pulp and paper industries. Oil palm has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Indonesian economy, increasing from less than 1 million hectares in 1991 to 8.9 million hectares in 2011. The plywood and pulp and paper industries have also expanded significantly since the log export ban in 1985. All three sectors have contributed to deforestation. Several measures are being taken to reduce the loss of tropical forests in Indonesia. These measures are driven by growing global concern about the impact of deforestation on biodiversity and global warming and the Indonesian government's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A major policy initiative revolves around developing renewable energy from biomass that can be sourced from oil palm, sugar, cassava, jatropha and timber plantations. This paper analyzes these measures and assesses the conditions under which they may be most effective.