JAKARTA – Tingginya beban utang serta defisit pasokan serat kayu pada sejumlah industri bubur kertas (pulp) dan kertas di Indonesia, akan mendorong ekspansi penebangan hutan-hutan alam. Di sisi lain, sekitar 70 persen beban utang perusahaan-perusahaan industri tersebut, yang menjadi debitor Badan Penyehatan Perbankan Nasional (BPPN), dikhawatirkan akan dibebankan sebagai utang publik.
JAKARTA, Feb 11 (AFP) – Large areas of natural forest in Indonesia will be destroyed by 2007 due to logging by the country’s two largest pulp producers, two environmental groups warned in a report released Monday. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said a study showed two indebted Indonesian pulp producers – Sinar Mas Group and Raja Garuda Mas Group – planned to clear almost 500,000 hectares (1.23 million acres) of forest from Riau province by "Indonesia’s largest pulp producers… rely heavily on unsustainable sources of fiber, much of which is obtained through the clear-cutting of natural forests," said CIFOR policy scientist Christopher Barr in the report.
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta – The remaining natural forest in Riau Province is on the brink of destruction as the country’s giant pulp producers, Sinar Mas Group and Raja Garuda Mas Group, plan to clear almost 500,000 hectares of natural forest in Sumatra by 2007, according to a joint study compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Between 1986 and 1998, when President Suharto’s 32-year rule came to an end, 17 million hectares of forest were cleared by timber, pulp and oil palm companies. If anything, the situation has got worse since then, not better. According to the World Bank, Indonesia is now losing 2 million hectares of forest – an area half the size of Taiwan – each year, and if present trends continue, the lowland forests of Sumatra will be gone by 2005.
Researchers have confirmed a long-suspected link between logging and the devastation of forest fires in tropical rain forests. Forest fires that ripped through East Kalimantan, Indonesia, in 1998 burned more than 12 million acres (5 million hectares). The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), based in Bogor, Indonesia, estimated that the economic loss to Indonesia exceeded U.S. $9 billion and that carbon emissions were high enough to make the country one of the largest polluters in the world.
With much of the world’s attention riveted on Afghanistan, it is easy to forget that armed conflicts are bringing death and misery to millions of people in scores of countries around the world. Since 1989 the number of civil wars has tripled.
Ministers from East Asian countries emerged from a regional meeting last week with a declaration committing them to crack down on illegal logging. Government officials are calling the declaration historic, but critics doubt the agreement will make a meaningful difference in stanching the flow of unlawfully cut timber from Indonesia and other countries in the region.
The growth of Indonesia’s paper industry shows what happens when investors don’t grasp the fundamentals
Last March, Asia Pulp & Paper, the world’s largest emerging-market corporate debtor, suspended payments of interest and principal on roughly $13.4 billion in outstanding obligations. APP’s massive default has brought to an abrupt halt the seven-fold expansion of Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector over the past decade. However, the scale of the problem may not be fully understood yet.