“May you live in interesting time” is said to be an ancient Chinese proverb and subtle curse. Whatever its origins, there’s no doubt these are interesting times for anyone engaged in environmental public policy-making. Especially when it involves Indonesia, forests and climate change.
Global warming poses a significant threat to our future. That much is now widely accepted. Less certain is what we need to do to arrest the process. When the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change drew up the Kyoto Protocol, the decision was taken to ignore deforestation, although it accounts for more than a quarter of man-made carbon emissions. That was a mistake.
Deforestation and land clearance in developing countries are responsible for annual carbon emissions measuring approximately 1,600 million tons. That’s roughly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making deforestation a major cause of global warming.
Baru-baru ini kita mendengar serangkaian peluncuran laporan Panel Antar-pemerintah tentang Perubahan Iklim (IPCC). Pertama dari Paris di bulan Februari 2007, kedua dari Brusel di bulan April, kemudian dari Bangkok bulan Mei yang lalu. Ketiganya memberi gambaran kelam tentang masa depan planet bumi kita jika kita tidak berbuat sesuatu.
In the 1980s, over a million hectares of Central Kalimantan’s peat forests was cleared and drained for growing rice. To the government, this was a battle against poverty and hunger. Environmental concerns were easily brushed aside.
Research shows that collective action can be effective locally, but questions remain about how best to devolve power to communities, by Yulia Siagian and Heru Komarudin
No matter where you go in rural Indonesia, you will come across people who have fallen foul of the country’s forest laws. Take what happened in West Lampung, Sumatra, in the mid-1990s. In Simpang Sari, the police pulled up the coffee bushes planted by the villagers on state land, and drove them from the forests. And in nearby Dwi Kora, elephants were used to destroy homes and crops on state land, depriving the villagers of shelter and a means of making a living.
Selama tiga dekade Orde Baru, sektor kehutanan merupakan primadona dalam penggerak pembangunan bangsa. Sektor kehutanan memberikan kontribusi devisa yang cukup besar setelah migas. Atas nama pembangunan, sumberdaya hutan Indonesia yang kaya keanekaragaman hayati (biodiversity) itu pun dikuras habis-habisan.