Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Indonesia Lax When Illegal Loggers Clear Forests for Palm Plantations

Illegal logging for paper industry and forest clearing for palm oil plantation. Tesso Nilo, Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia (Credit: © Alain Compost / WWF-Canon) Click to Enlarge.
A drop in world palm oil prices is not expected to slow illegal logging in Indonesia's rainforests as companies continue to expand plantations, according to a new report.

Between 1990 and 2010, Indonesia's palm oil plantations grew more than seven-fold to 7.8 million hectares, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said in the report released on Tuesday.

About half the new plantations used land once occupied by natural forests, making the palm oil industry the leading driver of deforestation in recent years.

Much of the land is cleared without the proper permits, and local authorities have failed to enforce laws protecting forests from clear-cutting for plantations, the report said.

"The most depressing thing is the degree to which the government allows these crimes to go unpunished," Jago Wadley, the EIA's senior forest campaigner, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read more at Indonesia Lax When Illegal Loggers Clear Forests for Palm Plantations

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