Within 75 Years of Independence, Indonesia has lost more than 75 times the size of Yogyakarta Province of its forest.

Bogor, 17 August 2020. During 75 years of independence, Indonesia has changed its government regime seven times and at the same time has lost natural forests of more than 23 million hectares or the equivalent of 75 times the area of ​​Yogyakarta Province. At least that area of ​​forest loss is a figure recorded in FWI from 2000-2017. Since then, we have not been able to provide good forest governance. The condition of natural forests that continues to decrease and degrade is an accumulation of weak forest governance that continually happens from year to year. In the 2000-2009 period alone, Indonesia had lost 1.4 million ha of natural forest / year. In the next period (2009-2013) the area of ​​natural forest lost decreased to 1.1 million ha / year, but again increased in the 2013-2017 period to 1.4 million ha / year. This finding is certainly an alarm for the government, especially the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to be more serious in preventing damage to natural forests in Indonesia in order to maintain the survival of the Indonesian people.

Based on the results of the FWI study, in the 2013-2017 period the deforestation rate of natural forests in Indonesia was 5.7 million hectares with 2.8 million hectares within concessions and 2.9 million hectares outside concessions. This deforestation rate should be a trigger to further explore what causes deforestation in Indonesia. Is it due to illegal logging activities, the performance of concessions that has not been in line with efforts to prevent deforestation or is it part of the planned deforestation?

Instead, the government issued a different figure, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry stated that deforestation in Indonesia continued to decrease from year to year. Looking at official government data, in the same year period (2013-2017) the deforested forest in Indonesia was 2.7 million hectares. The difference regarding the definition of deforestation is alleged to be one of the reasons for the emergence of an unbalanced difference in numbers. “The current definition of deforestation can obscure the reality of the true natural forest loss, therefor, strong will needs to be re-enacted in the framework of saving Indonesia’s natural forests,” explained Mufti Barri, Campaign Manager of FWI.

Several instruments in an effort to reduce the rate of deforestation, such as Sustainable Production Forest Management (PHPL) certification and timber legality verification (VLK) have also failed to address the problem of deforestation in Indonesia. Although most of the concession licenses for timber utilization are certified, they still show that deforestation is occurring. Deforestation occurs in the certified concessions of IUPHHK-HA (HPH) and IUPHHK-HT (HTI), which are around 356 thousand hectares. In the IUP for oil palm plantations, with the ISPO (Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil) scheme it is not yet free from deforestation. FWI analysis shows that out of the 2.3 million hectares that have been ISPO certified there is still deforestation of around 52 thousand hectares. Deforestation in mining concessions is around 700 thousand hectares and deforestation in areas that overlap between HPH, HTI, plantations and mining is around 786 thousand hectares. Likewise, for deforestation outside concessions of around 2.9 million hectares, it is even unclear what causes it.

So that the solution offered to protect natural forests by the government through a forest and palm oil moratorium, emission reduction or protection for areas with high biodiversity value, or a sustainable certification system has not optimally solved the problem of deforestation in Indonesia. Regardless of whether all these policies are effective or not. Or it could be that the solution has not been able to cover all of the consequences of deforestation.

“The government needs to explore what were the direct or indirect causes along with the motives of the perpetrators of the damage, so that the problem can be understood properly and the solution to its offer becomes more precise. Identification and efforts to prevent deforestation must also be pushed to the site level, because in each site the complexity of the problems may very well be different from one another and the solutions can be very different. ” close the Mufti F. Barri (FWI Campaign Manager).


Editor’s Note:

  • FWI. 2020. Investigating Government Deforestation Figures http://fwi.or.id/menelisik-angka-deforestasi-pemerintah/
  • Literally, deforestation can be interpreted as forest loss. In Law No. 41/1999 on article one number two, “a forest is a unitary ecosystem in the form of a stretch of land containing biological natural resources, dominated by trees in their natural environment, which cannot be separated from one another.” Thus, defining a forest should not only mean it as a collection of trees, but also its role and function as one of the determinants of life support systems and even as a living space for all living things including humans.
  • The current definition used by the Indonesian government refers to Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry number 70 of 2017 concerning procedures for implementing reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, role of conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. In this regulation, deforestation is defined as the permanent change from forested area to non-forested area which is then divided into Gross Deforestation and Nett Deforestation.
  • Gross deforestation is the permanent change in natural forest cover without taking into account regrowth and / or establishment of tree plantations. Nett deforestation is the permanent change in forest cover, taking into account regrowth and / or establishment of forest plantations. And also defined about forest degradation as a decrease in the quantity of forest cover and carbon stock during a certain period.
  • The definition of deforestation used by the government is more intended as a basis for information in policies related to climate change issues. The carbon accounting mechanism implemented in defining forests and their changes directly reduces the existing definition in the Forestry Law. The indication is that the aggregate deforestation data shows a decrease, but other perspectives on the same data show that deforestation of natural forests in Indonesia has actually shown an increase.
  • The rate of deforestation of Indonesia’s forests in the period 1985-1998 was not less than 1.6 – 1.8 million hectares per year (Dephutbun, 2000). In 2000, the rate of deforestation increased to at least 2 million hectares per year (FWI / GFW, 2001). According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, during the Reformation Order to date, deforestation has continued to decline, in 2016-2017 it was at 0.48 million hectares.
  • Official data shows that in the 2013-2014 period deforestation fell to 0.4 million hectares per year after the previous period was at 0.73 million hectares per year. The deforestation rate then increased in the 2014-2015 period to 1.09 million hectares per year, then decreased to 0.63 million hectares per year in the 2015-2016 period and fell back to 0.48 million hectares per year in the 2016-2017 period.
  • The FWI analysis results show that deforestation in the 2013-2017 period is estimated to have reached approximately 5.7 million hectares or around 1.46 million hectares per year. This figure has increased from the average deforestation compared to the 2009-2013 period, which was 1.1 million hectares per year.
  • In the 2013-2017 period, there were 169 IUPHHK-HA & HT Sustainable Production Forest Management (PHPL) certificates, companies with 133 good scores, 35 companies with moderate scores and 4 bad companies with bad scores.
  • Deforestation in IUPHHK HA, HT, IUP of Palm Oil and Mining Concessions.
 The size of deforested area within Concessions (in hectares) 
IslandOverlaps between ConcessionsHPHHTIMining Permit Palm Oil PermitTotalDeforestation Outside Concessions
Bali Nusra7.0343.1538.59233.1794752.005332.005
Total Deforestation5.723.787

Contact For Interview:

Mufti Fathul Barri | FW Campaign Manager | muftiode@fwi.or.id | +62821-1067-7935

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Published: August 17, 2020
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