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Deforestation Continues at Alarming Rate in Papua

Deforestation Continues at Alarming Rate in Papua

Jayapura, 13 August, 2012 - Greenpeace Indonesia has noted that every year the rate of deforestation in Papua reaches as much as 300 thousand hectares. Severe deforestation is occurring in southern Papua, particularly areas packed with oil palm plantations.

"That’s what our research shows in 2009 and 2010. By now the destruction to the forests there may have worsened," said Charles Tawaru, coordinator of Greenpeace in Papua, Friday, August 10, 2012.

The mega project, Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE), and logging by forest concession holders contributes greatly to the increased deforestation of Papua, Charles said.

The list of demolition activities is staggering: MIFEE, 228,022 ha in Merauke and 45,000 ha in Sidey, Manokwari; PT Hendrison Iriana, 21,500 ha for palm plantation in Sorong regency (Klamono); PT Raja Wali Group/PT Tandan Sawita Papua, 18,337 ha in Kampung Yetti, Keroom Regency.

"The exploitation of the forest is becoming uncontrollable, exacerbated by government officials who lack wisdom or care for Papua,” said Tawaru.

Concern over the rate of deforestation has moved Greenpeace to hold a Cenderawasih Tour in November this year. "The purpose of our action it to call for the protection and preservation of Papua forests," he said.

The threat of deforestation already caught Greenpeace’s attention in 2008 with the clearing of the sago and mangrove (nipa fruticans) forests in the south of Jayapura and the illegal logging in the concession area belonging to PT Kaltim Hutama and PT Centricodi in Kaimana, West Papua.

Charles explains that, in 2005 and 2009, Papua still had 42 million ha of forests. Three years later, the number shriveled to 30.07 million ha. Government data states that the annual average of deforestation in Papua is 143,680 ha and 293 thousand ha or 25 percent in West Papua. "It’s my duty to save the forests of Papua, but without the support of the community, it’s nearly impossible to achieve it," he said.

ENDS

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