According to the report "the decision by the forestry ministry to reverse the ban signals a shortage of wood from forest plantation projects for the pulp and paper industry. Last year plantation companies apparently delayed new plantation projects and over-harvested existing plantations."
This is very bad news. There's no doubt that this move move will add further pressure on Indonesia's natural forests. Already, according to Greenpeace, Indonesia had the fastest pace of deforestation in the world between 2000-2005, with an area of forest equivalent to 300 soccer pitches destroyed every hour. One reason for these unbelievable rates of deforestation are the rapidly expanding palm oil plantations, partly driven by ambitious plans for biofuels.
Deforestation (and also the forest fires) is also one of the main reasons that Indonesia is among the world's top three greenhouse gas emitters, together with the US and China.
This decision also presents the campaign Indonesia initiated in November 2007 to plant 79 million trees in one single day (November 28, 2007) in a different light and brings questions regarding the government's direction. We can only hope that the Indonesian government will cancel this decision and find another way, more sustainable, to support its straggling economy.
Raz @ Eco-Libris