Indonesia - Climate - Deforestation
A worker with his tools in tow along a canal in what used to be rainforest in Riau in Sumatra. The forest was illegally cut down and sold as wood pulp, and the peatland likely replanted as a palm oil plantation. The pulp and paper industry is one of the driving forces behind deforestation, along with acacia and oil palm plantations. The region is also a rich source for coal, and Indonesia is projected to export 300 million tonnes in 2015. The slash and burn together with the logging has made Indonesia the third worst emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and USA. The rain forest in Borneo and Sumatra, once a vital carbon sink, will largely dissappear within twenty years if today’s pace continues. According to a Greenpeace study from 2011, up to 88 percent of the logging activities are illegal.
Borneo and Sumatra are the habitats for the critically endangered Sumatra tiger (fewer than 400) and the Sumatra elephants (2400-2800), along with orangutans and Sumatra rhinos. These animals are likely to go extinct as the rainforest is wiped out.