Saturday, 28 March 2009

Rainforests: Going, Going …………….. Almost Gone

Letter published in The Jakarta Globe 28th March 2009 in response to an article published a few days earlier regarding the impact of palm oil plantations on indigenous people.

Rainforests: Going, Going …………….. Almost Gone

Scarcely a day goes by without another negative media report concerning deforestation (illegal and otherwise) and palm oil plantations.

Forestry Minister Kaban is the man responsible for the expansion of both, and all credit to him; his enthusiastic efforts to ensure both are pursued with the utmost speed are having the catastrophic environmental and humanitarian effects presumably seemingly so desired of by his government.

Does anyone wonder how Kaban can sleep at night knowing as he does that millions of trees and animals have been destroyed during his reign as forestry minister? Indigenous people, no strangers themselves to suffering, are also being deprived of their rights by the very same logging and palm oil industries policed by the Ministry of Forestry.

What is the future for the children of Indonesia? Does no one in government give a damn about them? Will they ever see a rainforest, maybe an orangutan, even a tiger? Not if the Ministry of Forestry carries on doing what it has always done for the environment: destroyed it. It’s the stuff of nightmares unless you are a government minister, whose sleep is hardly likely to be troubled by such thoughts.

Sean Whyte
Chief Executive,
Nature Alert