Friday, 7 August 2009

Letters: Clarification from WWF

Fri, 08/07/2009 1:56 PM | Opinion The Jakarta Post

I am writing in response to Alan Oxley's Aug. 3 article, which misrepresents WWF's position on forest and climate issues. Oxley is so opposed to conservation efforts that he can't see the forest for the trees.

WWF is not "anti-development" or opposed to responsible forestry practices. We work with forest industry partners around the world to foster sustainable production and procurement practices. Currently, in Indonesia alone, 38 companies are members of WWF's Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), which promotes sustainable production practices that provide economic and social benefits to businesses and people that depend on forests.

As a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), WWF also recognizes the important contribution of the palm oil industry to Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings and employment opportunities.

WWF is, however, opposed to reckless logging or indiscriminate clearing of forests to make way for plantations and the associated negative impacts on biodiversity, water sources and the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples.

We are also acutely aware that such destructive practices are the reason why deforestation accounts for roughly one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

WWF advocates a new global climate deal that creates incentives for forestry practices that prevent deforestation and sequester carbon. If the Republic of Indonesia can halt rampant deforestation, it could reap billions of dollars in overseas investment under such a deal.

Even the Government of Indonesia has recognized this opportunity by launching "Indonesia Menanam" tree planting initiative and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, through his official website ( has also called on the nation to halt deforestation, and said, "Forest resources and the environment are integral parts of economy, social and cultural development of Indonesia."

Ian Kosasih
Program Director
Forests, Freshwater and Species Program