Friday, 19 February 2010

Letters: Palm oil plantations are not forests

Letters: Palm oil plantations are not forests

Fri, 02/19/2010 11:11 AM | Reader's Forum

Just when I thought the Indonesian government could no longer shock me in its attitude towards its own forests (the country’s very lifeblood) or in its contempt for its wildlife (quickly vanishing into oblivion) it goes right ahead and does so.

The very idea (no matter how purely theoretical) of reclassifying palm oil plantations as “forests” is so ludicrous, I would have assumed it was a joke if I hadn’t seen the Forestry Ministry endorsing it in black and white (‘palm oil estate is forest, says ministry”, the Post, Feb. 16, 2010).

This isn’t so that even more foreign aid can be pumped into an already bloated and corrupt system, is it?

Let me make it clear: Forests are ancient, natural, thriving and diverse ecosystems that contain multiple life forms, all cohabiting in synchronicity with each other.

Palm oil plantations are barren, desolate monocultures, man-made specifically to profit the multinational palm oil companies. Nothing could be more unlike a rainforest as virtually nothing can survive there.

Jeanie Elford