In the Media
Indonesia’s pulp and paper targets incompatible with green growth goals
August 10, 2012
Indonesia’s ambitious targets for boosting pulp and paper production to make it the world’s lowest-cost producer are at odds with its push for green economic growth should expansion proceed on its current business-as-usual path, said a forestry expert presenting at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) in Bonito, Brazil.
Christopher Barr, director of US-based non-profit Woods & Wayside International, said that while Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has made a series of “progressive” and “apparently sincere” statements on combating climate change, reducing deforestation, and developing sustainable forestry, strong forestry sector interests have effectively undermined Indonesia’s moratorium on new forest concessions, making it difficult to achieve the president’s “7/26″ plan for reducing emissions 26 percent from a projected 2020 baseline while maintaining 7 percent economic growth.
The environmental footprint of pulp and paper in Indonesia is also substantial. APP and APRIL are accused by scientists and green groups of destroying key habitat for endangered species, including Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers. Further, emissions from operations can dwarf the carbon sequestered by new plantations, calling into question whether Indonesia can meet both its greenhouse gas emissions targets and pulp and paper production goals, especially should expansion occur in peatlands and forest areas currently zoned for plantations.
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Keywords: APP, Asia, deforestation, green economy, Indonesia, plantation, pulp and paper