[INCL English] Indonesian Nature Conservation newsLetter 9-41a
- Issue 9-41a, November 20th, 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. CALL: Be a foster parent for Indonesian Species!
2. SCHOLARSHIP: SUFONAMA- Masters Course in Sustainable Forest and
3. SCHOLARSHIP: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Research Fellowships
4. INTERNSHIP: Smithsonian Research Training Program
5. ARTICLE: Visit of Dutch Minister to Sebangau National Park
6. RELEASE: Center seeks protection for 56 vanishing birds and five
imperiled butterflies around the world
7. RELEASE: Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources
8. RELEASE: World Wildlife Fund hails new agreement to combat
ENGLISH PRESS CLIPPINGS
1. Biofuel promotion rolls on
2. Safari Park receives award
3. El Nino may spell trouble for Indonesian orangutans
4. Global warming could cause bird extinctions-WWF
5. Ministry to develop 500,000 hectares of small-holders` forests
6. The problem with Palm
7. Forests begin to revive as global devastation of trees is reversed
8. Fish found in Perak could be world's second smallest
9. Indonesia may seek rainforest conservation compensation to fight
10. Australia, Indonesia sign fishing deal
11. New records of pandanaceae found in Yapen island, Papua
12. Kehati gives awards for protecting biodiversity
13. It's hot, and getting hotter
14. Lack of land and incentives hamper biofuel investment
15. US, Indonesia sign pact to fight illegal logging
16. Sabah forests protected by world-standard guidelines
17. Orangutans displaced, killed by Indonesian forest fires
18. Orangutans back in just a few days
19. G-20 chiefs discuss climate change
20. Avian flu still threatens SE Asia
CALL: Be a foster parent for Indonesian Species!
Indonesia is known for its mega-biodiversity. It is estimated that
300,000 kinds of wild species or about 17 % of species in the world
live in Indonesia, although Indonesia ranks number 1 for its richness
in mammals (515 types of species) and is the habitat from about 1539
bird species and a total of 45 % of fish live in Indonesia.
Although rich in biodiversity, Indonesia is also known for a country
with a long list species, threatened with extinction. Currently, the
number of critically endangered species amounts to 147 types of
mammals, 114 types of birds, 28 types of reptiles, 91 types of fish
and 28 types of invertebrate (IUCN, 2003) due to poaching, trade and
illegally cared for in the last 2 decades. These species will be
extinct if we do not act to save them.
Animal rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC) is a non-profit and
non-governmental institution committed to Indonesian wildlife
conservation threatened from extinction.
The Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC) main activities,
also known as 3RE, consist of:
* Rescue, to protect species from poaching, trade and illegal care.
* Rehabilitation, to take care and train animals so they have the
capabilities to go back and survive in their original habitat.
* Release, to release the animals to their original habitat.
* Education, to increase social awareness on the importance of
Indonesian species and wildlife conservation.
At the 14 acres Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC), the
rare species that have been in some time live in humans hands undergo
`training' or rehabilitation so they can be returned to their natural
habitat. For one individual species, this process will take about 1-3
years depending on the capability of the individual species and the
willingness of its natural habitat in welcoming their presence back.
We call out to people to be aware and concerned about the conservation
of Indonesian wild species by becoming their "foster parent" for
Indonesian wildlife undergoing "school" in the Animal Rescue and
Rehabilitation Center. How?
* You are an individual or institution concerned about Wildlife
* Below, we present you the total maintenance cost per animal/month
* You may select the type and the amount of animals you would like
* Contact us via telephone or email to register
* You will receive a Foster Parent for Indonesian Wildlife Certificate
* You may send your sponsorship to Animal Rescue and
Rehabilitation Center Account No. 6721103-9, BNI UGM Yogyakarta
* a.n Sri Endang S / Ari Sukoco
* Your name / institution will be attached in the cages of the
individual species you sponsor.
* You have the right to receive monthly report on the animal's
condition; weekly news will be sent regularly to your email address.
* You have the right to visit and obtain information on your
Foster animal in the center.
* We would like to thank you for your concern on the Indonesian
* Contact us at:
Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC)
Desa Sendangsari, Pengasih, Kulonprogo, DIY
No. Telp. 0274 7493977 (office0
Mobile Phone: 08157101479 (Sugihartono)
Mobile Phone: 081328700581 (Panji Kusumah)
Below, we present you the total maintenance cost per animal/month:
No. Species Class Quantity Cost per species/month"
1. Prevost's Squirrel Mammalia 1 31,000
2. Kura-Kura Bajuku (Orlitia borneensis) Reptile 70 5,200
3. Malayan Sun Bear Mammalia 5 381,300
4. Pig-Tailed Monkey Mammalia 6 154,988
5. Binturong Mammalia 1 140,386
6. Estuarine Crocodile Reptile 27 153,000
7. Changeable hawk Eagle Aves 6 106,500
8. Black Eagle Aves 1 106,500
9. Fish Eagle Aves 1 81,220
10. Sea Eagle Aves 6 81,220
11. Crested Serpent Eagle Aves 7 106,500
12. Bali starling Aves 1 46,000
13. Wreathed hornbill Aves 1 88,000
14. Kacembang gadung (Irena puella) Aves 1 46,000
15. Sulphur Crested Cockatoo Aves 28 31,445
16. Palm Cockatoo Aves 2 31,445
17. Tanimbar Corella Aves 20 31,445
18. Kangkareng (Hornbill) Aves 2 88,000
19. Purple-naped lory Aves 1 31,445
20. Pecquat's Parrot Aves 1 31,445
21. Chattering Lory Aves 2 31,445
22. DoubleWattled Cassoary Aves 5 258,500
23 Long-tailed Macaque Mammalia 5 175,000
24. Barking Deer Mammalia 14 193,400
25. Slow Loris Mammalia 1 106,000
26. Kura kura leher ular (Chelodina novaeguineae) Reptile 1 5,200
27. Kuya batok (Cuora amboinensis) Reptile 253 5,200
28. Giant Fresh Water Turtle Reptile 3 5,200
29. Freshwater turtles (Carettochelys Insclupta) Reptile 0 5,200
30. Porcupine Mammalia 8 105,100
31. Silvered Leaf-Monkey Mammalia 4 175,000
32. Western Crown Pigeon Aves 4 52,000
33. Victoria Crown Pigeon Aves 3 52,000
34. Peacock Aves 19 56,000
35. Eclectus Parrot Aves 9 46,400
36. Gibbon Mammalia 11 185,000
37. Moluccan Red Lory Aves 2 46,400
38. Black Capped Lory Aves 31 46,400
39. Rainbow Lorikeet Aves 2 46,400
40. Sambar Deer Mammalia 5 193,500
41. Timor Deer Mammalia 6 193,500
42. Siamang Mammalia 26 181,500
43. Banded Leaf-monkey Mammalia 1 228,450
Total Population 603
"cost of food and medication in Rupiah
SCHOLARSHIP: SUFONAMA- Masters Course in Sustainable Forest and Nature
We propose an integrated two-year world-class Masters Course in
Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (SUFONAMA). The overall
objective is to provide a top-level programme that qualifies graduates
to deal with the huge challenges in Europe's pursuit of an evermore
sustainable management of her natural resources, namely, that the
management of forests and nature areas must be seen in an integrated
landscape context. To obtain the SUFONAMA double degree and the
Diploma Supplement, students have to acquire 120 ECTS credits by
studying at two Consortium institutions, acquiring at least 60 ECTS
credits at each. All SUFONAMA modular activities are completed in
English. Due to the one-year Course components, SUFONAMA encourages
its student body to engange in local language studies available at all
the partner institutions. The total students population is expected to
The Master Course is organized by a Consortium which involves five
1. The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Centre for
Forest, Landscape and Planning, Copenhagen, Denmark;
2. University of Wales, School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences,
Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom;
3. University of Goettingen, Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology,
4. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish
Forest Research Centre, Alnarp, Sweden;
5. University of Padova, College of Agriculture, Padova, Italy.
Coordinator - Prof. Niels Strange - Center for Forest, Landscape and
Planning - Copenhagen, Denmark - e-mail : nst@...
Form and requirements are available for download at:
SCHOLARSHIP: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Research Fellowships
Universiti Brunei Darussalm (UBD) offers a number of Research
Fellowships for research on Brunei subjects or on topics which are
related to or based on the needs of Brunei Darussalam. The
fellowships, tenable at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and open to
academics and researchers of recognized universities/research
institutions, are subject to the following terms and conditions:
1. Tenure of Fellowship
2. The Fellowship is normally tenable for one calendar year.
A monthly allowance is payable at the following rates:
* B$2,000 p.m. for a Fellow with an Honours degree
* B$2,500 p.m. for a Fellow with a Master's degree
* B$3,000 p.m. for a fellow with a Ph.D.
3. For the KBFSC Fellowship, only applicants with a Ph.D.
qualification will be considered. Accommodation
4. The University will endeavour to provide accommodation (shared
for a single Fellow) for which a monthly rental not exceeding B$120
will be charged. Medical Care
5. Medical and dental treatment at the General Hospital will be
made available for the Fellow, the spouse and dependent children not
exceeding 18 years of age, if accompanying the Fellow. Return Air
6. For overseas candidates, return air passages by the most
economical and most direct route for the Fellow will be provided.
Return air passages will also be provided for the spouse if the
approved initial period of the Fellowship is 12 months. Office, Bench
Space and Other Facilities
7. Office and laboratory facilities at UBD, and Library and
computer facilities, where applicable, will be provided. Reciprocal
8. The Fellow will be required to participate and assist in the
academic activities of the Faculty/Department to which he/she is
attached, e.g.teaching, helping to supervise higher degree students,
participating in Faculty/departmental seminars, etc. Use of Research
9. The Fellow is required to make available his/her research
findings for use by UBD and the Brunei Government. Publications and
10. UBD and specific Faculty or Department must be acknowledged in
the publications of the Fellow. Copies of any report, article,
dissertation or thesis resulting from the research carried out in
Brunei Darussalam must be submitted for deposit in the UBD Library and
the Brunei Museum. An interim report must be submitted to the
University before the Fellow leaves Brunei. Areas of Research
11. Research proposals may be submitted to be undertaken in any of
the following University Departments:
* Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Economics, English
Language & Applied Linguistics, Geography, History, Malay Language &
Linguistics and Malay Literature.
* Faculty of Education: Arts and Social Sciences Education,
Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology, In-service Education,
Language Education, Science and Mathematics Education, Early Childhood
* Faculty of Islamic Studies: Syariah, Usuluddin and Dakwah,
Arabik Language and Islamic Civilisation.
* Faculty of Management and Administrative Studies:
Management Studies, Public Policy and Administration.
* Faculty of Science: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and
* Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre, Biodiversity, Ecology
and Forest Dynamics
* Academy of Brunei Studies
12. Application Forms
Application forms (Research Fellowships) are available from:
Registrar and Secretary
Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Bandar Seri Begawan, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Telephone: + 246 3001 Extension 1269
Fax: + 246 1003
For the KBFSC Fellowship, application form can be obtained
The Director, Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre,
Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
Tungku Link Road, Bandar Seri Begawan BE 1410, Brunei Darussalam
Telephone: + 673 246 3001 Extension 1377
Fax: + 673 246 3068
E.mail address: kamsalim@...
All applications for any of the Fellowships above must be
accompanied by a brief CV and a complete research project proposal,
and need to be submitted to the Registrar. Those applying for the
KBFSC Fellowship, the completed form with CV and research project
proposal can be submitted directly to the Director.
1. Closing Date
The closing date for receipt of applications for the Kuala
Belalong Field Studies Centre will be on 31st December 2006. For other
Faculties, please contact the Registrar for the closing dates.
ONLY SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES WILL BE NOTIFIED
Eds. Thanks to Cam Webb for forwarding it.
INTERNSHIP: Smithsonian Research Training Program
28 May 2007 - 6 August 2007
Application Deadline: 1 February 2007
The Research Training Program is a museum-based, in-residence program
exclusively for currently enrolled, English proficient, college-level
undergraduate students interested in a career in the biological,
geological or anthropological sciences. Through a competitive review
process approximately 20 outstanding students from around the world
are selected each year to participate. Students partner with a
Smithsonian scientist to investigate a natural history research topic
as well as participate in a series of lectures, workshops,
demonstrations, behind-the-scenes tours, and field trips that focused
on exploring natural history science and developing the skills
necessary to become effective researchers. Students, in collaboration
with their Smithsonian research advisor, develop and test a scientific
hypothesis and communicate the results through written manuscripts
plus oral and poster presentations. Research is conducted in-residence
at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington,
DC utilizing the vast research facilities and collection of the Museum
including 127 million natural history specimens.
Comments RTP '06 participant Sheena Ketchum: "The RTP lectures and
tours provided me with a completely rounded and hands-on natural
history education that is impossible to obtain anywhere else. Only
here, and only through the RTP, over a course of ten weeks, could I
have held a stone hand axe from Olduvai Gorge, touched a Mars
meteorite, examined a 8,000 year-old skeleton from North America,
played with a Clovis Point, worn a giant sapphire ring, held an
atlatl, seen a coelacanth, picked up a piece of the world's mantle,
seen specimens collected by historical figures such as: Theodore
Roosevelt and Charles Darwin, had *of a pound of gold thrown at me,
ran my finger along the KT Boundary, smelled fossilized dung, seen the
"Soap Man" and other mummies, examined Hopewellian beads made out of a
meteorite, touched pieces of the Burgess Shale, seen countless type
specimens, viewed the shrunken heads of the Jivaro, held a 4.56
billion-year-old meteorite, visited the rare books collection, seen a
giant squid, experienced "museum time" first hand, as well as
countless other experiences."
Participants are provided stipend ($3,000), plus housing and travel.
Detailed information and application materials are available
electronically at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/
For more information, contact:
Director, Research Training Program
Head, Office of Academic Services
web: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/ and
10th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 106 NHB, Room 59A
National Museum of Natural History
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Eds. Thanks to Cam Webb for forwarding it.
ARTICLE: Visit of Dutch Minister to Sebangau National Park
WWF Indonesia - November 20, 2006
On October 10th, 2006 Dutch Minister of International Development Mrs.
Agnes van Ardenne together with Indonesia Minister of Environment
visited Sebangau NP.
Boat tour to Sebangau in the middle of hazy and unhealth weather due
to land and forest fire was part of activity series Minister van
Ardenne in relation with her country contribution in financing project
of restoration and management of peatland in Central Kalimantan. This
project is called Central Kalimantan Peatland Project (CKPP) and
executed by six project executors united in one consortium i.e.
WWF-Indonesia, BOS-Mawas Program, Wetlands International Indonesia
Program, Care International Indonesia and Palangka Raya University.
Joining in the ministers also CEO of WWF-Indonesia Dr. Mubariq Ahmad,
the team left Kereng Bangkirai Port in the afternoon and after
spending around 25 minutes the groups stopped by a site near Sebangau
River where community canal blocking was on-going. Minister van
Ardenne in enthusiastic way saw people were filling in small dam with
soilsacks. She were able to speak with several dambuilders who are
local people and also owner of the small canal.
About 15 minutes later, the groups left for research station of
WWF-Indonesia, still near the Sebangau River. It takes almost 20
minutes from the previous location. The station is located near one of
the biggest canals in the park. This canal is recognized as Canal SSI,
its former consession company Sanintra Sebangau Indah (SSI). This
canal reaches 24 km long to the depth of Sebangau forest.
It was dry season that canal usually get severely dried and therefore
boat could not move further inside from the mouth of canal. It took 5
minutes by foot to get the station and see photo presentation panel
inside to get good picture of what WWF has done in the Sebangau NP.
Canal SSI in Sebangau NP is a representative location to show
comprehensive condition of the park. Here visitors will be able to see
various aspects of the park, from peat land degradation, bad and good
forests, and the current rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation
Still in the same location Minister van Ardenne and Minister Witoelar
then walked further to 150 meters and saw dam, degraded areas,
seedling site and replanted areas. Collaboration embryo is
demonstrated here as WWF and government of Pulang Pisau District have
together established the rehabilitation activity in the location. WWF
built dams on the canal to increase the water level and soil humidity
while district government replanted the open areas, at left and right
side by the canal. More than 300.000 seeds of valuable trees like
Jelutung (Dyera lowii) dan Blangiran (Shorea blangeran) were provided
to regreen 400 Ha of the barren forest.
Before leaving the research station, Minister Agnes van Ardenne,
Minister Rachmat Witoelar and CEO WWF-Indonesia Mubariq Ahmad planted
In her visit Minister Ardenne and Minister Witoelar expressed their
concern on forest fire and haze disaster happening in Sebangau NP but
at the same time appreciated concrete efforts by all parties to avoid
and to mitigate environmental damage happens in the park. " I'm glad
that Sebangau has become national park. I saw the water level there is
very low and highly appreciated hard works conducted to handle this
situation," said Minister Ardenne. (English Program Afternoon Tea,
TVRI Kalteng, Sunday October 15, 2006). Futhermore the minister said
that her country will continue to support rehabilitation and
sustainable management of peat land in Central Kalimantan. While
Minister Witoelar emphasized that Indonesia richness in nature is to
be conserved including its peat land areas.
In the group came too representatives of Wetlands International Head
Quarter, Wetlands International Indonesia Program and BOS-Mawas
Program. Beside the visit to Sebangau NP, ministers were able to see
in-location fire fighting demonstration by Village Fire Brigade by
people of Tumbang Nusa Village, Pulang Pisau District. This fire
brigade is established and facilitated by CKPP.
FIRE IS BURNING THE SEBANGAU NATIONAL PARK
By end of September 2006 fire unevitably reached the forests of
Sebangau NP both from Sebangau River at the east and Katingan River at
the west side. Fire moved in sporadic way diminishing dried vegetation
at the brink of river. In dry season bushes and small trees are easy
to get burn when fire emerged. Many ex, old and abandoned timber
sawmills were victims of fire too, this happened particularly at
Katingan River. Until today, predicted more than 60 hectares burning
areas in Sebangau NP.
The most severe fire occured around location at left and right sides
of road development in Katingan District that penetrates the Sebangau
NP. Fire even cut the road and separated the road body between the
finished and semi-finished parts at KM 6. Big fire had scraped the
peat land areas while strong haze reducing the visibility to only
20-50 meters ahead. To make it worse, trees lost the roots and falling
down to the land. Some even blocking the road. This has been long
predicted by WWF that this road will cause heavy drought in dry season
and will be burnt anyhow. WWF has been striving for cancellation to
further road development entering thick peatland. Fire wiped out not
only forests but its living creatures as it is home to many plants and
animals. Mammals like long tail macaque and Borneo proboscis monkeys
were spotted as they were trying to escape from fires.
Fact: peat land >= 3 meters deep is only to be conserved. Any
intervention on it will destruct the ecological system nearby.
Efforts to ease the fire mostly conducted by Fire Brigades of local
office of Forestry Department (Nature Conservation Office in Central
Kalimantan/BKSDA). Team are supported by Mendawai Village Fire Brigade
(established by CKPP). WWF and CKPP financed the operational cost for
fire fighting activity in Sebangau NP. Unfortunately the burning areas
is too large that equipments and personnels became uneffective to cope
with the fire. Fire now spreads under surface causing difficulty for
fire fighters to penetrate the burning areas. According to the member
of Mendawai Village Fire Brigade, green and dense forests near the
hill have been dissapeared by fire.
Overall BKSDA has mobilized four groups of fire brigade, each with 15
field staff to Sebangau NP. Efforts by those brigades were blockade
unburnt forest area, pouring water over or by injecting water into
under part of burning area.
CANAL BLOCKING IN SEBANGAU NATIONAL PARK
One threat Sebangau dealing with is canal. One of WWF activities to
overcome this matter is blocking the canal. Peat lands were dug to
create network tranportation connecting forest and rivers both small
and big ones. This human-made canal is threatening natural resources
and peat land ecosystem. To avoid more destructive impact to peat
land, canal has to be blocked in order to increase water level and
humidity that finally keep the soil moist and not easily get burn
especially in dry season.
Canal blocking in Sebangau NP is categorized into two terms: big canal
and small canal (usually belong to individual or small group
ownership). There are 17 canals underwent blocking activities and 16
of them are small size canals. Big canal namely Canal SSI has 4 dams
firmly installed, while the small size has one dam put on the mouth of
the respective canal. All of current canals are those located near
Sebangau River. Particularly for community canals, prior to the
execution of blocking activity, WWF team met the owners and
disseminated information on the importance of canal blocking to avoid
land and forest fire in peat land areas. By approval from the
"owners", canal blocking is able to be conducted. Today WWF has built
20 dams in 17 canals.
Canal blocking is measured to be effective. This indicates by fact
that no fire happens in areas on left and right sides of canal SSI in
year 2006, as it did in previous years. Though fire was unavoidable at
other locations near the bank of Sebangau River. Blocking of canal SSI
has increased water level and soil humidity that plants are able to
grow and get dense even in dry months currently.
Canal blocking method implemented in the Sebangau NP is adoption of
local tradition called 'tabat'. In dry season Dayak people usually
block small branch of streamwater in order to increase the water level
so their wooden canoe can pass across. This tradition is then adopted
to repair the degraded peatland suffering extra drought in every dry
season. WWF has identified more canals to block in the west side of
Sebangau NP, from Katingan River. Community Forums will be involved in
BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PEAT LAND
Years back Sebangau was a timber empire, hundreds of sawmill along the
rivers pulling out the trees from forest. Forest fire degraded the
quality of nature. Just before being national park, no significant
efforts taken to heal the land. Now about 40% of Sebangau NP is
degraded land. While land rehabilitation in Sebangau is on the way,
emerged an effort to build road on thick peat land and penetrating the
protected forest. To open isolation in Katingan District, now 20 km
out of 114.8 km has realized by local government.
Advocation to stop further development of the road on peat land still
continue until today. WWF have predicted that fire will eventually
occur in areas nearby when dry season come. It is now tried-and-true.
Tremendous fire perished forest toward a hill inside. No more
beautiful and green forest and valuable trees lost. Fire fighters lost
their power over fire. Don't count lost of biodiversity, flora and
fauna living inside.
There is a point where conservation and development are met. But not
in here where road lies on peat land toward Palangka Raya Municipal.
Not in here where not even one village exists. And not in here where
the forest holds valuable trees if only it were not a protected area.
In the middle of the enduring haze and fire, in a formal meeting held
on November 8, 2006 Government of Katingan District finally declared
the road development to fully halted, no further construction will be
executed and redirected route to another road alternative traversing
villages following the river path to Kasongan, the capital city of
Katingan District. The cost of is astronomical, it costs more than 2
trillions rupiahs and about 80% of overall construction were ordained
to form fly-over bridges. Not to mention ecological loss occurs every
dry season when fire unevitably happens. Now Sebangau NP is quite
safe. Let's hope this endures forever.
For more information:
Nancy Ariaini (Ochie)
WWF-Indonesia Central Kalimantan
RELEASE: Center seeks protection for 56 vanishing birds and five
imperiled butterflies around the world
Center for Biological Diversity - November 16, 2006
Lawsuit Challenges Unreasonable Delays in Endangered Species
Protection for Imperiled Species, Including Okinawa Woodpecker
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a lawsuit in federal
court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for failing
to provide protection for scores of the world's most imperiled bird
species, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
The species include the rare Okinawa Woodpecker in Japan and 55 other
vanishing birds from around the globe. Also at issue is protection for
five of the world's rarest and most beautiful butterfly species.
At least 11 additional bird species not included in the lawsuit have
already gone extinct due to long delays in protecting them, according
to Peter Galvin, Conservation Director with the Center.
Other bird species in the suit include the Giant Ibis (Laos/Cambodia),
Blue-throated Macaw (Bolivia), Black Stilt (New Zealand), Caerulean
Paradise-flycatcher (Indonesia) and Slender-billed Curlew (Russia,
Europe and North Africa). The butterflies include the Harris' Mimic
Swallowtail (Brazil) and Kaiser-I-Hind butterfly (Nepal/China).
The USFWS first determined that protection is warranted under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) more than two decades ago for many of
these species. Two dozen of the bird species have been waiting for
final action since 1984, and 27 have been waiting since 1994. It has
been more than a decade since the USFWS received a petition to list
the foreign butterflies. Despite clear evidence that these species are
imperiled and despite 11 bird species going extinct while waiting to
be added to the threatened or endangered list the agency has
unconscionably continued to delay federal protection for the remaining
species, illegally designating them as "warranted but precluded" from
protection under the Act.
"The U.S. has a responsibility to help protect these magnificent birds
for future generations," says Galvin. "We can limit trade in these
vanishing species, and better assist with conservation and recovery
efforts if they are listed under the Endangered Species Act."
ESA listing for foreign endangered species further restricts buying
and selling imperiled wildlife, can increase conservation funding and
attention, and brings a higher level of scrutiny to projects proposed
by the U.S. government and multilateral lending agencies such as the
Endangered Species Act protection is particularly relevant for the
Okinawa Woodpecker (Sapheopipo noguchii), due to ongoing destruction
of its forest habitat. A small number of woodpeckers remain in
undisturbed subtropical forests in the northern mountainous region of
the island of Okinawa, Japan. A major threat to woodpecker habitat is
a joint U.S. and Japanese military proposal to construct additional
helicopter training landing areas, including roads and infrastructure.
"The Okinawa Woodpecker is an international treasure as well as an
ecological and cultural icon for Okinawans," says Galvin.
The USFWS has delayed publishing proposed listing rules for six of the
birds, although it determined in May 2004 that they warrant listing.
The species are the Giant Ibis (Laos, Cambodia), Black Stilt (New
Zealand), Gurney's Pitta (Myanmar/Burma, Thailand), Socorro
Mockingbird (Mexico), Caerulean Paradise-flycatcher (Sulawesi,
Indonesia), and Long-legged Thicketbird (Fiji).
The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in 2003 against the
USFWS for unreasonable delays in responding to Endangered Species Act
listing petitions submitted in 1980 and 1991 for 73 foreign birds.
That case forced the agency to issue a long-overdue finding in 2004
that 51 of the birds warrant ESA listing, but the agency now claims
listing is "precluded" by higher-priority listing actions promising
to list only six of the most endangered bird species. The USFWS also
determined in 2004 that the five butterfly species are "warranted but
Under the Endangered Species Act, the USFWS may issue a "warranted but
precluded" finding on a species that would otherwise merit protection,
as long as the agency demonstrates that it is making expeditious
progress to list other species. In this case, it has not. The Bush
administration has listed fewer species under the ESA than any other
administration since the law was enacted in 1973, to date only listing
56 species compared to 512 under Clinton and 234 under Bush Sr.
While awaiting ESA protection, several of the bird species are
suffering harm from trapping and trade (primarily for sale as pets),
such as the Uvea Parakeet (New Caledonia), Salmon-crested Cockatoo
(Indonesia) and Blue-throated Macaw (Bolivia). The macaw likely only
numbers between 75 and 150 individual birds in the wild. The cockatoo
and macaw are supposed to be protected by the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but this treaty has
weaker enforcement provisions than the ESA.
The Okinawa Woodpecker lives only in Yanbaru, a small ecologically
unique area of forested woodlands in northern Okinawa. The
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
and Japan's Ministry of Environment have designated the woodpecker a
"critically endangered" species because it is a single, tiny and
declining population. The woodpecker is the prefectural bird of
Okinawa and designated a "national natural monument."
The Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) is one of the most
critically imperiled bird species in the world. Once commonly sighted
along its migration route from Europe to Africa, only two curlews have
been seen since 1997 and it has been more than 85 years since a human
last saw a curlew nest. The curlew's wintering marsh habitat in the
Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and North Africa is being rapidly
destroyed, and the current world population may be a mere 50-270 birds.
More information about the bird and butterfly species, the lawsuit,
and the Okinawa Woodpecker is available on the Center's web site.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national non-profit
conservation organization with more than 25,000 members dedicated to
protecting endangered species and their habitat.
Peter Galvin, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 986-7805
Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185
RELEASE: Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources
PressZoom - November 16, 2006
An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from
deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for
the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more
sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.
An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from
deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for
the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more
sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.
The novel approach looks beyond simply how much of a nation's area is
covered by trees and considers the volume of timber, biomass, and
captured carbon within the area. It produces an encouraging picture of
Earth's forest situation and may change the way governments size up
their woodland resources in future.
Devised by six distinguished international academic and
non-governmental experts in forestry science and economics, the
"Forest Identity" considers both area and the density of trees per
hectare to determine the volume of a country's "growing stock": trees
large enough to be considered timber. The formula also quantifies the
biomass and atmospheric carbon stored in world forests and will help
track those forest characteristics over time.
Applying the formula to UN-collected data released last year, the
researchers find that, amid widespread concerns about deforestation,
growing stock has in fact expanded over the past 15 years in 22 of the
world's 50 countries with most forest. In countries where per capita
Gross Domestic Product exceeds US $4,600 ( roughly equal to the GDP of
Chile ), richer is greener. In about half of the most forested
countries biomass and carbon also expanded. Earlier work showed that
by the 1980s wooded areas in all major temperate and boreal forests
Forest area and biomass are still being lost in such important
countries as Brazil and Indonesia but an increasing number of nations
show gains. The forests of Earth's two most populated nations no
longer increase atmospheric carbon concentration: China's forests are
expanding; India's have reached equilibrium changes due in large
part to urban migration, agricultural yield increases and
The paper, peer-reviewed by the US journal Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences, was created by six experts from diverse academic
disciplines ( forestry, environmental technology, ecology, geography,
resource economics, and agronomy ) in China, Finland, Scotland, and
the USA who, following independent lines of thinking, came to agree
that forest transition on a major scale is underway and have now
collectively demonstrated it.
The new way of measuring forests reflects the comprehensiveness of new
FAO studies, a new consistency of measurement protocols and reliable
ways of translating area, volume, and tons across countries.
Among the 50 nations studied, forest area in percentage terms shrank
fastest from 1990 to 2005 in Nigeria and the Philippines, and expanded
fastest in Viet Nam, Spain and China.
Growing stock fell fastest in Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines,
and increased fastest in the Ukraine and Spain.
In absolute terms, Indonesia and Brazil experienced the greatest
losses of both forested square kilometers and cubic meters of growing
stock; China and the USA achieved the greatest gains.
"The Forest Identity separates nations into classes of expanding and
shrinking forest that clarify the causes of changing forest expanse,
timber, biomass, and carbon," says lead author, Pekka E. Kauppi of the
University of Helsinki, Finland. The co-authors are Jesse H. Ausubel,
Rockefeller University, USA; Jingyun Fang, Peking University, Beijing,
China; Alexander Mather, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Roger A.
Sedjo, Resources for the Future, USA; and Paul E. Waggoner, The
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, USA.
Says Mr. Ausubel, an environmental scientist: "Earth suffered an
epidemic of deforestation. Now humans may help spread an epidemic of
Changes in growing stock, 1990 to 2005
Using data from the Global Forest Resources Assessment of 2005,
published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the researchers
plot on a graph the shift from 1990 to 2005 in the forest density and
area of 50 countries to reveal the change in their respective growing
The authors say Japan's forest cover area is virtually unchanged since
World War II ( 22.2 million hectares in 1947 vs. 23.7 million hectares
today ). However the density of its forests has risen, producing an
average 1.6% annual increase in the volume of growing stock.
"China has experienced falling forest density in many parts of the
country since 1949, but its area of forested land has steadily risen,"
notes ecologist Dr. Fang of Beijing. "The net result: an increase in
China's growing stock, biomass, and carbon sequestration."
The graph shows Indonesia down roughly 2% per year in forested area
and down 4% in density. At the other end of the spectrum is Spain,
which increased its forested area by 2% per year and its density by
With one exception, the growing stock grew from 1990 to 2005 in the 50
most forested nations with more than about $4,600 GDP per capita. In
the exception, Canada improbably reported identical area and growing
stock in 1990 and 2005.
Evidently, prosperity and measures such as good governance that raise
income need not shrink forests, according to the paper.
While forest density data are relatively new, forest area data
spanning 200 years show several places worldwide have shifted from net
deforestation to net reforestation the "forest transition."
"Forest transitions," says geographer and historian Dr. Mather, who
coined the term, "occurred between 1810 and 1930 from the lowlands of
Denmark to the mountains of Switzerland, and from the highlands of
Scotland to Russia."
In France, where forest cover over time is especially well-documented,
forest area expanded by one-third after that nation's transition circa
1830 until 1960 and by a further 25% from 1960 to 2005.
In the USA, meanwhile, the forests of industrial and urbanized
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois have expanded by more
than half since their respective transitions in the 1800s. In
Connecticut, where the first USA transition occurred, forests covered
about 30% of the state in 1860 and 60% in 2002.
While forest resources are stable or increasing in countries where per
capita GDP exceeds US $4,600, the results in India and China ( both of
which fall short of this income level ) show the importance and impact
of government policies.
In China, reforestation and afforestation efforts have led to an
increase in forest area from 96 million to 143 million hectares from
the late 1970s to the early 2000s.
Other Asian countries that have made the transition include South
Korea and Viet Nam. Taken as a whole, the Asian continent recently
experienced forest transition, having lost 792,000 hectares of forest
between 1990 and 2000 but gaining just over 1 million hectares between
2000 and 2005.
The authors foresee still more nations achieving forest transitions
within three decades.
Forest transition at a global level
When forest transition occurs at a global level depends largely on
Brazil and Indonesia, where huge areas of tropical forests are rapidly
being cut and cleared. Encouragingly, in many other tropical areas
forests are re-growing. Studies in Central America show tree cover in
El Salvador grew by about one-fifth from 1992 to 2001. Forests are
also recovering fast in the Dominican Republic, in harsh contrast to
deforested Haiti on the same Caribbean island.
Says Dr. Kauppi: "The main obstacles to forest transition are
fast-growing poor populations who burn wood to cook, sell it for quick
cash, and clear forest for crops. Harvesting biomass for fuel also
forestalls the restoration of land to nature. Through paper recycling
and a growing reliance on electronic communication, people help the
transition by lessening demand for wood products."
Anticipating impacts of expanding global trade
The authors note that it's possible to sustain a large commercial
harvest and expand "growing stock" at the same time.
Says economist Dr. Sedjo: "The USA gained growing stock during 1990 to
2005 while harvesting much round wood and some fuel. China did
likewise. On the other hand, Indonesia and Brazil lost much growing
stock without harvesting as much timber as either the USA or China."
The authors also predict the share of industrial wood production in
forest plantations will grow from an estimated one-third today to half
by 2025 and three-quarters by 2050.
"Plantations and the trade to make them effective reduce the impact of
industrial pressures on the expanse of natural forests, which may be
rich in soil carbon and biodiversity," adds Dr. Sedjo.
Implications for climate change
In addition to the measurement of forest area and growing stock, the
researchers offer a formula to calculate atmospheric carbon being
stored incrementally in the trees of a given area, knowledge critical
for mitigating climate change.
Says Dr. Waggoner: "A rapid forest transition at a global scale would
mean that atmospheric CO2 might not rise as fast as many fear."
As well, forest transitions are good news for wildlife like tigers and
moose whose forest habitat has been decimated by human activity.
Earlier research showed farmers have so successfully learned to
extract more crop from a given area that land needed for agriculture
is shrinking, even as people become more numerous and eat better. In
many countries forests have begun to enlarge, as farmers spare land
and foresters also shift from extensive to intensive strategies.
Says Mr. Ausubel: "This great reversal in land use could stop the
styling of a Skinhead Earth and begin a great restoration of the
landscape by 2050, expanding the global forest by 10 percent about
300 million hectares, the area of India."
"Without depopulation or impoverishment, increasing numbers of
countries are experiencing transitions in forest area and density,"
adds Dr. Kauppi. "While complacency would be misplaced, our insights
provide grounds for optimism about the prospects for returning forests."
Project leader, Professor Pekka Kauppi
tel: +358 9 191 58300, mobile: +358 40 760 5072
Co-authors Pekka E. Kauppi ( Helsinki, Finland ), Jesse H. Ausubel (
New York, USA ), Jingyun Fang ( Beijing, China ), Alexander Mather (
Aberdeen, Scotland ), Roger A. Sedjo ( Washington DC, USA ), and Paul
E. Waggoner ( New Haven, CT, USA.
RELEASE: World Wildlife Fund hails new agreement to combat illegal logging
U.S. Newswire - November 20, 2006
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today applauded a new agreement between the
governments of the United States and Indonesia that will fight illegal
logging in the Southeast Asian country, home to some of the most
biologically diverse forests in the world. The two nations have
expanded their collaboration to exchange vital information on the
trade in illegally-harvested forest products and cooperate on law
enforcement. The U.S. also announced that it has devoted $1 million to
"This agreement represents a promising step towards preventing illegal
logging, protecting endangered species and habitats throughout
Indonesia and securing markets for legally-grown Indonesian wood and
wood products," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World
According to a report from EIA, the U.S. directly imports over $700
million in timber and wood products from Indonesia, where up to 80
percent of logs are illegally cut. Over $1 billion in losses are
incurred each year by the U.S. timber industry due to illegal logging
"WWF is eager to support the U.S. and Indonesian governments in this
promising initiative because it complements much of our ongoing work
to prevent illegal logging and enhance trade in sustainable forest
products," said Roberts. "Through our extensive field projects and our
comprehensive efforts to positively impact policy and trade affecting
the tropical forests of Indonesia, WWF is well-placed to help ensure
that this initiative succeeds."
On a global basis, the more than 300 companies participating in WWF's
Global Forest & Trade Network have brought about 77,000 square miles
of forest toward responsible management including forests in Indonesa.
As an important component of its long-term conservation strategies,
WWF is working diligently to expand responsible forest management on
the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
Globally, about 306,000 square miles of forestland -- 40,000 square
miles bigger than Texas -- are devoted to sustainable management
practices with about 25 percent of this area contributed by WWF
programs. From 2005 to 2006, the trade in sustainably-harvested wood
products has grown from $14 million dollars to $65.6 million.
Tom Lalley of the World Wildlife Fund, 202-778-9544, or
World Wildlife Fund is the largest conservation organization in the
world. For 45 years, WWF has worked to save endangered species,
protect endangered habitats and address global threats such as
deforestation, overfishing and climate change. Known worldwide by its
panda logo, WWF works in 100 countries on more than 2,000 conservation
programs. WWF has 1.2 million members in the United States and nearly
5 million supporters worldwide. For more information on WWF, visit
Biofuel promotion rolls on
Source: The Jakarta Post - November 13, 2006
The country's latest green car roadshow, held Sunday, took 75 vehicles
from Jakarta to Bandung and back. The event, sponsored by the Agency
for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) involved
several car enthusiast groups, including the local Renault and Toyota
Kijang clubs. It was hoped that the drive would demonstrate that 5
percent biofuel was not damaging to motor engines, although cars
taking part in the roadshow did not have to be equipped with fuel
The convoy arrived at the Bandung Institute of Technology at noon to
receive a biofuel presentation given by the university's researchers
and the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society, which co-sponsored the event.
Owners of the cars were given green stickers to place on their doors,
showing their participation in the roadshow, which was also held to
promote the 2006 National Energy Policy Presidential Decree and the
government's clean air campaign.
Engines running on biodiesel blends perform almost identically to
those using regular fuel and produce less pollution, renewable energy
technology researcher Herliyani Suharta told The Jakarta Post.
"Besides car performance and creating a better environment, Indonesia
must anticipate the depletion of fossil fuel resources and rising fuel
prices by developing and consuming biofuel," Herliyani said.
Vehicles with solar engines use biodiesel and those consuming premium
gasoline use bioethanol. Both biofuels use a mix of 5 percent
processed plant oils and 95 percent conventional premium or diesel
fuel. Many recent car models can use 5 percent biofuel, made mainly
from palm oil, with no complications.
The director of the Indonesia Palm Oil Research Institute, Witjaksana
Darmosarkoro, said other sources of biofuels, such as jatropha oil,
still needed to go through a long development process before they
could be used as a form of alternative energy.
State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has begun selling palm
oil-based biodiesel blends at most of its gas stations across Jakarta,
showing that biodiesel is ready for large-scale sales. Currently,
Pertamina sells the B-5 biodiesel blend at 178 of its 182 Jakarta gas
stations. Biofuel is sold at the same price as regular petrol to make
the alternative energy source more attractive to customers.
Outside of Jakarta, B-5 is only available at one Pertamina gas station
in Malang, East Java. One problem facing the future of biofuel in the
country is whether the government is willing to use a large number of
plant resources to produce it. Palm oil can also be used to make soap,
cooking oil and pharmaceutical goods. (03)
Safari Park receives award
Source: The Jakarta Post - November 13, 2006
Safari Park in Cisarua, Bogor, received an award recently from
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for its contribution to wildlife
preservation. The park has helped to conserve several endangered
species such as Sumatran elephants, Javanese bulls (Bos javanicus),
and the Balinese starling.
"It is a good example of a private institution that also has the
concern to preserve wildlife," State Minister for the Environment
Rachmat Witoelar was quoted by Antara as saying Sunday.
The park was established by conservationist Tony Sumampau. The only
other safari park in Indonesia is located in Prigen, East Java. -- JP
El Nino may spell trouble for Indonesian orangutans
Source: Reuters November 13, 2006
By Achmad Sukarsono, Jakarta
Indonesia's orangutan population, under threat from smog-producing
forest fires this year, could be in graver danger in 2007 when dry El
Nino conditions are expected to intensify in the region, an ecologist
said on Monday. About 1,000 orangutans are estimated to have died in
Indonesia during the dry season this year in which raging forest fires
produced thick smoke across huge areas of Southeast Asia.
Willie Smits, founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation,
said if intentional burning of forest was not prevented, Indonesia
would face a terrible haze season next year.
"If we are looking at an El Nino which has a cooling in the Indian
Ocean and a warming up in the Pacific Ocean, these are exactly the
conditions that occurred in 1982-83 and 1997-98. Those were the two
worst El Nino disasters. Next year we could look at a new world
record," he said. "Having a rainy season is not going to solve it. We
could look at new problems as early as April next year," he said. "If
these orangutans are to survive, we better deal with the fire
situation in the coming years."
The annual fires are often deliberately lit by timber and palm oil
plantation firms or farmers in Borneo and Indonesia's Sumatra island
to clear land for cultivation, many of them in the same forests where
the orangutans live.
The worst fires in recent years occurred in 1997-98 during an intense
El Nino that caused drought in parts of Southeast Asia, drying out
forests and farmlands. Vast areas burned for months, blanketing a
large part of the region in thick haze and costing economies billions
NUMBERS DROPPING SHARPLY
Jakarta said around 90 percent of this year's fires have been
extinguished, but Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said he feared
they could flare again should dry El Nino conditions intensify. El
Nino is a weather pattern caused by the warming of Pacific waters off
South America and can disrupt global weather patterns, leading to
drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in parts of South
In 2002, it was estimated there were 56,000 orangutans left in Borneo
and 7,000 in Sumatra, but conservationists say the population has
dwindled at a rate of 6,000 a year.
Smits told a group of foreign journalists the mortality rate could be
higher because of increased trafficking of the apes and other factors
that are forcing orangutans to encroach upon human settlements.
"The (orangutan) populations are all extremely threatened because of
the fragmentation of the forest," said Smits, who leads the Gibbon
Foundation, a group dedicated to animal conservation in Indonesia,
including its orangutans. "The forest has to be intact in one big
piece for a population as a total to survive."
Most of the fires disappeared after rains started in recent weeks and
some of them were put out after two leased Russian water-bombers flew
Global warming could cause bird extinctions-WWF
Source: Antara News - November 14, 2006
Unchecked climate change could force up to 72 per cent of bird species
in some areas into extinction but the world still has a chance to
limit the losses, conservation group WWF said in a report on Tuesday
as quoted by Reuters.
From migratory insect-eaters to tropical honeycreepers and cold water
penguins, birds are highly sensitive to changing weather conditions
and many are already being affected badly by global warming, the new
"Birds are the quintessential 'canaries in the coal mine' and are
already responding to current levels of climate change," said the
report, launched at a United Nations conference in Kenya on ways to
"Birds now indicate that global warming has set in motion a powerful
chain of effects in ecosystems worldwide," WWF said.
"Robust evidence demonstrates that climate change is affecting birds'
behaviour -- with some migratory birds even failing to migrate at all."
In the future, it said, unchecked warming could put large numbers of
species at risk, with estimates of extinction rates as high as 72 per
cent, "depending on the region, climate scenario and potential for
birds to shift to new habitats".
It said the "more extreme scenarios" of extinctions could be prevented
if tough climate protection targets were enforced and greenhouse gas
emissions cut to keep global warming increases to less than 2 degrees
C (1.6 F) above pre-industrial levels.
Already in decline in Europe and the United States, many migratory
birds were now missing out on vital food stocks that are appearing
earlier and earlier due to global warming, widely blamed by scientists
on emissions from burning fossil fuels.
In Canada's northern Hudson Bay, the report said, mosquitoes were
hatching and reaching peak numbers earlier in the spring, but seabirds
breeding there had not adjusted their behaviour. In the Netherlands,
it added, a similar mismatch had led to the decline of up to 90 per
cent in some populations of pied flycatchers over the last two decades.
"Nowhere to go"
Predicted rising temperatures could see Europe's Mediterranean coastal
wetlands -- critical habitats for migratory birds -- completely
destroyed by the 2080s, it said. Rising temperatures were also seen
having disastrous impacts on non-migratory species, as their habitat
"Many centres of species richness for birds are currently located in
protected areas, from which birds may be forced by climatic changes
into unprotected zones," the report said.
"Island and mountain birds may simply have nowhere to go."
In the U.S., unabated warming was seen cutting bird species by nearly
a third in the eastern Midwest and Great Lakes, while almost
three-quarters of rainforest birds in Australia's northeastern Wet
Tropics were at risk of being wiped out.
"In Europe, the endangered Spanish imperial eagle, currently found
mainly in natural reserves and parks, is expected to lose its entire
current range," WWF's report said.
Also at high risk were eight species of brightly coloured Hawaiian
honeycreeper, Galapagos Islands penguins and the Scottish capercaillie
-- the world's biggest grouse -- which WWF said could lose 99 per cent
of its habitat due to warming. (*)
Ministry to develop 500,000 hectares of small-holders` forests in 2007
Source: Antara News - November 14, 2006
The Forestry Ministry will develop some 500,000 hectares of
small-holders` forests in 2007 as part of its efforts to realize the
targeted 2-3 percent growth in the forestry sector.
"We will try to realize it by accelerating the expansion of plantation
forests. We will encourage people to develop plantation forests,"
Forestry Minister MS Kaban said here on Tuesday after attending a
discussion on "Making Well-Informed Choices About Forests." The
discussion was organized in cooperation with the Centre for
International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
The minister said the forestry ministry was now trying its best to
carry out three agendas in the forestry sector. The first agenda was
to achieve the forestry sector`s 2-3 percent growth target which was
part of the national economic growth target of 5-6 percent in 2009.
The second agenda was to boost the real sector in the forestry sector
which was based on small- and medium-scale businesses in urban areas
and timber business centres in Java and outside Java.
The third agenda was to empower the local people in areas around
forests and in areas located within forests.
"We hope the forests can be preserved by carrying out priority
policies and the three agendas so that supply of raw timber will be
guaranteed and the welfare of the local peoples improved," he said. (*)
The problem with Palm
Source: Plenty Magazine November 14, 2006
Using palm oil to make biodiesel may cause more trouble than it
prevents. By Sarah Parsons
As fears of global warming continue to rise with gas prices, both
corporations and environmentalists are looking into alternative fuel
sources. Now, businesses abroad plan to make biodiesel from palm oil,
a substance found in common household items like cookies, shampoo, and
margarine. Toyota Motor Corp. announced in May that it will partner
with Japan's Nippon Oil Corp. to develop biodiesel from palm oil, and
the Malaysian government approved 54 projects this year alone to
create B100, a biodiesel based from 100 percent palm oil, the
country's main export.
But while biofuels are cleaner-burning and produce fewer greenhouse
gas emissions than regular fuel, some environmentalists believe the
costs of palm oil-based biodiesel may outweigh the benefits.
The problem in Malaysia and Indonesia, where more than 80 percent of
the world's palm oil is produced, is that in most cases, rainforest
areas are completely cleared to create oil palm plantations. According
to a 2005 Friends of the Earth report, oil palm plantations have been
responsible for about 87 percent of the rainforest deforestation in
Not only does this practice wreak havoc on the countries' megafauna
(such as orangutans, Sumatran rhinos and tigers, Asian elephants,
gibbons, and tapirs), it also causes significant pollution. The United
Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25 to 30
percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year
(about 1.6 billion tons) comes from deforestation.
"When you turn a product into a world commodity, you get corporations
involved," says Tim Keating, executive director of Rainforest Relief.
"Originally palm oil was collected by hand, but once you get
corporations involved, you end up having forest clearing and mass
Corporations first clear the land for its lucrative timber. Then they
burn everything that's left on the land, such as shrubs, stumps, and
peat soil, which can smolder for three to four months before it's
finally extinguished, says Michelle Desilets, director of the Borneo
Orangutan Survival Foundation, UK. Tree-felling combined with the
burning creates a haze above the forest and releases tons of carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to the same global warming
that biofuels are supposed to reduce.
Since Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests are some of the most
diverse ecosystems on the planet, clearing these areas poses serious
threat to countless species of plants and animals. Right now palm oil
is mostly used in food products. But if the demand for palm oil-based
biodiesel increases, the oil palm business will certainly expand,
creating more deforestation and species destruction.
But despite the huge environmental impact palm oil-based biodiesel
has, businesses interested in bottom-line dollars see a market for it.
"Palm oil is the cheapest source for biofuel, and, as we know, in the
marketplace the cheapest wins," said Shannon Coughlin, program
director for Rainforest Action Network, in an e-mail.
Leland Tong, an advisor to the National Biodiesel Board, says though
palm oil is not grown domestically and will not lessen dependence on
foreign fuel sources, it does offer some perks as far as biofuels go.
It has a higher freezing point than regular fuel alone; it's
renewable; and it's similar in efficiency to other biofuel sources
such as soybean oil.
Rainforest advocates suggest some more environmentally responsible
alternatives to making biodiesel from palm oil. Desilets asserts that
if there must be palm oil plantations, then they should be planted on
already degraded land (such as rainforest that has been logged, but
not cleared) to protect other high-conservation areas. Keating insists
that the only solution is to lessen our dependence on fuel. And
Coughlin suggests making ethanol from agricultural waste and
switchgrass so that no land has to be cleared. But all agree that the
current method of producing palm oil-based biodiesel is not the answer
to our energy needs.
"We know that an increased market for palm oil imports will accelerate
rather than stop climate change," said Coughlin in an e-mail. "It's
crazy. We need to break the addiction rather than keep feeding it."
Forests begin to revive as global devastation of trees is reversed
Source: The Times November 15, 2006
By Lewis Smith and Tom Whipple
Study offers hope for endangered species and climate change
FORESTS are increasing in countries across the world after centuries
of being destroyed for their wood and to make way for people,
according to research.
By measuring the density of trees rather than simply the area on which
they grow, scientists have calculated that forests are increasing in
almost half of the world's 50 most wooded nations.
Forests are still diminishing in some countries, such as Brazil and
Indonesia. In others, such as China, they are now expanding, although
world stocks are still about 2.5 per cent lower now than in 1990.
Stocks of trees increased most rapidly in Spain and Ukraine, and were
lost most quickly in Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines between
1990 and last year. The area covered by trees increased most quickly
in Vietnam, Spain and China, and reduced most quickly in Nigeria and
the Philippines, according to the study.
The greatest total gain of the number of trees and the area of forest
was made in China and the US. Indonesia and Brazil lost the most,
while in India forest coverage is now stable.
The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, said the findings offered hope
that forestry loss worldwide would be reversed within a few years.
"An increasing number of countries and regions are from deforestation,
raising hopes for a turning point for the world as a whole," they said.
"Amid widespread concerns about deforestation, growing stock has in
fact expanded over the past 15 years in 22 of the world's 50 countries
with the most forest. An increasing number of countries show gains."
The study was carried out by six academics and non-governmental
forestry experts, including Alexander Mather, of the University of
The improvements in tree density are thought by the team to be the
result of better forest management and advances in agriculture<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)