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Deforestation for palm oil plantations has been known very well as the way to rise the economic sectors and the national profits by Indonesian govt, the future of the survival of biodiversity and wildlife are at stake.

The Desolation Of Rainforests In Sumatra


Palm Oil &
  Deforestation


Nowadays the so-called, ecological generations are rare species that can be found in Indonesia. Almost entire of society elements are assuming palm oil plantation is more valuable than the rainforests which known to have function as the original habitats of many endangered species and the carbon storage. So that's why, Indonesia is shaking to maintain its status as home to the rainforest and the nation of most biodiversity.




Buffer zones of protected rainforest which considered as the main protection to the National Park, have been planted with palm oil trees by villagers and palm oil company. It indicates clearly, most societal elements in Indonesia are involved in massive progress of deforestation. Study claims since 2012, Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil.




Besides the expansion of palm oil plantation, the massive deforestation in Sumatra and Borneo are also caused by the illegal logging and forest fires. The deforestation is not only giving impact to the animals, it's also giving direct impact to the preservation and survival of Sumatra's endemic plants. While the biodiversity of Sumatra's endemic plants are at stake by the deforestation, in the other side, the biodiversity of Sumatra's endemic animals are also threatened by the poaching.






The weak law enforcement to the actors of illegal logging, poaching and forest fire indicates the indifference of Indonesian govt on the environmental awareness. The result of study that held by plant scientists in Bogor, West Java states Sumatran forest destruction speeding up the extinction of Rafflesia and Amorphophallus in Sumatra.




Things You Need To Know About Sumatra (WWF Version)

Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world and Borneo as the third largest island in the world.

Sumatra has a forest that very rich in biodiversity. Approximately 218 species of vascular plants found within ​​200 square meters in the lowland rainforest of Tesso Nilo, Riau province, it means Sumatra has number of species of plants two times more than that have been found within ​​200 square meters area in ​​Amazon rainforest or other forests that have been studied.

Sumatra is also rich with the endemic plants and animals, it means these plants and animals are not found anywhere else in the world, especially the unique species and exotic of the tallest flower in the world, i.e the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum). Nevertheless, Sumatra is also known as the first ranked in deforestation due to the paper and palm oil massive production, and other development.



Between 1985 to 2001, Sumatra has lost 12 million hectares or 48% of rainforests in the last 22 years. In 2007, the island of Sumatra has only 30% of rainforests (13 million hectares). Especially, the lowland rainforests in the eastern mountain of Sumatra are on the way to the extinction. The loss of rainforests that driven by the expansion of paper and palm oil plantations has led the important species such as elephants, tigers, and Sumatran rhino to become critically endangered.



Thousands of hectares of National Parks in Sumatra have been deforested or degraded. Despite its protected status, the National Parks in Sumatra is under enormous pressure. Most of their lowland forests are being rapidly logged and overexploited.


Video above is documented by WWF Indonesia in Bukit Betabuh, Riau province and showing how a bulldozer was destroying the jungle that become the Sumatran tiger's habitat. Sumatran tigers (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) as the rare tiger subspecies that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra even has been listed as critically endangered are losing their original habitats every day.


A male Sumatran tiger could own territory between 70 km square upto 200 km square while the rainforests are getting smaller, it will be a very serious trouble for their future. Moreover, the hunt of tiger's furs that become something very exclusive for the market demands by rich people.


Main Impacts Of Deforestation Due To The Expansion Of Palm Oil Plantations

1. Climate change and global warming

Deforestation of rainforests will eliminate the main function of rainforests as the second largest carbon storage after the peat swamp forest.

2. Destruction of ecosystem

Deforestation also resulted the habitat loss of many different species of animals and plants, especially the endemic species.

3. Species extinction

The massive deforestation will push the endangered species into the difficult situation and condition to survive without original habitats. Most of original habitats of Sumatran tiger and rhino have been degraded.

4. Flooding and soil erosion

We all know that rainforest play an important role to dispel the various disasters such as floods and landslides.

5. Disruption of the water cycle

The less number of trees on earth, the less water content on the air that will be returned to the ground in the form of rain. This circumstance will directly create long dry season.



The main reason why the palm oil and paper companies are clearing the land with burning forests because the cheap cost. Nowadays so many products for sale in the worldwide market contain palm oils, they are cosmetics, foods, soap and biodiesel. Biodiesel considered as an environmentally friendly way to create a more secure source of energy across the world but from the otherside, the production of biodiesel will boost the giant palm oil companies to expand the plantation to produce more palm oil.




The Carbon Sequestration

Peat swamp forests and mangrove are known to be able to store carbon 300-6000 tC/Ha/yr (ton carbon per hectare per year) and the tropical rainforests are known to store 250-1200 tC/Ha/yr. While the palm oil plantation is just able to store 45-100 tC/ha/yr. Conclusion is the more palm oil plantations expanded, the more CO2 is released into our atmosphere, because the expansion of palm oil plantations are done by destroying peat swamp forests and rainforests in our planet.