Hopes Dim Further for Indonesia's Rainforests
A month ago I made the audacious statement that the rainforest movement had achieved a victory in protecting Indonesia's rainforests and orangutans from a huge oil palm plantation. I made this statement fully aware that Indonesia's rainforests were in frenzied crisis and hoping that supporting those in government working to conserve rainforests from such atrocities could make a positive difference. This hope has proven fleeting. I now realize I was wrong, am retracting the victory claim, and have realized there is little or no hope for Indonesia's large and intact ancient rainforests. I apologize for my error.
The latest news is that a Chinese company intends to set-up a massive timber plant in Indonesian Papua to process rare rainforest timbers for Olympic construction. This will set the stage for the final destruction of these relatively intact rainforests. The second story details the ongoing power struggle between various Indonesian factions for and against the massive oil palm project. These actions - which are so grossly unjust and unsustainable, and our inability to stop them - show just how impotent the rainforest movement has become.
Together with the nearly four million hectares of deforestation already occurring annually in Indonesia's rainforests, the new forces of rainforest destruction arrayed against Indonesia's rainforest ecosystems are simply too great. Nothing can stand against a billion Chinese consumers all aspiring to the wasteful and deadly living standards of Americans and Europeans.
Ecological Internet will continue our campaign to support those in the Indonesian government that oppose these projects. But frankly, there is little hope that anything but the smallest little fragmented bits of Indonesia's rainforests will ever be protected, and perhaps I was crazy for saying there was. Let's keep on trying nonetheless.