13 Jan '18, 4pm

In early push into Papua, palm oil firms set stage for massive forest plunder:

JAKARTA – The clearing of Indonesia’s last untouched swath of pristine forest has begun in earnest, with an area the size of Washington, D.C., razed for just a single oil palm plantation in Papua province, new data show. Nearly 200 square kilometers (77 square miles) of forest have been cleared in Merauke district since 2014 for the plantation, according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) , with 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) being opened up just since October. Arief Wijaya, senior manager for climate and forests at the Jakarta office of the WRI, said the scope of the deforestation was alarming. Cutting down that many trees for a single plantation area, he said, “emits 11 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the emission of 2.1 million cars in a year.” In neighboring Boven Digoel district, at least 37 square kilometers (14 square miles) of prima...

Full article: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/in-early-push-into-papu...

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