Indonesia lost a lot of trees last year, but a resources analyst thinks the general trend is getting better.

A man uses a machete to clear land to make way for a corn plantation in Polewali Mandar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Yusuf Wahil)

,- According to a recent analysis of deforestation data by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Indonesia will see a worrisome 27% increase in primary forest loss by 2023. Despite being still less than in prior years, this rise raises concerns about the nation's environmental deterioration.

Global director of the forests programme at WRI Rod Taylor noted that deforestation has been falling over the last few years but stressed the need of maintaining alertness. While appreciating Indonesia's efforts to stop deforestation, he voiced alarm about the recent increase and attributed part of it to the worldwide need for nickel mining, which is essential for green energy projects.

Distributed on the Global Forest Watch website, the most recent statistics highlight Indonesia's importance as the country with the third-largest rainforest in the world. Because so many of the plant and animal species on this enormous tropical archipelago are endangered, forest preservation is an urgent worldwide issue.

Indonesia has seen tremendous deforestation since 1950, mostly as a result of the growth of industrial plantations for commodities like coal mining, pulp for paper manufacture, and palm oil. Because of the substantial investment drawn to the nation's abundant natural resources, forest degradation and loss have become pervasive.

Environmental problems have been made worse by the encroachment of industrial crops onto main forests and protected areas. Though it acknowledged the growth, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry ascribed it to concessions made before to the present administration's term.

Data from Global Forest Watch shows disparities between official Indonesian numbers and real primary forest decline. Secondary forests, which store less carbon than primary forests, are where most deforestation takes place.

Cows graze at a palm oil plantation in Polewali Mandar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Yusuf Wahil)

Particularly nickel mining has been a factor in the deforestation of Sumatra, Sulawesi, Mlauku, and Kalimantan. Having the biggest nickel reserves in the world, Indonesia is an essential component of the worldwide supply chain for renewable energy technologies and electric cars.

Nickel mining has drawn criticism, though, and experts have warned against making the same mistakes that were done in the past with pulpwood and palm oil. The mining industry in Indonesia is developing quickly, which begs the issues of its long-term viability and environmental effects.

(AP Photo/Yusuf Wahil)

Even with initiatives to stop large-scale deforestation, small-scale forest loss continues, especially in protected areas vital to the preservation of biodiversity. Regulation enforcement and striking a balance between environmental protection and economic growth continue to be difficult tasks.

The current El Nino phenomena, which usually results in drier weather and a higher risk of fire, has been lessened by better fire safety protocols and neighborhood-based initiatives. Investments in firefighting equipment have lessened the effects of forest fires and the possibility of respiratory diseases and smog.

Though Indonesia has made strides in combating forest fires and deforestation, ongoing efforts are required to safeguard its priceless natural resources. Economic growth and environmental preservation are still difficult problems that need for ongoing cooperation from stakeholders in the government, business, and civil society.

(NewslinePaper Teams)

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