Deforestation in Indonesia Is Double the Government's Official Rate

30 June 2014

Trees in Indonesia are disappearing at twice the rate reported by the nation's government, according to a new analysis of deforestation rates. The data also suggests that the nation's 2011 regulations to halt deforestation were largely ineffective, the study authors say.

Published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study reinforces earlier work and also finds that since much of the nation's easy-to-access lowland forests have already been exploited, developers are increasingly turning to its carbon-rich wetlands.

Indonesia ranks among the world's top greenhouse gas emitting nations due to rapid deforestation. While a study released in Science earlier this month found that Brazil has slowed the rate of forest loss in the Amazon by 70 percent over the last decade, Indonesia's forests are disappearing rapidly, and the country has now replaced Brazil as the world's No. 1 deforester.

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by Elizabeth Harball and ClimateWire