Study: Loss of Indonesia's pristine (and carbon-storing) forests is rising

9 July 2014

Indonesia is losing its most pristine forests at an increasing pace, a trend that is depriving humanity of a vital natural ally in efforts to limit the impact of global warming.

These Indonesian forests – important not only for the carbon they store but also for their biological richness – shrank by 38 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to a detailed analysis of images from US Landsat satellites. That's 24,000 square miles of timber.

The research covers changes to mature, natural forests where no clearing has yet taken place or where the forest has been used to a certain degree but still stores vast amounts of carbon and hosts significant biodiversity. Both fall into the study's definition of primary forest.

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