New study shows Indonesia’s forests have shrunk much faster than thought
Satellite images have found that Indonesia’s ancient forests, a cradle of biodiversity and a buffer against climate change, have shrunk much faster than thought, scientists said on Sunday.
Between 2000 and 2012, Indonesia lost around 6.02 million hectares of primary forest, an area almost the size of Sri Lanka, they reported.
Primary or ancient forests are distinguished from managed forests, which are plantations of trees grown for timber and pulp.
The researchers found that primary forest loss accelerated during the period under review, reaching an annual 840,000ha by 2012 – nearly twice the deforestation rate of Brazil, which was 460,000ha in the same year.