The Environment and Forestry Ministry recorded a loss of up to 115,460 hectares of forests due to deforestation from 2019 to 2020, lower than the two previous figures of 462,500 ha in the 2018-2019 period and 439,400 ha in 2017-2018.
The ministry’s forest and environmental planning acting director general, Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, said the drop was thanks to the government’s moratorium on the conversion of primary forests and peatland, controlling forest and peatland fires, and stricter law enforcement.
“Our efforts have brought significant results [in reducing deforestation],” Ruandha said in a recent media briefing.
Apart from the efforts in reducing forest loss, the ministry also highlighted the area of forest coverage gained from reforestation efforts, said the ministry’s forest resources inventory and monitoring director, Belinda Arunawati Margono.
Since 2011, the ministry has calculated the country’s annual deforestation rate by subtracting the total deforested area, or brute deforestation rate, with the total area of tree cover gained.
Its data comes from the Geospatial Information Agency’s (BIG) Indonesian topography map, National Institute of Aeronautics and Space’s (Lapan) satellite images and the ministry’s forest data area from the forest and environmental planning directorate general.
For the 2019-2020 period, the ministry recorded around 119,100 ha of brute deforestation and 3,600 ha of reforestation.
“The numbers were obtained through a systematic and professional process based on the local interpreters’ [confirmation on satellite data],” Belinda said.
Indonesia has been putting extra effort into reducing deforestation in the past several years.
The hard work has borne fruit, as the country is set to receive US$56 million from Norway for successfully reducing deforestation and carbon emissions.
The funds were given as part of the Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme.
Under the result-based grant, Indonesia and Norway agreed to measure the former’s results against a 10-year average level of emissions between 2006 and 2016.
The Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, however, were still rising.
Cases rose by 5,826 within one day to 1,379,662, with the death toll adding by 112 to 37,266, the health ministry said on Sunday (March 7).
According to the ministry, 5,146 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,194,656.
The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.
Specifically, within the past 24 hours, Jakarta recorded 1,834 new cases, West Java 1,366, Central Java 395, East Kalimantan 351 and East Java 328. - The Jakarta Post/ANN