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the forest adds to local humidity through transpiration (the process by which plants release water through their leaves), and thus adds to local rainfall. For example, 50-80 percent of the moisture in the central and western Amazon remains in the ecosystem water cycle. In the water cycle, moisture is transpired and evaporated into the atmosphere, forming rain clouds before being precipitated as rain back onto the forest. When the forests are cut down, less moisture is evapotranspired into the atmosphere resulting in the formation of fewer rain clouds. Subsequently there is a decline in rainfall, subjecting the area to drought.
The mass clearance of forests has had a devastating environmental impact. Lowland tropical forests, which are the richest in resources and biodiversity, were the first to be exploited. They are currently the forests most at risk and estimates suggest that if current trends continue, will no longer exist in Sumatra by 2005 and in Kalimantan by 2010. With these forests will disappear the diverse range of plant and animal species, including the orangutan which is already under threat of extinction. Thus the local environmental impacts of deforestation are immense, but there are also significant implications globally with the increased carbon emissions and resulting effects on climate.
As in many other countries suffering from this problem, most of the illegal logging has been allowed to emerge, and even encouraged, by a corrupt regime. In Indonesia under the thirty year rule of President Suharto, forest resources were appropriated and divided between family and business partners, concentrating the power in the hands of few. This fostered the emergence of regional timber barons and organised crime syndicates who were often assisted by the military and police.
Today just under half of Indonesia is forested, representing a significant decline in its original forest cover. Between 1990 and 2005 the country lost more than 28 million hectares of forest, including 21.7 hectares of virgin forest. Its loss of biologically rich primary forest was second only to Brazil during that period, and since the close of the 1990s, deforestation rates of primary forest cover have climbed 26 percent. Today Indonesia's forests are some of the most threatened on the planet.
Originally posted by kozmo
...at least as we know it! It's your line of logic that is leading us down this road of no return.
That, dear friend, is exactly where we are headed if we don't get it together.
Originally posted by Essan
Easier to blame it all on American oil companoies than poor, ignorant, Indonesian farmers.
Deforestation rates in Indonesia are among the highest in the world with at least 1.9 million hectares of forest destroyed every year for the last five years, equivalent to six football fields a minute. In total, Indonesia has already lost more than 72% of its large intact ancient forest areas and 40% of its forest have been completely destroyed. Much of the logging in Indonesia is illegal and, according to Indonesia Forest Minister, Malam Sambat Kaban, “defrauds” the country of USD$ 4 billion each year.
It is a known fact that without the rainforests, the rainwater is less absorbed by the soil and thus causing large amount of runoff, which in turn causes flood downstream.
Originally posted by sardion2000
Why can't the oil be obtained from the trees without harming them? I'm not too familiar with palm trees.
The Malaysian government is refocusing the use of palm oil to the production of biodiesel to cater for the huge demands from European countries; it has encouraged the building of biodiesel plants. This is due to the higher prices of fuel and increasing demand for alternatives sources of energy in the Western world.