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There's no stopping to burning away rainforest

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posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 01:05 AM
In this dry season, people in Singapore, Malaysia and parts of Indonesia were plagued by the incessant forest burning by plantation owners in Indonesia. In the islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra, large tracts of virgin rainforest have been set ablaze in order to clear land for palm trees and pulp wood(which your "virgin pulp" paper is made from) plantations. This inconsiderate act of forest clearing by fire has caused at least 1600+ fire spots which are hard to put out and affected the life of millions living in the region.

Haze Brings Misery, Health Problems in Indonesia

Despite the repeated assurances by Indonesia officials that they will do everything they can to prevent the same thing from happening again, people in the region has already considered the haze problem caused by the fires to be an annual event/occurance(since 1997). All these promises to stop this practice remain words after all.

Just another "claim" we hear every now and then

Well, the actual fact is that they(government and plantation owners) are waiting for the monsoon rain to quench the fire so they can start their farming as soon as possible.

Indonesia hopes monsoon rains will clear haze

This practice of forest burning was actaually a practice by the natives as part of their shifting cultivation. Only small tracts of forest are burned(controllably) and this is only done only once every few years(when the soil becomes too infertile) since the farming is of subsistance form, where farmers farm for their own consumption.

However, plantation owners are willing to allow catasrophic environment disaster to happen so that they can clear land quickly and cheaply. A match stick and some bulldozers to clear the charred remains of the trees are all what it takes. When huge profits are yielded, some goes to corrupt officials which explain their reluctance to stop the fires when it is still not too late.

Greenpeace blames forest destruction by landowners

Those who studied some geography will know the fact that rainforest soil is not fertile by itself. It is fertile because the nutrients in it are continueously replaced by the leaf litter generated by the plants. A lot of nutrients come and go between the soil and the dense vegetation. When the forest is gone, the soil becomes readily degraded and it will be hard to reverse the process. And there goes our wildlife in exchange for juicy beef(cattle-rearing) and cheap paper made from virgin pulp (whereas they can be recycled).

Not only an environment nightmare, the haze/smog caused severe health problems for many living in the path of the suspended ashes produced by the fires blown by the monsoon wind. Those with asthma and breathing problems were forced to stay indoors and there is a spike in the number of visits to clinics. A "charred" smell is also present during some of the worse periods. And of course the drop in visibilty.

Here's a taste of what it's like(taken from

Indeed, I'm one of those affected. Came down with sore throat caused by throat irritation(having load-ful of phlegm in my throat while I'm writing this), and a fever last weekend. I'll be taking my "A" level in less than 3 weeks time and I'm praying for rain to come soon. Anyone know how to perform the "rain dance"?

The "annual haze" for those living in the affected region will be expected to persist for many years to come. Meanwhile, I'm boycotting Indonesia paper made by virgin pulp(yes I made sure the pad I bought yesterday has the recycled sign on it) and writing to tell everyone of how some are willing to harm nature for profits.

Add on: Despite the many "pleads" by Indonesia for help, her neighbours know better than to provide financial aids to a country known for her corruption. Rather, expertise and advice(which falls on deaf ears?) are offered, so are satellite images showing the precise locations of fire-spots should they choose to put out the fire. Afterall, who else must bear the responsibility to clean up the mess that the Indonesians caused when they are unwilling to enforce laws to stop forest burning?

[edit on 16-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

[edit on 16-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

[edit on 16-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:36 AM
The haze/smog continue to persist in the humid air after a month in this part of the world. This is due to the lack of rain that is the only way to quench the fires devouring our primany rainforests at this stage, and the inability of the authorities to control the situation(or can I say they didn't bother to).

Haze /smog continues to affect life(and health) of millions living in the region

Singapore air quality worsens after unhealthy week

And that translats to more throat irritation and coughs for me. It's not really nice when the first thing you got out of bed every morning is to rush to the toilet and spit out the phlegm out of your sore throat.

WWF condemns paper industry

Below is an interesting article which talks about the irony of Bio-diesel.

Southeast Asia's Clean Air Conundrum

The roots of all these problems are very much the despicable, selfish and inconsiderate acts carried out by corporates which only have profits and more profits drawn on their board.

[edit on 20-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:56 AM
The more you destroy the rainforest, the less it will rain .......

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.

Rainforest destruction does not have a big impact on climate in Europe or N America. So it doesn't get the publicity that carbon emission do. Yet it's a more easily remedied cause of anthropogenic climate change .....

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:09 AM
Our planet will die! If our planet dies, then we will as well. It's such a shame that the almighty dollar and selfish greed are going to lead to our ultimate demise. To all of our unapologetic corporate capitalists I ask, "How are you going to enjoy all of that money when we are all dead?" It's a such a shame that the human race can't seem to get their collective head's out of their collective keisters!!!

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:30 AM
The planet will not die. Life on Earth will not die. But humans might

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:36 AM
link least as we know it! It's your line of logic that is leading us down this road of no return.

Let me spell it out - the rainforests are responsible for our weather and our ecosystem in general. They control rainfall, oxygenation, CO conversion, polution cleansing etc... You take that mechanism out of the game and guess what? Game over!!!

Sure, some cockroaches and other insects and such will survive. What a glorious legacy the human species will have left behind, eh? No doubt your children's children will be very thankful to the likes of you when they are sheltered in underground caves fighting for survival - attempting to avoid 150 degree surface temperatures, polution that likely leaves the air almost unbreathable and a complete lack of potable water. Sounds like a very nice place to live, doesn't it?

That, dear friend, is exactly where we are headed if we don't get it together.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 11:35 AM
The factories are churning out more polluntants while the rainforest that get rid of them and replenishs oxygen are diminishing at an astonishing pace. It is indeed worrying that what is happening in this part of the world is not getting enough attention.

If you uses google earth to zoom into Sumatra(or Kalimantan) Island, you'll see that some parts are in lighter shades than others and some are pretty bare-you see "red soil". These are the either the plantations or secondary rainforest which grown back when people neglected the land for sometime(due to infertility-see first post why they become infertile). These areas are not small and one can in fact see that the vegetations are islands of primany(virgin) rainforest surrounded by secondary forest, vast plantations and cleared land. Gives us a pretty good guage of how much ecological damage is done so far.

Note that though primany rainforest are several times more bio-diverse than secondary rainforest. It will take hundreds if not thousands of years to for a secondary rainforest to revert back to its pristine state.

Not to mention the endangered wildlife distinctive to these islands, namely the orangutan, sumatran tigers and also many countless species, considering that Indonesia is one of the most bio-diverse and rich regions left in the world. Poaching activites continue to threatened the natives of these rainforest and little plans are put forth by the authorities to efficiently protect them, if there is any.

Poaching activities remained uncurbed

So where are the protected national parks? Is this telling us that the authorities are incapable of protecting one of their country most coveted assets-the rainforest ecological system? The answer is pretty obvious.

I know that there are more "urgent" environmental issues the world is looking at - carbon dioxide emission level, alternative energy sources, climate change etc. But how can the destruction of an ecological system in an entire region be allowed to go to near-completion without recieving world-wide attention(and condemnation)? Destruction of this ecological system is just as important and attention-demanding as the other environmental issues.

[edit on 20-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 12:09 PM
We need more projects like Gavitoas if we are to learn how to survive. Yes, the amount of rainforrest they are regenerating is peanuts compared to the amount that is being lost to slash and burn practices, but it's a start. Back in the 80s, the conventional wisdom said that regenerating a dormant rainforrest with a soil pH of 4 was impossible. Check out the link for further information. If we can get the word out that there are profitable ways to use land without destroying it, maybe we can make a difference.

posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:50 PM

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.

Background information on Indonesia, deforestation and illegal logging

Sadly, nothing much was done to curb the "current" trend, which predict that the entire nation will be rid of primany rainforest by 2010. Indonesia originally have 10% of world's rainforest, which is unique from other rainforests in Africa and South America. This year, the long dry season will definitely caused more than the average 2 million hectares of rainforest to be devoured by the fires.

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.

Compromising environment for economy? Hardly. The profits only goes to pockets of a few certain individuals and the economy is little boosted by such activities.

No. 1 enemy : Corruption

Don't forget rapid and rashless deforestation are not limited to Indonesia.

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.

Information on Indonesia deforestation

[edit on 21-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 04:11 AM

Originally posted by kozmo 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.

As I said, the Earth won't die, life won't die, but humans might.

And I ain't doing anything to prolong the human plague

Incidently I've been arguing for a long while that our obsession with carbonemissions as the root of all climate evil has meant we've been ignoring other equally important issues - rain forest destruction beoing one of the main ones. Droughts and other extremes of weather across Amazonia and SE Asia in particular will become more frequent irrespective of global warming. But we lack the political will to do anything about it. Easier to blame it all on American oil companoies than poor, ignorant, Indonesian farmers.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 07:01 AM

Originally posted by Essan
Easier to blame it all on American oil companoies than poor, ignorant, Indonesian farmers.

Be assured that they are no peasants who don't know what is going on. The people who are burning the rainforests are palm oil and paper companies.

The Culprit

and more

And it doesn't matter who they are. Been "ignorant" doesn't make anybody less guilty or responsible for the irreversible damage done. Oil companies do deserve to be condemned anyway, for sifting off our money away and refusing to reduce the harm done to the environment at the same time.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 09:57 PM
The monsoon has finally arrived, bringing along lots of rain that the refreshed the air and also a wind that is strong enough to disperse the smog.

However, the deforestation issue has not been dropped from my mind.

Greenpeace says China contributes to S.E. Asia deforestation

This, coupled with the new demand for bio-fuel(in this case it's palm tree oil), has been effectively waging a war on our remaining hectares of rainforests that remained untouched by human development before.

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.

Greens Seek UK-Indonesia Pact to Save Forests

And yet they continued to deny...

Report discounts logging as a cause of huge floods

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. No matter what, it doesn't gives them a good excuse to destroy the last of our remaining rainforest. And do not even mention about the big string of problems deforestation brings.

So, despite all this panicking about how the climate is changing or how fast the ice at the poles are melting, why isn't something(with significant effort) been done to correct these mistakes? Won't it be too late when there is not a single hectare of rainforest on Earth?

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 11:42 PM
Why can't the oil be obtained from the trees without harming them? I'm not too familiar with palm trees.

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.

It also leeches the soil of it's nutrients.

[edit on 25-10-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 01:50 AM

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.

Well, they burn away entire forests so as to have a palm oil plantation. Palm oil plantations investments are characteristic of Malaysia and Indonesia economic development. Note that palm oil trees are not natives in the rainforest of this region too.

China funds massive palm oil plantation in rainforest of Borneo

If you go to peninsula Malaysia and travel on the highways, you can see palm oil trees planted in next rows that stretch to the horizon. Palm oil makes up so much of their economy that they use them to barter trade with the Russians for Su-30s and MiG-29s.

Palm Oil, Crisis and Forest Loss in Indonesia

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.

Wikipedia article on palm oil

Rising Oil Prices -> Reduce fossil fuel usage -> Introduce Bio-fuel Usage -> Rainforest cleared for palm oil plantation

I really do hope for international pressure to be applied on these countries to stop all deforestation efforts immediately and preserved the remaining forests. And let's hope Papua and Papua New Guinea can still remain intact by large scale agriculture developments that will threaten the largely unexplored rainforests.

[edit on 26-10-2006 by NotheRaGe]

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:58 PM
International pressure hasn't stopped this practice in Brazil. With them, it's Sugar Cane.

What makes you think that it'll stop the Indonesians?

The only way to stop it is for collective groups of people to buy up the land before industry does, and the best way to restore damaged ecosystems is to buy that land and experiment with various local species combinations as well as look into various symbiotic organisms to speed up recovery.

Though if they do that and pretty much leave the land alone, then you will be exasperating another problem, and that is unemployment. The good thing about Biofuels is that in it's production, it provides permanent employment. Obviously a new way has to be found to use existing land profitably for that area without slashing and burning through highly dense biozones.

[edit on 27-10-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 09:50 AM
That's why Indonesia should look towards other kind of industries that are labour-intensive yet not land-intensive. Tourism is a good one but will not be a major component of the economy. Heavy industries will as good, as the high population density can fuel the manufacturing sector. Been islands, Indonesia can quickly export majority of its goods by ships.

But development are being carried out at a very slow pace, impeded by corruption, terrorism and war between muslim rebels and government forces.

And yes, I know that things are not so simple and problems are solved not as easily solutions are proposed. At least we know what can be done and we demand to know why is it not done?

Human development and nature can strike a balance and co-exist. But what we are seeing here is the systematic annihilation of the islands' natural ecological system. Remaining pockets of virgin rainforest should be protected, especially from fires that spread. Do enforce the environment laws and do not let any culprit get away with it. Much of the unused land got into the path of these forest fires. Isolate unused land and let them regrow. Carry out land reforms be to maximise the use of unforested land. Too difficult?

posted on Sep, 27 2015 @ 05:41 AM
Indonesia earlier declared a state of emergency in Sumatra's hard-hit Riau province. Tens of thousands of people in smoke-
choked regions of Sumatra and Borneo island have fallen ill from the haze, which also has caused sporadic flight delays or cancellations.

Schools in Singapore was closed on 25-Sep-15 and Malaysia is closing some schools again on Monday.

At least five companies have been identified. I hope that the legal action will shut them down for good!
Singapore-listed firm Asia Pulp and Paper, Four Indonesian companies - Rimba Hutani Mas, Sebangun Bumi Andalas Wood Industries, Bumi Sriwijaya Sentosa and Wachyuni Mandira

PSI stands for Please Stop Indonesia! Useless government...also blood-thirsty to sell them the land to burn!

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