A matter of trade: Highway plan in Indonesia’s Papua threatens forests

June 26, 2008

Physical development versus ecological disaster is a matter of trade and it should be managed in a very-very careful way. Which one do we prefer? If we choose to develop a highway we must realise that a warning from Greenpeace and some Papuan NGOs about explosion in palm oil plantations, illegal loggers and biodiversity loss should be taken seriously. If we choose to let Papua as a jungle without any significant physical development, then we should also creatively think about any possible way to develop Papua without destroying its environment.

Precise calculation on what we will loss and what we will get is very important. By developing a highway from Papua Province to West Papua Province, economic development will increase sharply. But the question is who will get the largest part of economic pie? Are we Papuan ready for the economic booming of palm oil plantation, land transportation, housing, services, etc? I believe that most of the economic pie will be eaten by capitalist or investor from Jakarta, China or maybe Malaysia. While Papuan will become a low level labor in Palm oil plantation. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoiding deforestation will help eradicate poverty

December 8, 2007

Jakarta Post, Friday, December 7, 2007 10:49:08 AM

Many understand that deforestation contributes a lot to global warming, but few are aware that forest plundering will lead to poverty. On the sidelines of the UN climate change conference in Bali, Papua’s Governor Barnabas Suebu, one of Time’s Hero of the Environment awardees, talked to The Jakarta Post contributor I. Christianto about his efforts to combat poverty through the protection of 31-million hectares of forest remaining in the province. Read the rest of this entry »