Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landmark law saves rainforest

02.04.2007
Major law change in Indonesia has borne fruit and is paving the way for a ground-breaking project to save one of the world’s most precious wildlife hotspots.

The government decree, being enacted for the first time, means Burung Indonesia, the RSPB and BirdLife International can halt logging on a 101,000-hectare (250,000-acre) area of lowland rainforest hosting 267 bird species, the Sumatran tiger, the Asian elephant and the newly identified clouded leopard.

It has taken more than five years for the groups, working with the Indonesian government, to win the right to manage the newly named Harapan Rainforest, an area that was likely to be felled and replaced with timber plantations or oil palm.

The forest should now recover and more trees will be planted, replacing those logged in the past. Conservationists are confident that the site – which is two-thirds the size of greater London - will one day return to its original state.

Graham Wynne, Chief Executive of the RSPB, said: “It is difficult to express just how significant this breakthrough is. There have been many times in the last five years when our hopes of saving Harapan Rainforest had all but ebbed away.

“Almost all of Harapan Rainforest has been logged to some extent in the last 60 years and some of its species have been staring extinction in the face. But all of the forest can still recover and, thanks to the work of Burung Indonesia and the Indonesian government, every single species it hosts now has a toehold on survival. Harapan Rainforest is to become a beacon of hope for forests across Indonesia and beyond.”

Until now, sites earmarked for timber production or plantation crops in Indonesia could be used for nothing else. But the ecosystem restoration decree, which was introduced by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, permits the management of forests to obtain benefits labelled ‘ecosystem services’.

These include storing carbon, controls on pollution and protection for wildlife, all of which will help nearby human communities. Directly benefiting will be the 150-strong Batin Sembilan tribe, a nomadic people that will continue to harvest rubber, honey, fruits and rattan for its own use.

Sukianto Lusli, Executive Director of Burung Indonesia, said: “Now these people have a choice for their future. With intact forest remaining, they will have the choice of maintaining their traditional lifestyles. They will also have the option of becoming wildlife monitors or forest wardens, as will other people in the local area.”

Conservationists expect to find thousands of plant and animal species in Harapan Rainforest. Sumatran lowland rainforest is already known to boast more diverse flora than any other place in the world. There are 37 species of mammal including seven big cats, five primate species, sun bears, Sumatran otters and Malayan porcupines. Turtles and other reptiles are also numerous.

The Storm’s stork is the most threatened bird species found so far – there may be only 250 left in the wild. Of other birds found in Harapan Rainforest, 66 are at risk including the rhinoceros hornbill, rufous-collared kingfisher and great argus pheasant. Up to 30 more bird species could be identified in new surveys later this year.

Mr Lusli said: “We expect big dividends for wildlife from this project. Sumatra’s lowland forest is already a hotspot for rare species and this initiative will make it even better. It will bring hope for species at risk of extinction.”

Marco Lambertini, Director of Network and Programmes for BirdLife International, said: “Indonesia suffers from some notoriety for its rapid deforestation. However the Harapan Rainforest initiative, and the Indonesian government’s support for it, could mark a turning point for the country’s forests, a new hope for their conservation. Their biodiversity, their role in the mitigation of global warming as well as regulating local climate and preventing floods, make their protection relevant for both the local as well as the global community. We will work towards every success in this initiative, and hope that others follow.”

Graham Wynne said: “This is a ground-breaking project achieved with the full support of the Indonesian government. It is hugely significant not just for rainforest conservation in Asia but for other parts of the world as well.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rspb.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>