U2 Can Write To SBY
Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Tel: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003
Fax: + 62 21 3457782
Email: email@example.comDear President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
I was very pleased with your government's recent announcement on March 28, 2006, at the international biodiversity meetings in Brazil, that it intends to abandon plans for a massive oil palm plantation in Kalimantan that would have destroyed nearly two million hectares of ancient rainforest along the Malaysian border. It is important that this decision is formalized and the ancient rainforests that were threatened are given permanent protected status that is effectively implemented and enforced.
The oil palm project was ill-conceived from the beginning, as this thinly veiled ruse to access timber in mountainous areas unsuitable for oil palm cultivation would have devastated the habitat of countless species of rare birds, plants and mammals including the largest remaining wild orangutan population; while fouling much of Indonesian Borneo's water supply. Indonesia has huge land areas of abandoned, unproductive palm oil plantations and degraded forest areas that would be suitable for oil palm development.
Further, I welcome your government's announcement of support for the "Heart of Borneo" tri-country conservation initiative which aims to preserve one of the most important centers of biological diversity in the world, covering approximately 220,000 km2 of tropical rainforests and numerous wildlife species including the critically endangered orangutan. We urge the government to firmly commit to this agreement at the 14th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, next May in New York.
Despite these recent positive policy announcements by your government, Indonesia's rainforests remain in a state of dire crisis. Indonesia continues to lose two million hectares of rainforest every year to illegal and legal logging, oil palm cultivation and encroachment upon protected areas. This gravely threatens your nation's ecological sustainability and future development potential. All of Indonesia's remaining ancient rainforests should be fully protected to ensure continued ecosystem services and community development opportunities for your country.
It is vitally important to Indonesia's and the world's future that you continue to improve your rainforest stewardship. You can start by personally proclaiming and finalizing the oil palm project's cancellation, and embracing the "Heart of Borneo" initiative. But this is only a start, as much remains to be done to stop illegal logging and protected area encroachment. The world is watching and hoping you provide Indonesia's rainforests and citizens a sustainable future.
Love from Jakartass
Having initially lauded the news from the RainForest Portal
that it appeared likely that the proposal by, mainly, Chinese investors to 'develop' a massive palm oil plantation in Kalimantan had been scotched with the proposal to protect the land, I then wondered
if I was being naive as I couldn't find confirmation from alternative sources.
This being Indonesia, many things are said that don't translate into positive action or, indeed, any action. Given that Indonesia's rainforests are part Earth lungs, part biodiversity repository and, not least, home to some of the last of humanity's closest relatives, the Orangutans, then it is obviously vital that every effort should be made to ensure that in this case the verbal agreement previously announced is formalised.
That is the message from RainForest Portal this week
. They have kindly made it easy to email SBY, even going as far as penning most of this posting for me.
Click on the link and hope that SBY keeps count of his messages.
And the remaining trees.