Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and a specialist agricultural economy. Since the sixties Indonesia is a country on the up with exports being an engine of growth in recent years experiencing a personal best, as recent as August 2011. In all it is a country populated by more than 230 Mio people and a economy supported mainly by agriculture. How does this effect the forest of Sumatra?
Sumatra is the biggest island of Indonesia, nearly twice the size of Britain. It was a island nearly completely covered in a unique and pristine ecosystem – one of the worlds last virgin rain forests.
However the sheer global hunger for paper, biofuels, cooking oils (margarine) and chocolate have all taken a massive toll. It is suggested that since the 60´s around half of the rain forest has already been lost and by 2020 Sumatra will be one big paper-and-palmoil-plantation-Island. The original ecosystem is being reduced to a monoculture of exploitation of cheap resources Indonesia has to offer.
In a nutshell Indonesia has sold her sole (natural resources) to the highest bidder. The blame of the deforestation of Indonesia and in particular of Sumatra is down to the western consumers. Always striving for cheaper consumer goods, not taking the consequences into consideration.