InfoSAWIT - JAKARTA - The forests in Kalimantan are the homes to orangutan, leopard, and elephants. The forests are the ecosystem within the biggest conservations in the world. But in the last decade, the third biggest island in the world which belongs to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darrusalam may loss some of the forests because of fire, illegal logging, palm oil expansion, pulp and paper. Only half of the forest canopy is left until now or they declined 75% from the midst of 1980s.
It is assumed that palm oil plantations are the main factors of deforestation in Kalimantan. In addition Indonesia is the main palm oil producer in the world. Its usage is almost found in the household products, starting from the bread, chocolate, and shampoo. Malaysia is the second biggest producer in the world. For the record, Indonesia and Malaysia master 87% of palm oil supply globally.
But the latest study published by scientific journal of WILEY - Conservation Letters makes the new hope for the forests in Kalimantan. By using the data in the last two decades, the researchers from Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) found that the palm oil expansion in Indonesia and Malaysia has been declining since 2012.
The journal also noted that by using the satellite image, the researchers measure the total loss of the forests, how many palm oil areas are enlarged, and how many woods were cut off and conversed to be palm oil plantations in every single year from 2000 to 2017. This makes the researchers possibly determine if the forests were destroyed by palm oil planting and pulp and paper industries or plantations are developed in the previous bold forests to get other goals, or the forest damages happened for the fire.
The scientists also found that most of palm oil plantations namely in Indonesia were developed in the previous open areas before 2000. It was much far away from the cultivation. But apart from the fast palm oil development in 2009, since 2012 plantation industrial expansion has delined. It may happen for the cheaper crude palm oil (CPO) since 2011. In 2017 the plantation expansion decreased and the new planting in the forests hit the lowest level since 2003.
Of course this is the good news to ensure sustainability in the future for the forests in Kalimantan. If the CPO gets more expensive as the trend of the commodity, it is important to implement the regulations and the industrial standards. (T2)