Indonesia’s original forest cover is waning with just over half of Indonesia under forest cover. From 1990 to 2005, the country lost more than 28 million hectares of forests, including 21.7 hectares of virgin forest. Deforestation rates of primary forests cover have scaled 26 percent. Today Indonesia’s forests are declining at a rapid rate and it is most disturbing for the environment.
The fertile rainforest that cover Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra Province is the last remaining place where the perilously endangered Sumatran orangutan can securely gorge on wild tropical fruit amid the treetops. Yet the future of the plant and animal life here is looking increasingly bleak. The causes for land degradation in Indonesia are many and varied: logging, mining operations, large-scale agricultural plantations, colonization and subsistence activities like shifting agriculture and cutting for fuel wood. In the 1960s, 82 percent of the country was covered with forest but it now it has declined to 49percent. And the lingering forest cover is degraded forests or logged-over forests.
The effects of forests loss risk the quality of life and threaten the existence of other species. It furthermore, has an effect on river flow and soil erosion. Also pollution from chlorine bleach used in pulp bleaching and run-off from mines has damaged river systems and adjacent cropland. The local community is mostly affected by the loss of forests area. The forest area use to perform unacknowledged services like ensuring the regular flow of clean water and defending the community from flood and drought. The rainfall which was brought by tropical storms get soaked by forests while fastening soils and releasing water at regular intervals.
The creation of pulp and paper plantation and oil palm estates is the main reason for the destruction of so many forests area in Indonesia. This is not only causing a huge environmental loss for Indonesia but it also accounts for huge economic loss for the country.