Case: Forest(2)

Categorie(s): Cases, Ecology


This case in Indonesian: Hutanku Sayang, Hutanku Malang

Winda lives in a village near the forest. The people in the village are mostly farmers. They also use products from the forest, like fruits from the trees. Some people go hunting sometimes, but there are not many birds and other animals left for the hunt. Now the rich man who owns a big forest has cut away a big part of the forest on the mountainside. Now the village has problems: The effect for the community surrounding that area:

  • There is no water in the small river during the dry season and the river is flooding during the rainy season
  • Is is often much hotter in the village now.

Winda talks with her class mates, what can the children do, to help their families who have got much poorer after the logging of the forest. Can they start growing new trees for the forest?”

The questions:

  1. What are the effects of forest damage?
  2. Who are causing the damage of the forest in different places?
  3. What that can young people do to help solving the forest damage problem?

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Case suggested by A.A Dalem Mahendra, (Bali), Niar S.pada (Makasar Sulavesi), Sukoco (Surabaya), Ketut Nama (Bal) (all from Indonesia)

Logging of tropical forests often has big scale economical aspects. The local problems can be connected with things happening in the other side of the world. Much forest is being cut to turn the land into palm oil plantations.

Background information about this:

Production of palm oil is biggest cause of deforestation in south east Asia Oil palm plantations are an important cause of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. Dutch companies play a big role in this according to a report published: ‘Vet fout’ (‘wrong fat’) published in the Netherlands. The Dutch Friends of the Earth asks Dutch companies not to buy palm oil unless certain criteria are met. Every minute 7 hectares of forest is cut, a big part for becoming oil plantations. In 2002 there were 6,7 million hectares oil plantations half of which in what used to be forest. The Netherlands are big importers of palm oil (for foods, detergents, cosmetics and animal fodder), and responsible for the cutting down of rain forest. Friends of the Earth Netherlands is now leading actions to make companies more critical in their policy. They should make environmental responsible action a condition for buying the oil The conditions:

  1. No cutting of more forest,
  2. No burning down of more forest,
  3. Diminishing the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers,
  4. Respecting the right of the local population,
  5. Better working conditions for the employees

Malaysia and Indonesia have a very great biodiversity in their rain forests: 10% of all the flowering plants 17% of all the bird species, 12% of all the wild mammals, etc. The Indonesian NGO SawitWatch says: “The local population has often a sustainable way of managing the forest – until the oil-palm industry takes over”.… and the earnings go to the multinationals, usually not to the local people The Dutch and British (and others) action demands laws to make companies take their responsibility.


www.rspo.org = the site of: Round Table on Sustainable Palmoil