Deforestation in West Papua continues despite environmental protection program – PUSAKA publishes new report

“Indonesia has a vital role in the global forum related to the REDD+ implementation because it is one of the largest developing countries that still have a large area of tropical forests and a high potential threat of deforestation.”

This message was conveyed by the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Mrs Siti Nurbaya, at the national meeting of Result-Based Payment (RBP) REDD+ held by the Environmental Fund Management Agency (BPDLH), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Jakarta (21/2/2024).

In the RBP scheme, Indonesia was rewarded with positive incentives from the Green Climate Fund of USD 103.8 million for the performance of GHG emission reductions in the FOLU sector for the 2014 – 2016 period of 20.25 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In addition, Indonesia also received a Result-based Contribution (RBC) identical to the RBP through the Indonesia – Norway Partnership of USD 156 million for emission reductions in the 2016 – 2019 period.

The government’s incentives, amounting to 4.077 trillion rupiah, are not equivalent to the value of the benefits and functions of forests lost, losses, and mental and physical suffering experienced by the communities in West Papua due to forest loss and conversion to business land for oil palm plantations, logging, mining land, and industrial timber plantations.

Deforestation and land use change continue to occur in West Papua. Based on PUSAKA’s deforestation monitoring from January to February 2024, through analysis of satellite imagery from Planet Labs Mosaic and Sentinel S2, PUSAKA identified essential changes in forest cover. The study shows an increase in deforestation in forest areas under oil palm company concessions in Sorong Regency, Southwest Papua Province, Teluk Bintuni Regency, West Papua Province, and Jayapura Regency, Papua Province, and industrial timber plantation (HTI) concessions in Merauke Regency, South Papua Province.

According to the satellite imagery analysis, the total forest loss (deforestation) in West Papua from January to February 2024 was 765.71 ha. Deforestation is suspected to be related to land development for oil palm plantation business expansion and the exploitation of timber forest products.

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