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Political economy of the forestry industry in Indonesia

Thompson, H. and Duggie, J. (1996) Political economy of the forestry industry in Indonesia. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 26 (3). pp. 352-365.

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Tropical moist rainforests are one of the world's most important natural resources, principally because they contain the largest number of species of any known ecosystem. In terms of rainforests, Indonesia's are among the most species-rich. By definition their disappearance is of concern to all the world's peoples. The following section reiterates the seriousness of the well-known fact that the world is losing about 21 million hectares of tropical moist rainforest annually. this is followed in the next two sections by a short description of the Indonesian rainforest and its transformation into logs and plywood over the past 25 years. Some of the most discussed reasons for the wasteful decline of Indonesian tropical hardwoods are presented and evaluated; supervened by a section showing that "sustainability" is not yet an appropriate word to use in a discussion of Southeast Asia's tropical moist rainforests.

It is concluded that to date, the emphasis in Indonesia has been on production of wood rather than on the sustainable utilisation of forestry resources. While the situation appears to be changing for the better, much has already been lost.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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