#4422
Martin W
Participant

Email from Ecological Internet: Let the President know the world expects Indonesia to keep the Environment Minister’s promise to tackle the root causes of rainforest fires and peatland drainage

Indonesia’s rainforests contain 60% of all the tropical peat in the world. Such rainforests on peat soils are one of the world’s most important carbon sinks and play a vital role in helping to regulate the global climate. They are also very rich in biodiversity and a refuge for species like orang-utans. Rainforest peatlands are being destroyed fast; primarily by palm oil, timber, and paper and pulp companies. The Indonesian government has endorsed a massive biofuel program which foresees an increase in oil palm plantations to eventually over 26 million hectares. Far from reducing climate change emissions, it will rapidly release up to 50 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of over 6 years of global fossil fuel emissions and could well make the generally accepted 2 degree C of warming that is considered "dangerous" unavoidable. A recent study has found that one ton of biodiesel made from palm oil grown on Southeast Asia’s peatlands is linked to the emission of 10-30 tons of carbon dioxide. Shockingly, this is 2- 8 times as much carbon released as in production of a ton of fossil fuel diesel. Please write to the Indonesian government now to express your grave concerns over biofuel expansion plans which threaten to further destroy rainforests and peatlands, and to thus dangerously accelerate global warming.