The burning scar: Inside the Destruction of Asia’s last rainforests.

A localman struck a deal with Korindo to sell part of the land. Source:BBC Indonesia

Ayomi Amindoni and Rebecca Henschke recenty wrote about the destruction of rainforests in Papua for BBC Indonesia. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A Korean palm oil giant has been buying up swathes of Asia’s largest remaining rainforests. A visual investigation published today suggests fires have been deliberately set on the land.

“Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, and Papua is its newest frontier. The archipelago has experienced one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world – vast areas of forest have been cleared to make way for row upon row of oil palm tree, growing a product found in everything from shampoo to biscuits. Indonesia’s palm oil exports were worth about $19bn (£14bn) last year, according to data from Gapki, the nation’s palm oil association.

The rich forests in the remote province of Papua had until recently escaped relatively untouched, but the government is now rapidly opening the area to investors, vowing to bring prosperity to one of the poorest regions in the country. Korindo controls more land in Papua than any other conglomerate. The company has cleared nearly 60,000 hectares of forests inside its government-granted concessions – an area the size of Chicago or Seoul – and the company’s vast plantation there is protected by state security forces.”

Click here to read the full article.

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