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Thank you for posting your view on Equitymaster! Jakarta 7 June As a result of these conflicting priorities, Indonesian authorities struggle to implement relevant legislation and policies. The Ministry of Forestry is responsible for both forest protection and forestry sector exploitation. This means it plays two roles in relation to the companies involved in the forestry sector and their compliance with laws governing the protection of tigers. As well as awarding selective logging and tree plantation concessions, the Directorate releases extensive areas of Production Forest — land zoned for exploitation by the forestry sector — for clearance and conversion to oil palm or other plantations.
Where these objectives conflict, the Ministry of Forestry is largely failing in its commitments to protect forests and peatland, including endangered wildlife habitats, as a result of prioritising forest conversion for industrial development. The Ministry of Agriculture, however, is ultimately the licensing body that awards concession licences and other permits for agricultural plantations such as oil palm plantations — signing away tiger habitat in the process.
Joining up the two policy visions into one effective implementation plan requires landscape-level thinking, not ad hoc development. Provincial authorities further exacerbate the problem.
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They are responsible for not only issuing concession permits, but also developing spatial and land-use plans for their territories. Perhaps unsurprisingly, industrial economic growth is being pursued without effective landscape-level plans to ensure forest, peatland and wildlife habitat protection. Conservation efforts in Indonesia face the additional obstacle of entrenched corruption at all levels of government. Case Studies 1.
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In , forests covered more than three-quarters of Riau, or some 7 million ha. The province, with its critical reserves of lowland rainforest, held about one-fifth of all remaining forested tiger habitat in ,70 yet less than one-third71 of this is protected.
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By contrast, more than half is in convertible and production forest,72 or zones available for pulp and palm oil plantations: much of this has already been allocated. Habitat within palm oil concessions suffered. Peatlands under plantation are drained to provide suitable conditions for palm trees. This causes significant carbon emissions — either slowly through decomposition or rapidly, as the dry peat becomes susceptible to deliberate or accidental fire.
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More tangibly, the impact of the fires on the health and livelihood of people in the region has been devastating. The impact of the plantation sector on the global climate is also clear. But fighting peat fires does not stop the continuous invisible emissions resulting from the drying and decomposition of peat through plantation development. Nor does stopping the fires give tigers back the healthy forest that is their rightful home. In June , fire hotspots were recorded within the concession. Greenpeace field investigations in June documented an excavator continuing construction of a drainage canal through the peatland within the concession even as fires raged around it.
Plantation of oil palms on this concession only began within the last few years.
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Greenpeace has not identified any trade from this concession to crude palm oil CPO mills. The concession is indicative of the problems facing the sector, including for companies like Wilmar that are heavily reliant on third-party supplies that may include harvests from operations such as this. All of the concession was originally tiger habitat, although no forest remained by ; indeed, the concession was almost completely This is a strong demonstration of our effort to influence the industry.
Instead, it appears to be relying on others, such as the RSPO, to prove supplier responsibility. No mention is made of contracts being cancelled. The letter makes no comment on the evidence that most of the concession is mapped as deep peat and therefore legally off-limits to oil palm plantation development.
Nearly half of the deforestation of Sumatran tiger habitat between and was in pulp concessions. APRIL, however, continues to rely on rainforest clearance to feed its pulp mill. Over half of this area was forested in ; all of the concessions were.
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Peat over 3 metres deep is protected by Presidential Decree. The cleared area was mostly secondary swamp forest, but included over 2,ha of primary swamp forest on the Uniserya concession. Greenpeace is currently waiting for a formal response on how APRIL plans to end it role in deforestation. Tesso Nilo national park complex Deforestation of a national park and priority tiger conservation landscape.
With very limited exception, this development is illegal. The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry established the Tesso Nilo National Park in and expanded it in because of its biodiversity value. Most of the natural forest around the Tesso Nilo TCL has already been replaced by industrial pulp and palm oil plantations, and the TCL itself is in dire condition. In June , fire hotspots were recorded within the forest complex, primarily in areas that had been cleared over the — period.