Indonesia to plant 79 million trees

Indonesia, which is losing its forests at a faster rate than any other country, launched a campaign Wednesday to plant 79 million trees ahead of a critical climate change conference on the resort island of Bali.

Indonesia to plant 79 million trees
"We will show Indonesia's strong commitment and action to preserve the environment and save our planet," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said as he planted saplings with members of his government. "Illegal logging is our biggest enemy."

Around 300 football fields of trees are destroyed every hour due to illegal logging, mining and slash-and-burn land clearing for highly profitable palm oil plantations — making the country a major contributor to global warming.

Yudhoyono said if the trend continues, future generations will face food and water shortages. Many of the nation's 17,000 islands will likely be submerged by rising sea waters caused by the melting of the polar ice caps, the government says.

Environmental groups have called the planting program well intended, but say it will mean little if the government does not immediately impose a moratorium on deforestation.

World leaders from 80 countries are to meet on Bali next month to develop a replacement for the current climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 18:23
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