Treespotting one billion trees in Indonesia!!!

Sanity is not statistical.

I was over at the Ministry of Forestry and Plantations and spotted one of those huge propaganda-type banners that Indonesia is still very fond of producing.

A throwback to more autocratic times perhaps, but always good for a bit of critical deconstruction.

This particular one shows SBY doing a bit of gardening, or more precisely planting a tree:

 one billion trees in Indonesia
Not that SBY would ever actually plant a tree himself, of course – he wouldn’t want to get his hands dirty – it’s more of a metaphor for his support of the Forestry Ministry’s target of planting an astonishing one billion trees in Indonesia in 2010.

One billion trees!! But isn’t that quite a lot? I mean it’s around 4 trees for every man, woman and child in this country, considering the population of around 260 million.

But just like all Truespeak propaganda, the Ministry’s claim doesn’t hold up of course.

Cos the one billion figure quoted is actually the number conjured out of the air by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) for the number of trees to be planted GLOBALLY - but with no stated timeframe as to when the trees will actually be planted.

 one billion trees in Indonesia Bizarrely, though, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and Plantations seem to have taken it to meaning one billion INDONESIAN trees, but - as you might expect – they provide no details on their website as to where the trees are being planted, and most importantly what the progress has been to date.

But while the planting of trees is obviously a good thing, it’s just as important that protected rainforests are not cut down in the first place.

And in that regard, there is the bizarre story of the Norwegians suddenly realizing that their Indonesian anti-deforestation aid is actually “useless”:

A new report produced by the Indonesian government’s own climate committee shows preserving the rainforest is neither cost nor climate-effective, according to Klassekampen.

Indonesian timber companies earn huge amounts both on cutting down rainforest trees and replacing them with the plantations. The country is now the world’s third-largest emitter of climate gases.

This means Norway’s six billion kroner anti-deforestation deal between Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono, signed under the Climate and Forest Conference at Holmenkollen Park Hotel outside Oslo earlier this year, could be laid barren.

“At worst, we could end up with an agreement in which subsidies to the logging industry are regarded as environmental initiatives. This means [the money] will be completely counterproductive,” says Rain Forest Norway’s Campaign Leader Nils Henrik Ranum, who has read the report.

Or in simple terms, the Norwegians are funding the destruction of the Indonesian rainforests. WTF!!!


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