JAKARTA Indonesia is among the world's top
three greenhouse gas emitters because of deforestation,
peatland degradation and forest fires, a report sponsored by
the World Bank and Britain's development arm said.
An increase of global temperatures has already resulted in
prolonged drought, heavy rainfall leading to floods and tidal
waves in Indonesia, putting the archipelago's rich biodiversity
at risk, said the report, released on Monday.
"Emissions resulting from deforestation and forest fires
are five times those from non-forestry emissions. Emissions
from energy and industrial sectors are relatively small, but
are growing very rapidly," it added.
"This may lead to harmful effects on agriculture, fishery
and forestry, resulting in threats to food security and
livelihoods," said the report, which comes ahead of this week's
G8 summit in Germany where global warming is major item on the
The report is a review of published information compiled by
PT Pelangi Energi Abadi Citra Enviro (PEACE), a consulting arm
of an Indonesian research institute dealing with the
environment, and was sponsored by the World Bank and the
Indonesia's total annual carbon dioxide emissions stand at
3.014 billion tonnes after the United States, the world's top
emitter with 6.005 billion tonnes followed by China at 5.017
billion tonnes, according to data from the report.
Indonesia's yearly carbon dioxide emissions from energy,
agriculture and waste are around 451 million tonnes while
forestry and land use change are estimated to account for a
staggering 2.563 billion tonnes, said the report, titled
"Indonesia and Climate Change: Current Status and Policies."
Climate change would also increase average sea levels,
which in turn would reduce farming and coastal livelihoods in
Indonesia, a country of about 17,000 islands where millions
depend on fishing and farming.
"Even if forest fires were taken out of the equation,
Indonesia would still be one of the largest greenhouse gas
emitters," said Agus P. Sari of PEACE.
He said the figures cited in the report were debatable.
"But more important than those figures is acknowledgment
that Indonesia has a big problem, that Indonesia contributes a
lot," he told a conference to launch the report.
Indonesia's rain forests are being stripped rapidly because
of illegal logging and palm oil plantations for bio-fuels, and
some environmentalists say they could be wiped out altogether
within the next 15 years.
According to some estimates, the tropical Southeast Asian
country -- whose forests are a treasure trove of plant and
animal species including the endangered orangutans -- has
already lost an estimated 72 percent of its original frontier
Forest fires, often deliberately lit by farmers as well as
timber and oil palm plantation owners, are a regular occurrence
on Indonesia's Sumatra island and its portions of Borneo island
during the dry season.
Indonesia's neighbors have grown increasingly frustrated
with Jakarta's failure to tackle the dry season fires, which
last year triggered fears of a repeat of months of choking haze
in 1997-98 that cost the region billions in economic losses.
The report is an effort to raise awareness on how climate
change "is a real threat to Indonesia," said Joe Leitmann,
chief environmentalist at the World Bank in Jakarta.
Indonesia will host the next annual Kyoto Protocol meeting
on the resort island of Bali in December and this "puts the
country in a strong position to lead on developing
international action and incentives to reduce emissions from
deforestation," said Mike Harrison of Britain's Department for
In 2004, Indonesia ratified the protocol, which requires
about 35 developed countries to lower their emissions to below
their 1990 levels between 2008-2012. Developing nations are
excluded from the emissions cuts during the first phase.
(Additional reporting by Ahmad Pathoni)