The Politics of Deforeatation in Indonesia

In analyzing the article, “The politics of deforestation in Indonesia” by Peter Dauvergne, first discuss two arguments that the Indonesian government state for the continuing deforestation in Indonesia. In responding to these claims by the government, then discuss two arguments put forward by Dauvergne to explain the more significant reasons for the political support for deforestation in Indonesia.

Indonesia has got ten percent of the world’ s rain forests but is losing almost nine hundred thousand hectares of forest every year.   Deforestation is a serious problem in third world countries.   In this article, there are four explanations of deforestation, which are tropical government, environmental, developmental, and public policy.   Development projects, which are sponsored transmigration settlement, spontaneous migration and estate crop development have decreased 1,280,000 hectares of forest, logging has decreased 480,000 hectares and normal fire has decreased 360,000 hectares.   The total loss from 1980 to 1986 is 5,120,000 hectares, but Indonesian government claims that the culprits are indigenious people and their old fashioned farming techniques and “natural” fires.

The Indonesian government claims that traditional agriculture swidden agriculture by indigenous people who live on outer islands is nonefficient and devastating, and asserts that it is the main cause of deforestation.   Blaming indigenous people supports the government’ s tribal integration policy.   From 1972 to 1982, more than ten thousand native families were forced to move to sedentary agricultural areas.   These people were also accused of destroying the forests.   According to Dauvergne, transmingration is unfair, because these people have no legal titel to their lands and often lose their lands to logging companies.   Therefore, many farmers became uncapable of practicing unsustainable farming.   Transmigration policy made those people farm with inappropriate farm models for the Indonesian...