Ecumenical News International

Church Communion Criticizes Land Theft in Indonesia

May 9, 2012

United Evangelical Mission (UEM), has criticized the race to grab the last available pieces of land in Indonesia. "Even binding agreements cannot prevent the sell-off," said UEM climate consultant Longgena Ginting on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  "Far too often, financial interests and corruption have the upper hand."

Only a few weeks ago, the Indonesian government granted a license for a palm oil plantation in the Tripa rain forest, home to 250 of the last orangutans, according to UEM reports.  This violates a bilateral agreement within the UN Climate Change Programme, through which Norway paid the Southeast Asian country USD one billion in return for the commitment to protect the rain forest, Gintig explained. The climate expert is taking part in an international workshop on climate and environmental protection with delegates from German, Asian and African churches.

Half of the Indonesian rain forest has already been destroyed, according to the UEM, an association of 34 churches in Africa, Asia and Germany together with the Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel. The UEM claims that each year, 1.8 million hectares are sacrificed to illegal clearing and planting.

May 9, 2012



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