POGIL, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia’s president has called for the eradication of deforestation and forest degradation, as he unveiled an ambitious plan to clean up the country’s forests.
President Joko Widodo, a former mining executive, pledged a “total clean-up” of the country, pledging to “remove all the trees that threaten the ecology and the biodiversity of the planet”.
“We are going to clean Indonesia’s forests,” he said at a signing ceremony at the presidential palace in the capital Jakarta on Saturday, adding that “we will remove all the old trees.”
“This is the first step toward cleaning the earth, and the forest is not the only thing in our country.
We have to do something to stop the degradation of the environment,” he added.
He also promised to eradicate invasive species, and said Indonesia will establish “one of the world’s largest forests in the country”.
The president’s plan calls for “a total clean-ups” of Indonesia’s forestlands and forests, with the goal of clearing around 100 million hectares (328 million acres) by 2020.
It is aimed at cutting down over 200 million hectares of trees and vegetation, including more than 1 billion hectares (3.5 billion acres) of rainforest, in addition to destroying 6.7 million hectares ($10.9 billion) of plantations and over 730,000 hectares (2.2 million acres).
According to the plan, Indonesia will eliminate deforestation in the forest by 2030, with more than 20 million hectares cleared by 2020, or 60% of its original forest area.
A massive fire last year destroyed the countrys second largest forest and a vast area of forest reserves.
“We want to reduce the number of trees, the number in the forests, the size of the forest, the amount of carbon that we burn,” Widodo said at the ceremony.
“To achieve this, we have to start by reducing the forest.
This means reducing the amount we use.”
Indonesia is one of the largest producers of wood products, with 80% of the wood that goes into products made from it being produced in Indonesia.
The Indonesian government says the country is the largest exporter of wood and pulp products in the world.
The country has the worlds biggest forest, comprising a large part of the Amazon rainforest and some of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the region.
It accounts for about 5% of all tropical forests, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.