Deforestation is a normal process and part of the development practice in every country. All urban regions, residential and agricultural areas in every country originate from deforestation. Even though global deforestation is a normal process in each country, Indonesia is not the country with the largest deforestation in the world.
The results of Matthew’s study (1983) showed that the start of development in temperate countries such as in Europe and North America resulted in the deforestation of 653 million hectares before the year 1980 (Table).
Table : Global deforestation
|1. Pre-agricultural forest||1,277||3,351||4,628|
|2. Forest in 1980||1,229||2,698||3,927|
|Deforestation (pre-agriculture to 1980)||48||653||701|
Source: Matthew, 1983
The European mainland experienced deforestation before the 1500s, deforestation in the US took place in the 1620-1920 period (www.globalchange.umich.edu). Meanwhile, in the same period countries in the tropical regions carried out deforestation only on 48 million hectares because development and the size of their populations were relatively still low.
However, since the 1980s when tropical countries and others have begun carrying out development and face population growth, deforestation has increased.
In the 1990-2008 period (European Commission, 2013) global deforestation reached 239 million hectares. About 33 percent of this deforestation took place in the United States (Figure) and 31 percent in Africa, while, Southeast Asia, where Indonesia is located, accounted for 19 percent.
With this global deforestation data, deforestation is seen as a part of normal development processes in each country. Despite it being a normal development process, deforestation in Indonesia is not the biggest source of global deforestation. Deforestation in North American and European regions (before 1980) and South American countries like Brazil and Argentina (1980-2008) was still much greater than the deforestation in Indonesia.