Indonesia has the highest deforestation rate in the world.

Indonesia adalah negara yang melakukan deforestasi terbesar dunia.

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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

DescriptionTropical forest
(million ha)
Non-tropical forest
(million ha)
World Forest

(million ha)

1.  Pre-agricultural forest1,2773,3514,628
2.  Forest in 19801,2292,6983,927
Deforestation (pre-agriculture to 1980)48653701

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.

Deforestasi merupakan proses normal dan bagian dari proses pembangunan di setiap negara. Seluruh daerah perkotaan, pemukiman, pertanian di setiap negara berasal dari deforestasi. Meskipun deforestasi global merupakan proses normal pada setiap negara, Indonesia bukanlah deforestasi terbesar dunia.

Sebagaimana hasil studi Matthew (1983) pada awal pembangunan di negara-negara subtropis seperti kawasan Eropa dan Amerika Utara telah melakukan deforestasi seluas 653 juta hektar sebelum tahun 1980 (Tabel).

Tabel. Deforestasi Global

UraianHutan Tropis
(juta ha)
Hutan Non Tropis
(juta ha)
Hutan Dunia
(juta ha)
1.    Hutan pre-pertanian1.2773.3514.628
2.    Hutan tahun 19801.2292.6983.927
Deforestasi (pre-pertanian sampai 1980)48653701

Sumber : Matthew, 1983

Daratan Eropa mengalami deforestasi sebelum tahun 1500-an, deforestasi di Amerika Serikat berlangsung dalam kurun waktu 1620-1920 (www.globalchange.umich.edu). Sementara pada periode yang sama negara-negara yang berada di kawasan tropis hanya melakukan deforestasi 48 juta hektar, karena pembangunan dan jumlah penduduk masih relatif rendah.

Namun sejak tahun 1980-an dimana negara-negara tropis dan negara lainnya sedang melaksanakan pembangunan dan menghadapi pertumbuhan penduduk, deforestasi makin meningkat.

Dalam periode 1990-2008 (Eropean Commission, 2013) deforestasi global mencapai 239 juta hektar. Deforestasi tersebut sekitar 33 persen terjadi di Amerika Selatan (Gambar), dan di Afrika 31 persen. Sedangkan Asia Tenggara, dimana Indonesia berada sekitar 19 persen.

Dengan data-data deforestasi global tersebut, deforestasi merupakan bagian dari proses pembangunan normal di setiap negara. Meskipun sebagai proses pembangunan normal, deforestasi di Indonesia bukanlah deforestasi terbesar global. Luas deforestasi di kawasan Amerika Utara dan Eropa (sebelum 1980) dan di negara-negara Amerika Selatan seperti Brazil dan Argentina (1980-2008) masih jauh lebih besar dibandingkan deforestasi di Indonesia.

Figure Global Deforestation 1990-2008

Global Deforestation 1990-2008

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