JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 3 : BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION POLICY IN INDONESIA
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Indonesia as the largest palm oil producing country in the world which also has nearly 50 percent of the world’s oil palm plantations, is accused of being an actor of the declining level of biodiversity, especially in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. According to Koh and Wilcove (2008), oil palm plantations that are widely developed in Southeast Asia especially Indonesia and Malaysia will cause the loss of 13-42 percent of species population in the global ecosystem in 2100.
Other allegations have arisen which stated that Indonesia does not have national policies in management biodiversity, so that the expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia threatens to loss biodiversity is a hoax. Unlike the North American and European countries that cleared virgin forests at the onset of industrial development, so they haven’t a sub-tropical biodiversity, but the Indonesia’s government has established policy on national development management with sustainable development paradigm. Thus development sectors and conservation sectors live side by side in harmony in their own habitats.
Indonesia’s government has Law No. 41/1999 on Forestry and Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Planning, Indonesia has set a minimum of 30 percent land use as forests, and Law No. 5/1990 on Conservation of Natural Biodiversity and Ecosystems, land in Indonesia is divided into two zones namely Conservation Zone and Cultivation Zone.
Forestry Statistics (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2018), Indonesia’s total land divided into two namely forest and non-forest (other use areas). About 50 percent of total land or 93.9 million hectares of forest still categoried as a natural habitat for flora and fauna, which is consists of 46.1 million hectares of primary forests, 43.1 million hectares of secondary forest and 4.7 million hectares of plantation forests. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s land for non-forest (other use area) have 93.8 million hectares for urban and industry sector (residential area, business districts) and agricultural sector.
On the other side, the allegations of oil palm plantations in Indonesia threatens to loss biodiversity not have strong enough evidenced. The evidence by the extent of primary forest in Indonesia has caused FAO (2016) classified Indonesia as a Global Top-Ten Countries with Forest Area For Conservation of Biodiversity. In addition, several major conservation area in Indonesia have also been recognized as having important gloval value.
The facts showed that the expansion of oil palm plantations takes place within the Cultivation Zone can live side by side in harmony with other biodiversity in the Conservation Xones. The oil palm plantations also has double role, not only social and economic functions, but as a whole, also has function of biodiversity conservation through cross-generational plant.