JOURNAL MONITOR VOL.2 NO.34 : THE ORIGIN HISTORY OF INDONESIAN OIL PALM PLANTATION AND THE POLEMIC OF DEFORESTATION

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Abstract

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  • Indonesian

The development of oil palm plantations has been very significant over the last thirty years. This has led to prejudice that linkages of oil palm plantations with deforestation and loss of biodiversity. To counter these negative issues, a study related to the origin of oil palm plantations was conducted by Gunarso et al. (2013) for 1990-2010 and then continued by Suharto et al. (2019) for the period 2010-2018. The study uses data on land use change from satellite imagery portraits issued by the Planning Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The results of studies related to the origin of Indonesian oil palm plantations show that around 62 percent comes from degraded land (degraded forest, shrubs, bare land) and about 37 percent from agricultural land, plantations and agroforestry. Therefore, the allegation that deforestation is caused by the expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia is not based on facts and data. The fact is that Indonesian oil palm plantations are not a deforestation phenomenon, but, on the contrary, a social, economic, and ecological restoration phenomenon. The causes of deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia are not expansion of oil palm plantations, but the development of agricultural land, transmigration policies (during the Dutch colonial and New Order era), forest fires, and forest consession (HPH).

The deforestation polemic, which accuses the expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia as deforestation, is caused by differences in the definition of forest, the definition of deforestation and the history of deforestation adopted by researchers, institutions and NGOs. Around 1600 definitions of “forest” have been adopted by countries and multinational organizations around the world. The difference in the definition of forest causes differences in viewing forest changes, including deforestation.

Perkembangan perkebunan sawit yang sangat signifikan selama tiga puluh tahun terakhir, menimbulkan prasangka yang memojokkan dengan mengaitkan perkebunan sawit dengan deforestasi maupun hilangnya biodiversitas. Untuk meng-counter isu negatif tersebut, studi terkait asal usul lahan perkebunan sawit dilakukan oleh Gunarso et al. (2013) untuk tahun 1990-2010 dan kemudian dilanjutkan oleh Suharto et al. (2019) untuk periode tahun 2010-2018. Studi tersebut mengunakan data-data land use change dari potret citra satelit yang dikeluarkan oleh Badan Planologi Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan

Hasil studi terkait asal usul lahan kebun sawit Indonesia menunjukkan sekitar 62 persen berasal dari degraded land (degraded forest, schrubs, bare land) serta sekitar 37 persen dari lahan pertanian, perkebunan dan agroforestry. Oleh karena itu, tuduhan yang menyatakan bahwa deforestasi disebabkan ekspansi perkebunan sawit di Indonesia adalah tidak berlandaskan fakta dan data. Faktanya adalah perkebunan sawit Indonesia bukanlah fenomena deforestasi, justru sebaliknya merupakan fenomena restorasi sosial, ekonomi, dan ekologis. Penyebab deforestasi dan degradasi hutan di Indonesia bukanlah ekspansi kebun sawit, tetapi adalah pengembangan lahan pertanian, kebijakan transmigrasi (pada masa kolonial Belanda dan Orde Baru), kebakaran hutan, dan HPH

 Polemik deforestasi yang menuding ekspansi kebun sawit di Indonesia sebagai deforestasi, disebabkan karena adanya perbedaan definisi hutan, definisi deforestasi dan sejarah deforestasi yang dianut peneliti, lembaga maupun NGO. Terdapat sekitar 1600 pengertian hutan yang dianut negara-negara dunia, dan lembaga multinasional. Perbedaan definisi hutan tersebut menimbulkan perbedaan melihat perubahan hutan termasuk deforestasi.
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