79 Million Trees in One Day


You read it right, 79 million trees in a day – that’s Indonesia’s planting goal for TOMORROW, November 28, 2007. It’s being reported that each of the 71,000 individual villages, plus some 8,000 other administrative areas of the country, have each been ordered to plant 1,000 trees – just before a U.N. climate change conference is scheduled to be held there in December of this year.

Why the sudden mass planting? Indonesia currently suffers from the worst example of deforestation on the planet – with their forests having lost 63% of their total area [about 91 million hectares] since 1966 [stats via] due to logging. Now I know what you’re thinking : ‘Sounds great – deforestation sucks, and trees are great. Man do I love oxygen and shade…’ – but thats not even it! The irony of the move emerges when one looks into what many of the forests are currently being clear-cut for, now that logging is being more and more heavily regulated and has been gaining national attention : biofuel. That’s right, these forests are being destroyed to produce a ‘green’ energy source! My Ninjas, Please!! The crop in particular is palm olive, which is used to produce palm oil – which can be used as a biodiesel fuel. And worse still – it’s not always the farmer’s/landowner’s decision.

[Aruk] is just one of several [villages] where the land rights of local communities and indigenous groups come head to head with new concessions given to palm oil companies.

…35-year-old Alexander [from Aruk - a village on the Indonesian side of the border with Malaysia, in West Kalimantan], lost his 10-acre plot last year.

“I went to my land one morning, and found it had been cleared. All my rubber trees, my plants had been destroyed,” he says, fighting back the tears. “Now I have to work as a builder in Malaysia, so I can feed my three children.”

The company, a subsidiary of the Indonesian Duta Palma group, did offer Alexander compensation for his land.

Full Article via the BBC

[I mean, who cares about local Indonesian farmers? I want my biodiesel so I can catch this 'green' wave before my neighbors. What can I say, I like being the trend-setter.]

Getting a ‘green’ fuel in this way is very similar to the U.S.’s use of corn to produce ethanol – claiming it as sustainable while the process both encourages the use of more and more land for farming – instead of natural habitats – AND raises/alters the value of corn itself, which will inevitably affect food supplies/prices. Creating a ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ world first requires that we act smart, my ninjas -otherwise we’ll end up burning down all the rainforests so we can build wind-farms.


::Interesting random sidenote : WholeFoods‘ 365 brand uses palm oil in some of its products [I bought french fries this past weekend and noticed they were cooked with palm oil after I got home], which is considered by many to be one of the worst kinds of cooking oil. Strange coming from a store so apparently devoted to the health of its customers and the world::

About brent

Brent founded the Hyphae Design Laboratory in February 2008; “the lab” is a consulting and design firm dedicated to bridging the gap between architecture and biological sciences. Brent is also an active member of greenmeme, an artistic design firm based in Los Angeles and The Chlorophyll Collective, an environmental education group based in Oakland, California. From 2005-2008, Brent served as the design director at Rana Creek, an ecological restoration and design firm based in Carmel Valley, California. Brent’s work included the design of large-scale living roofs, ecological landscapes, rainwater catchment systems, living walls, greywater systems and constructed wetlands. Hit me up if interested about the world before that.

2 thoughts on “79 Million Trees in One Day

  1. Hi iam Meeftah . iam ur ninja from Indonesia ( I am proud being a ninja . thanks for linked me at myninjalease..)

    This is a very nice articles. The first ,deforestation in Indonesia is very very serious problem. We lost lots of forests since the time of “development time” in the New Order Regime ( Orde Baru ) led by Soeharto. Our second president, and he was a bastard tyrant, too.

    Indonesian forests is amazing! Since we have mega biodiversity in all parts of forest in all Indonesian archipelago. Stretch from Sumatra to Papua. Even, scientist found several “new” species from a remote forest in Papua . for hundreds years, it absorbs carbon, and our ocean too. Indonesia president , Yudhoyono, is much better president, he campaign to fight illegal logging and logger. Eventhough, It’s a long journey to bring our forest back…

    Is it classic right? since Indonesia is a poor country, OK OK, i say “developing country” :) and then government and investor start killing forests. They even take gold and copper, but what contributions for the local people? just like Freeport in Papua. Capitalism starts to work

    About the illegal logging and the forests conversion for the palm oil, it is a serious problem too. For your info, many of Malaysian company do illegal logging in the border in the northern part of Kalimantan! And their blame Indonesia ! Malaysia seem to protect their forest but steal woods from the neighbour. pretty smart hah? It’s true.

    I am agree with the case, the biofuel seem dangerous for Indonesian forest, it is ironic when we make biofuel but killed hundreds species creatures there. For addition, as you can see many rice fields in Indonesia are convert more and more to industrial area. It is as tragic as converting forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan for palm oil industry. The local newspaper sometimes has a report about elephants that came to the kampong, they seek food, just food for eat ..

    I hope ,I will do more to save our environment, we should help each other,so my ninja, please !!
    let’s move..

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