Tsunami and Peace Boost Illegal Indonesia Logging
: "The rebels of Aceh are trading their guns for chain saws and cashing in on a logging binge that is jeopardizing the future of the world's third largest tropical forest reserves.
It's a cruel conjunction of good news and bad news: The rebellion is over, but peace has opened previously inaccessible virgin forests to illegal logging. Meanwhile, 130,000 homes destroyed by the tsunami of December 2004 need replacing, and demand for timber is almost insatiable. ..
Indonesia, whose tropical forest reserves are the world's largest after the Amazon and the Congo basin, has lost around 40 percent of its canopy to loggers in the last 50 years. At this rate of deforestation -- an area the size of New Jersey lost each year -- lowland trees of Sumatra and the neighboring island of Borneo will disappear by 2010, according to Friends of the Earth and the World Wildlife Fund or WWF.
Aceh was largely protected during a decades-long separatist insurgency, with logging primarily limited to rebels and rogue elements within the military. But last year's peace deal opened up previously inaccessible virgin forests." 11:20:34 AM