Friday, November 30, 2007

Mass Tree Planting in Indonesia

I heard recently on NPR and the BBC News about a massive tree planting campaign in Indonesia. Governmenta agencies all over the country were planning to plant over 79 million trees! Indonesia is usually known for its deforestation of tropical forests and the overwhelming smog from forest fires.

From the reports I heard, I feel optimistic that this campaign may be successful. First, it is a locally initiated campaign. The people seem to be behind it, rather than having it imposed from outside. They have chosen some interesting species. In addition to teak and other timber species they will be planting fruit trees that people want.

As I saw in Africa, tree planting campaigns will only work if they have popular support. Otherwise it's just too hard to make the tree-planting a success. This doesn't resolve the problem of forest clearing and fires, but it does point in the right direction.

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