Indonesia is now the country with the highest rate of annual loss in primary forest in the world. The area of forest that was lost between 2000 to 2012 is 16m hectares, an area roughly the same size as Greece. Of the 16m hectares of deforestation, 38% of that or 6m hectares was primary forest (the most valuable in terms of carbon and biodiversity) and the “…loss of primary forest is increasing by an average of 47,600 hectares every year”.
This was caused in part by “…corrupt local politicians, police and even army officers are still involved in selling off forest land to be cleared for palm-oil and paper-pulp plantations, illegal logging and much else. The land is most often cleared by burning, creating the dense and deadly haze clouds that drift across the island of Sumatra to Malaysia and Singapore, creating an almost annual diplomatic and environmental row. Last year the air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia as a result of the haze was the worst on record.”