US Client in Indonesia Uses Slash and Burn Deforestation for US Exports
Our client in Indonesia has a novel “food estate” idea that involves cutting down what precious little forest still remains in that country in order to grow corn, soybeans, sugar and palm oil, which they will then export to the US.
Under the project expected to start this year, 1.6 million hectares of land in Merauke district will be converted to grow crops such as rice, corn, soybean, sugar and palm oil as part of the government’s efforts to reduce dependence on imports and turn Indonesia into a global food producer.
Merauke is virtually the last forested island in Indonesia, with more than 95% forest cover. The Indonesian government claims that “no forests will be cut down”, but this is impossible since their plan also stipulates the use of “millions of hectares”. The land simply isn’t there unless you count forest cover.
Anyone interested in the pernicious relationship between Washington and Indonesia would do well to read this article in last week’s The Nation, which helpfully details our current exploitation of that archipelagic state. Keep in mind this has been going on since 1965.