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Myth/Fact

Indonesian palm oil has destroyed Indonesia’s forests, leaving it with much less forest area than in Europe

More than 49.86 per cent of Indonesia is forested, covering an area of 91 million ha. Indonesia’s forest area is larger than the total land area of France and Germany combined. Indonesia’s forests cover more than twice the total land area of California. 

Indonesia’s total protection and conservation forest area is 51.8 million ha, covering 27 per cent of the country’s land area. This is an area larger than Spain.

Indonesia has a superior conservation track record compared to most European countries. Land reserved as forest area is, according to the official World Bank statistics:

  • UK: 13.06 per cent
  • Netherlands: 11.17 per cent
  • France: 31.23 per cent
  • Germany: 32.69 per cent
  • Indonesia: 49.86 per cent

It is illegal to cut forests for oil palm plantations. In 2018, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, renewed the moratorium on new licences for oil palm expansion. In September 2019, this moratorium was made permanent. Oil palm plantation expansion in Indonesia has stopped.

Indonesia’s forest protection deserves international praise and support, not fake-news NGO reports and media scare stories.

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