Planetary Health In Indonesia
Planetary health issues are particularly pertinent in Indonesia’s rainforest. As the availability of legal sources of timber in the Indonesian forestry sector decline, protected areas such as national parks face increased pressure from illegal logging. Tens of millions of cubic meters are lost to illegal logging each year, costing the Indonesian economy between US $1-5 billion annually in the form of lost royalties and national tax revenue, and the smuggling of merchantable timber. In addition to the loss of valuable environmental services, illegal logging generates illicit wealth that fuels social conflict and widespread corruption. Loss of forest cover has already intensified drought and increased frequency of forest fires, while causing greater flooding damage during rainy season.
In this module, we will focus on the local case study of Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) as a site for the application of planetary health lens through understanding the local and global context surrounding the issues of deforestation. GPNP is a 108,000-hectare protected area in West Kalimantan, Indonesia that hosts an estimated 2,500 orangutans and a number of other rare and endangered species, including gibbons, clouded leopards, palm civets, crested fireback pheasants, great argus pheasants, and eight species of hornbills. Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Indonesian national parks, its habitat range includes coastal forest, mangrove swamps, peat swamps, lowland rain forest, and montane forest. More than 60,000 people and 44 villages are supported by the park’s watershed. Illegal logging has severely degraded the park over the past several decades. Between 1988 and 2002, 38 percent of the park’s lowlands and 70 percent of the 10-km buffer zone surrounding the park was deforested through intensive logging by timber concessions. In Kalimantan, these concessions often illegally expand beyond concession boundaries into protected areas. Even as logging concessions of the 1980s and 1990s expired, population growth and the expansion of palm oil reinforced pressure on the park, and an estimated 12,384 hectares were lost between 1992 and 2004 – 13 percent of the park’s formally designated total area. Timber concessionaires in GPNP were replaced in the 1990s by “community-based logging,” where local teams of community loggers exploited residual forest stands that were too heavily degraded for timber concessionaires to economically log. By the late 1990s, an estimated 80 percent of households obtained more than half of their cash income from logging.
- Understand relationships and interconnections between history, economics, policy, ecosystems, and health care in the Gunung Palung National Park region.
- Connect the situation in and around Gunung Palung National Park to worldwide planetary health trends.
Planetary Health Principle: Historical and Current Global Values (The Lancet)
An understanding of the local and global context is necessary to solve problems in the present. Our unique approach identifies opportunities for positive interventions by recognizing patterns and appreciating the local context.