RI′s Natural Forests can Serve as Biodiversity Barn

24 May, 2011 | Source: ANTARA News

Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s natural forests serve as a biodiversity barn that can be used as a source of food and medicine for more than 230 million people in the country.

"The natural forests in Indonesia can provide the local communities with additional products such as fire-wood, fruit, nuts and herbs, and opportunities for agricultural activities," Bird Conservation Officer Dwi Mulyawati said on Monday.

She said the forests in Indonesia contained various kinds of medicine, derived from biodiversity with an estimated value of US14.6 billion.

Dwi said that besides serving as biodiversity barn, the forests also absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), the main `greenhouse gas` responsible for global warming, thereby reducing the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere.

Forests are referred to as `carbon sinks` for this function of CO2 absorption and storage.

According to her, sustainable forestry could provide additional climate change and local environmental benefits in the longer term. Once harvested, the wood from the trees may be used either as a source of renewable energy, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels, or for construction materials or furniture-making, thereby reducing deforestation elsewhere.

She said forests also provide habitats for a wide array of plant and animal species including birds.

"Forests and birds have inseparable reciprocal relationships," Dewi said, adding that of 10,000 kinds of bird in the world, around 1,594 species were found in Indonesian forests.



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