Indonesia and Malaysia have cut deforestation by more than half in recent years, a new report shows.
“Indonesia and Malaysia have managed to keep rates of primary forest loss near record-low levels,” according to an analysis from the World Resources Institute. Across both countries, average yearly forest loss fell dramatically between the years 2015-2017 and 2020-2022, with Indonesia seeing a 64 percent decline and Malaysia a 57 percent decline.
Indonesia is aiming for its forests to absorb more carbon than they release by 2030 and has taken steps toward that goal, including ramping up efforts to suppress forest fires. Both nations have also moved to curb logging and limit the clearing of land for palm oil plantations.
The two countries are a rare bright spot in a report that details rising levels of deforestation in tropical rainforests worldwide, from the Amazon to the Congo Basin. In Bolivia, deforestation rose 59 percent over the last half-decade, while in Ghana it shot up 71 percent.
“While some countries have shown promising results to reduce forest loss, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, others have seen continued activities and policies that are causing acceleration of deforestation in critical areas,” the report said. “Protecting forests remains one of the most effective ways to mitigate global climate change and protect the people and biodiversity that depend on them — but time is running out.”