Oil palm expansion in Sentarum Lake National Park


From the latest imagery (June 27, 2011) I can prove that there is an illegal oil palm expansion in buffer zone of Sentarum Lake National Park, West Kalimantan Indonesia. The area occupied almost 10,000Ha of buffer zone, and only 400m long away from the lake.

The high rate of opening of oil palm estates in rural areas or in upper stream of Taman Nasional Danau Sentarum (TNDS) region should be the cause of the sedimentation. Data from the Central Park, there are at least eight oil palm plantations operating in the area around the lake. Generally, the opening eight plantations are owned by PT Sinar Mas. There are already planted, some are still in the seeding. The sludge sedimentation has occurred since 2008 along with the clearing of forests for oil palm plantation land clearing. If forest buffer is less resistant to damage, the extent of necessary forest completely unsafe[1].

If the sedimentation of mud in TNDS continues to deteriorate, the impact to damage the ecosystem there will be very large. The high mud of TNDS cannot make lake collect rainwater in large amount, so that if the rainfall high, the water will overflow into the Kapuas River, so the entire Kapuas watershed will  affected by floods. If there is drought, the Kapuas River basin also will go dry. About 20 thousand people who stayed around too TNDS would be affected by the economy. Their livelihood as fishermen as well as fresh honey-makers will also be lost in the near future[1].

Remarkable illegal expansion in only two years, occupied almost 10,000Ha of buffer zone
Illegal oil palm expansion in Sentarum Lake National Park (Left: land clearing in year 2009 - Right: expansion in year 2011)

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