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|Date: 26 September 2011 - Author: Antara|
|A new report by consultancy ITS Global has found that Indonesia`s forest-based industries including timber harvesting, wood product manufacturing and pulp and paper products, make a substantial contribution to Indonesia`s economy.|
|The report said the sectors contribute approximately USD 21 billion to Indonesia`s GDP, or roughly 3.5 percent of the national economy, ITS Global said in a press statement here on Friday.|
Wood products and pulp and paper manufacturing represent around 8.3 per cent of manufacturing value-added.
The sectors employ a combined total of 3.76 million people, or around 4 per cent of the working population and roughly 1.5 per cent of the total population.
If dependents are taken into account, this equates to more than 15 million people dependent upon the sector.
The report found that the sectors make up more than 9 per cent of Indonesia`s non-mineral export revenue (around Rp84 trillion), and contribute around 1.3 per cent of all government revenue.
The forest industries make a major social contribution in remote rural areas where job opportunities are scarce. Pulp and paper operations in Riau, for example, make up more than 11 per cent of the province`s total economic output.
Also highlighted is the contribution of the industry to providing stable employment and land tenure for local communities as well as the environmental stewardship provided by large-scale operators in areas where there are high levels of uncontrolled deforestation.
According to the report`s authors, this is the first time that the contribution of Indonesia`s forest-based industries have been brought together into one report.
"Indonesia has very large forest resources and a very large industry. However, the importance of the economic contribution is regularly overlooked," said an ITS Global spokesperson.
Indonesia has set aside 40 per cent of its forests for conservation and environmental protection.
"Despite this, many environmental groups are pushing for the industry to be closed down, which has included calls for bans of Indonesian forest products, or for the industry to be replaced with income from REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) schemes pushed by aid donors," he said
"This ignores the industry`s contribution to Indonesian livelihoods and the millions of Indonesian families the industry supports," he added.