East Timor - Forestry

Data from the government of Indonesia has shown the alarming trends of deforestation on the once forest-rich lands of East Timor. In 1975, about 50% of East Timor's land was primary and secondary forest. By 1989, the figure dropped to about 41% and by 1999, only 1% of these forests remained. Most of the deforestation was conducted under logging operations for teak, redwood, sandalwood, and mahogany for export. The use of wood as a primary fuel source has added to the problem of diminishing forests.

In 2000, the UNTAET administration issued Regulation 2000– 17 to prohibit any logging operations that would include the export of logs, lumber, and/or furniture from East Timor. Burning and destruction of remaining forests for any reason was also prohibited. The UNDP has launched several programs to counter deforestation as well as begin reforestation. These include a nationwide seed propagation program to establish community nurseries and encourage replanting of forestlands, particularly on hillsides and in areas where erosion is a problem. There are also subsidy programs in the works to provide low-cost kerosene and cookers to rural residents in an effort to reduce dependency on wood as fuel.

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