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ATBC Bali Declaration

Unequivocal Support for Recent Forest-Conservation Initiatives in Indonesia

(released on 23 July 2010)

Whereas, the Republic of Indonesia sustains some of the richest biological and cultural diversity of any nation on Earth, distributed across an archipelago of over 17,000 islands that span both the Asian and Australasian biogeographic regions; and

Whereas, a great many Indonesian species are confined to just one or a few nearby islands, and therefore occur nowhere else on earth; and

Whereas, biologists are still encountering many species in Indonesia that are entirely new to science, indicating that much of the nation’s biodiversity is yet to be discovered and that the conservation status and distribution of many other species are poorly known; and

Whereas, the high pace of forest destruction in Indonesia, averaging some 2-2.5 million hectares annually from 1996 to 2005, has led to the degradation, fragmentation, and loss of critical ecosystems and livelihoods, especially in species-rich lowland forests, as a result of unsustainable logging, land conversion, forest fires, overharvesting, and other environmental stresses; and

Whereas, forest loss and degradation has imperiled many Indonesian animal and plant species, including over 100 mammal species classified by the IUCN as being threatened or endangered, such as the Javan and Sumatran Rhinoceros, Asian Elephant, Tiger, and Orangutan; and

Whereas, the rapid destruction and degradation of forests, peat swamps, wetlands, and other habitats is also a major source of atmospheric carbon emissions, contributing significantly to global warming and climatic change.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world’s largest scientific organization devoted to the study and wise use of tropical ecosystems, on the occasion of its 2010 International Meeting in Bali, Indonesia: