Indonesia sees sharp decline in deforestation last year hinh anh 1A forest fire in Kampar regency of Indonesia's Riau province on October 6, 2019 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deforestation in Indonesia was brought down by 75 percent last year thanks to more effective control of forest fires and limitation of woodland clearance, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has said.

Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, a senior official at the ministry, told reporters on March 3 that deforestation in 2020 was estimated at around 115,500 hectares, down from around 462,500 hectares in the previous year.

Various efforts undertaken by the ministry have brought a significant result, he said, citing policies such as a moratorium on primary forest clearing and improved forest fire management, including cloud seeding.

Indonesia is prone to annual forest fires which the government said are often started intentionally by farmers as a cheap land-clearance method even though flames can spread uncontrollably, particularly during the dry season.

According to the World Bank, fires in 2019 caused damage and economic losses amounting to at least 5.2 billion USD, equal to 0.5 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP).

Indonesia has the world’s third largest rainforest area. Deforestation control is part of its commitments in the global Paris Agreement on climate change. The country’s government aims to limit deforestation to between 325,000 and 450,000 hectares per year to avoid any serious dent to economic development./.