Election cycle linked to deforestation rate in Indonesia

14 April 2011

Researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and South Dakota State University (SDSU) have highlighted a link between the rate of deforestation in Indonesia and the political election cycle. Politicians may rely on funding from logging, plantation, and mining companies to fund their election campaigns. It was found that illegal logging increases before an election, but falls sharply in the year following an election, suggesting that new concessions are granted to companies to clear forests legally.

These findings are significant for Indonesia's effort to slow deforestation under its billion dollar partnership with Norway. The paper suggests that election reform is needed to address deforestation.

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