The tropical forests of Sumatra are under severe pressure, largely from the international timber and oil palm industries. In the Sumatran province of Riau, deforestation is moving forward faster than anywhere else in Indonesia, with about 70% of the province’s natural forest having disappeared as of 2008. Despite this, there is enough forest left to be well worth saving. The Indonesian government has made some important commitments in the last couple years intended to help protect forests in Sumatra and other parts of the country. However demand in the US, Europe, and other parts of the world for timber and palm oil (which is used as a food ingredient and biofuel) is making conservation difficult.
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