Is indiscriminate logging responsible for this ruthless cataclysm? This query has kicked up a debate on the reasons behind landslides and flash floods in Indonesia that killed as many as 240 people. ‘Logging in central Java worsened the situation and exposed the government’s failure to reign in illegal logging rampant across the archipelago,’ local environmentalists say.
Gathering unlikely support from international conservation groups, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration denies that logging was to blame for the tragedy. According to the conservationists, ‘the cause of the landslide likely had more to do with the makeup of central Java, where thousands live in flood-prone areas and farmers have torn down forests to clear agriculture land and plantations.’