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Crisis in Indonesia: Forests, fires and finances

UCLA Library


The jewel in the East Asian "economic miracle" of the 1980s and 1990s came crashing to earth during late 1997 with a collapse of the currency and disintegration of the banking system. By mid-1998 Suharto was forced out of office by a tidal wave of street protests, and raging fires were ablaze throughout the land. In this paper we draw attention to the fundamentals of the finance crisis and the environmental crisis as they relate to the state of tropical rainforests in Indonesia. It is concluded that, somewhat ironically, the dramatic collapse of the Indonesian economy and the devastating forest fires of the late 1990s may lead to the preservation of one of the earth's most significant heritage sites, the tropical rainforests and biodiversity of Indonesia.

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