Oyos Saroso H.N., The Jakarta Post, Bandarlampung
The island of Sumatra may have lost some five million hectares of forest -- more than a quarter of its total forest area -- between 1990 and 2000, according to statistics.
Lampung Wildlife Conservation Society activist Dwi Nugroho Adhiasto said conversion to farm land was the worst problem, followed by mining and new roads.
These activities, he said, threatened the island's unique bio-diversity, citing the Sumatran tiger, orangutan, rhinoceros and Rafflesia flower.
In 2004 three national parts acquired United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage status: Bukit Barisan in Lampung, Kerinci Seblat in Jambi and Gunung Leuser in Aceh. But this is no guarantee of protection.
Head of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Lusman Pasaribu, said he hoped "all institutions, even from foreign countries, will take part in saving Sumatra's forests," without mentioning what could be done about coffee plantations located within park boundaries.
Lusman said West Lampung and Tanggamus regencies in Lampung and Kaur regency in Bengkulu needed conservation plans, noting that some parts of West Lampung were technically protected areas.
Lusman encouraged the central government and local administrations to suggest alternative livelihoods so that farming would not longer destroy forests.
Sumatra environmental activist Sherly Ering said she wanted people to care about the forest and detailed the activities of the her organizations "Million Hopes" public outreach and education program.
The World Wildlife Federation in Indonesia has reported that coffee plantations -- including some located within national parks such as Bukit Barisan -- cause deforestation
According to WWF Indonesia, about 17 percent of Bukit Barisan's 360,000 hectares have been turned to farming, mostly coffee.
WWF Indonesia reported there were 40 companies exporting coffee from Lampung to dozens of countries in Europe, Africa, North America and Australia, as well as Asia.
According to WWF, in 2003 nearly half of Lampung's export coffee was grown in the park.