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 Located on the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. The biodiversity found on its 17 508 islands, including Java, Sumatra and Borneo, is among the richest on Earth.

A volcanic land

Straddling the equator between Asia and Australia, the Indonesian Archipelago is the world’s most volcanically active region. The country’s mountainous landscapes were shaped by it 400 volcanoes, including 128 that are still active. Despite its destructive nature, volcanism plays a major role in maintaining soil fertility.

Rare and diverse flora

The tropical rainforest covers two thirds of Indonesia with lush vegetation. The hot and humid climate encourages the growth of especially diverse and often rare plant life. Teak, ebony and the rubber tree are found here, along with sugarcane, giant bamboo and an extraordinary variety of orchids. The titan arum, the world’s biggest flower, which can reach over a metre in diameter, is unique to the island of Sumatra.

Asian and Australian fauna

Western Indonesia is home to Asian animal species such as elephants, water buffalos, rhinoceroses, tigers and orangutans. Komodo dragons, babyrousas, tarsiers, as well as numerous species of birds, inhabit the country’s central regions. Farther east are found animals of the Australian variety, including kangaroos and cassowaries.

A shrinking forest

Ranked third in the world in area and in biodiversity, the Indonesian forest is shrinking by one million hectares a year. Clear-cutting, industrial pollution and high population densities are the main causes of this environmental degradation, which threatens the survival of a large number of animal species, including 169 in danger of extinction.

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Par Shermaine, 2011-07-02, 22h24

Wonrdeful explanation of facts available here.

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