Indonesia has undergone the rapid deforestation largely as a result of practical consequences of human overexploitation of the forest. Between 1950 and 2015, around 43% of the forest area in Indonesia had been lost (68.0 million hectares). The process of deforestation has partly been a response to the rapidly intensifying ‘global’ and ‘domestic’ economic demands.
Deforestation in Indonesia is also indirectly due to ‘materialism-driven’ value system and the corresponding weakening of Indonesian ethics. Therefore, given that socio-cultural expressions of modern Indonesian value systems have mostly taken place within a framework of Islam, the aim of the paper is to attempt to find Islamic ethics in general, which can provide the basis of ecological ethics to prevent rapid deforestation in Indonesia.
The paper is composed of the followings. First, following the ‘Introduction’, it outlines the historical process of deforestation in Indonesia and also its corresponding socio-economic contexts. Then it moves on to talk about ecological ethics in general, thereby emphasizing that the phenomenological problem of deforestation needs to be conceived at a philosophical level beyond ecological phenomena. After discussing the ecological ethics, the paper proceeds to examine Islamic ethics as a canonical framework of ecological ethics in Indonesia. In doing so, it attempts to apply the Islamic ethics to the diverse Indonesian society and then considers ‘Pancasila’ as a potential framework for a pragmatic link between Islam ethics and Indonesian society. Having said that, in conclusion, the paper argues that there is a need for ‘concrete’ translation of ‘Pancasila’ into implementation in an Indonesian context, thereby various agents (government, policy-practitioners, concessionaires and also all the Indonesian) may agree in saying ‘no’ to overexploitation of the forest, to rapid depletion of the forest and to ‘unsustainable’ development practices.