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The Jakarta Post
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Government to boost voluntary deals

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, September 27 2010 | 09:43 am

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said he saw no promising future for any deal regarding REDD ahead of the upcoming climate talks in Mexico, prompting his office to aim to forge voluntary pacts with rich nations.

As of September, the ministry has signed voluntary agreements with several countries for a total of 45 projects dealing with reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), which in the end aimed to slash emissions from the forestry sector.

From these 45 projects, the Forestry Ministry, Indonesia’s focal point for forest affairs, would receive up to Rp 3 billion (US$336,000) in grants this year.

In addition, Indonesia and Norway signed a $1 billion deal in May, which is also focused on emissions reduction through halting forest and peatland clearing.

“More will come, including from the United States,” Zulkifli said.

“We need to increase our voluntary deals, as I predict there will be no agreements on REDD reached in this year’s meeting in Cancun, Mexico.”

Zulkifli said voluntary deals were in fact less desirable since the price of the carbon reduction would be far lower compared to deals under the legally binding scheme.

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 this year, world leaders will gather for the 16th Conference of Parties ( COP16 ) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The 15th conference ( COP15 ) was held last year in Copenhagen, Denmark, at which global leaders failed to reach an agreement on legally binding emissions reduction.

Zulkifli said Cancun would likely to see the same situation emerge as had been seen at previous talks, where each nation continued to push its own interests, making it difficult to reach any deal on REDD.
“If this keeps happening, the fate of climate talks will be like that of the World Trade Organization [WTO], which fell apart several times,” he said.

The REDD scheme was designed as an alternative means to reduce greenhouse emissions, since forest destruction such as peatland clearing and forest fires contribute around 20 percent to global emissions.

Indonesia has inked voluntary bilateral deals with several nations and international institutions including Australia ($66 million), the World Bank on forest carbon partnership facility ($3 million), and Germany on forest program and climate change ($26 million).

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