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Jakarta Post
Jakarta Post
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UNDP to open first RI office for forest protection

  • Andi Haswidi

    The Jakarta Post

New York | Fri, September 23 2011 | 08:00 am

Seen as a clear sign of support for Indonesia’s forest protection program, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed an agreement to partner with the country and to open a special office in Jakarta.

UNDP administrator Helen Clark praised Indonesia for putting into action environmentally sensitive forest management techniques to create economic opportunities and improve livelihoods.

Indonesia is implementing a programme, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which offers financial incentives for developing countries to reduce deforestation-related emissions and invest in low-carbon and long-term forest management.

“We think that with good planning and the right incentives, the REDD financing can help Indonesia to achieve its target of 7 percent GDP growth, provide food security and sustainable use of its forest resources,” Helen Clark said during a high-level meeting with around 200 representatives from government and non-governmental organizations during the UN General Assembly’s 66th session.

With financial support from the Government of Norway, Indonesia’s enhanced program, REDD+, goes beyond deforestation to include new approaches in conservation, long-term management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

“Indonesia’s REDD+ programme can help generate new investments in areas such as access to alternative energy, which can spark new economic opportunities and contribute to poverty alleviation,” said Clark, while adding that 60 percent of Indonesians depended on their environment for their daily survival.

Indonesia is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions globally and almost 80 percent of the country’s current emissions stem from deforestation and forest degradation.

Finding a means to curb deforestation, which causes 20 percent of global carbon emissions — more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector — is crucial to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which are major contributors to climate change, she said.

Just last week, a task force set up by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on REDD signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Central Kalimantan administration to begin a pilot project on the implementation of emission reductions in the province.

The pilot project would be the first in a series of forest protection programs initiated after Indonesia pledged a US$1 billion deal with the Norwegian government in May 2010 in return for a two-year moratorium on forest deforestation.

According to a letter of intent with Norway, Indonesia is required to stop issuing new permits for exploiting natural forests and peat land within two years. As compensation, Indonesia would receive money based on the total amount of carbon emissions reduced within the two years.

“The progress we have seen in Indonesia’s efforts to protect their rainforests has been impressive. During the year since we signed the agreement in May 2010, more has been achieved than in the previous decade.”

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