Readers Forum

Issue: RI may use Norwegian
funds for plantation

Sept. 27, p.2

Indonesia has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to seal US$1 billion of assistance funds from Norway to conserve its rain forests under REDD+ projects. In spite of many delays, the government has completed some preconditions for the fund disbursement. The Jakarta Post’s Adisti Sukma Sawitri talked to Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, on the progress over the past year. Here are the excerpts:

Question: How does Norway see the progress of REDD+ projects in Indonesia?

Answer: Overall, we are pleased and impressed. It is normal that not everything is done according to plan. We are completely satisfied, however, that all the groundwork has been done. The moratorium is in place, the task force has been given a proper role. Direction is the most important thing and it has been positive.


Your comments:

It sounds like sweet music to read the conversation between The Jakarta Post’s Adisti and Erik Solheim, the environment minister of Norway.

But as a Norwegian Indonesian or Indonorwegian, I am very concerned about how the huge amount of money, around Rp 9 trillion, will be transferred to Indonesia free from corruption?

We all know, and Norway is also aware, of Indonesia’s corrupt mentality. Many Norwegian people have expressed their concern and worry that the money will be embezzled and not 100 percent disbursed to conserve the environment or to save the rain forest from deforestation.

I hope that the Indonesian Organization for Environment Conservation will follow the progress of this matter very closely. Norway is a small country with a population of only 5 million. Everything that the government is doing is being watched by the people, the world and most newspaper readers.

Widya Utama
Bergen, Norway

Hello Widya, I am a Norwegian living in Indonesia. It is of great importance that this project be carried out according to both governments’ wishes. You are right when you say that this matter will be followed closely by people in Norway, and I must add, especially by those who are against public spending abroad.

I have discussed this “donation” for saving rain forests with many Norwegians, and all say that they support it. As far as I know, Indonesia and Norway have already built up cooperation to fight corruption in Indonesia, so this project may in a way be a test of how far we have come in this important task.

With a success in this, I believe that our two nations will remain closely connected in the future, to the benefit of our two peoples and the environment.

Vidar Weseth
Magelang, Central Java

I agree with you all. This “donation” is a test for the Indonesian government. But more important is how to maintain the sustainability of Indonesia’s forests.

We must pay more attention to the benefits of forests for the global community. The benefit is to reduce the adverse impacts of forest clearance on climate change.

It should not only benefit Norway, but all rich countries that have released CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere. The use of the donation is a matter that must be technically
supervised.

Akhwan
Pekalongan, Central Java

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