The Jakarta Post
Australia has dropped a project in Indonesia to restore and protect forests and peatland in Kalimantan worth A$47 million (US$43.14 million)after it previously axed a $30 million project to protect forests in Sumatra for the carbon dioxide they store.
In a small note on the AusAid website, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, the Commonwealth government has confirmed that a project to restore 25,000 hectares of peatland in Kalimantan will end before most of its major milestones are met.
The project, called the Indonesia-Australia Kalimantan Forest Conservation Partnership (KFCP), began in June 2008 when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and then Australian leader Kevin Rudd signed the $100 million Forest Carbon Partnership at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.
The end of the project comes as Rudd, who just resumed office, plans to visit Indonesia for a bilateral meeting with Yudhoyono in Bogor, West Java, on Friday. The project originally aimed to re-flood 200,000 hectares of dried peatland, protect 70,000 hectares of peat forests and plant 100 million trees in Central Kalimantan.
On its website, AusAid says the project 'will not extend in its current form, but both governments are discussing which parts might benefit from additional work in the next 12 months to maximize outcomes'.
'Large-scale blocking of drainage canals will no longer be carried out. However, the methods and plans for blocking canals that were designed under [the project] are valuable. They can be used by others in Kalimantan, elsewhere in Indonesia, and internationally for projects in peatlands that are facing similar challenges.'