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Jakarta Post

Australia terminates forest deal with RI

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 3, 2013   /  06:18 am

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 '€œwill 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'€.

'€œLarge-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.'€