July 2, 2010

Norway gives $1 billion to protect Indonesian rainforest

Norway’s government has offered $1 billion towards rainforest protection in Indonesia.

In an effort to independently accelerate the battle against climate change, Norway’s government has offered US$1 billion towards rainforest protection in Indonesia, effectively tripling that nation’s budget for “climate funds”. The agreement signed in late May makes clear that this money will be additional to oil affluent Norway’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and it will not count under any planned new climate agreements.

Indonesia has set bold targets for CO2 emissions reductions, committing to a 26% reduction against a business as usual scenario by 2010. According to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Indonesia, the money will be injected over the next 7 to 8 years and will be targeted to REDD+ framework initiatives, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation”.

Deforestation, forest degradation and conversion of peat forests represent almost 80% of Indonesia’s greenhouse emissions. Phase 1 of the initiative will focus on finalising climate and forest strategy, while phase 2 aims to prepare Indonesia for verifiable forest based carbon emission reductions. The final phase, starting in 2014, will implement a working national PES (payment for environmental services) scheme.

The Embassy states that “representatives of indigenous people and local communities will take part both in the planning and implementation of Indonesia’s REDD+ strategy as well as the institution that manages the funds”. This promises to be a major improvement, since insecure land rights have typically offered little protection to Indonesian indigenous communities against large scale commercial concessions for mining, logging or palm oil plantations.

Hoping to start this year, Agus Pumomo, head of Indonesia’s Climate Change Council, commented that a specific financing mechanism and timeframe for expenditure of the funding was yet to be decided.


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