Friday, 28 March 2008

RI reaps $100m in grants for forest protection

When you read this you might want to reflect for a moment on:

- if you live outside Indonesia there is every chance that some of your taxes have gone towards

Minister Kaban personally intervened in a court case recently, sending a letter to the judges in which he defended Indonesia's most notorious illegal logger. Despite about 80 witnesses for the prosecution, the logger was cleared of all charges and has since disappeared with police looking to now charge him for money laundering etc. At least one, possibly three of the four judges, has since been promoted.

This same Minister more recently began selling licences to coal mining companies who will now be permitted to work in protected forests.....despite what is said below. And now the international community is giving this person US$100 million to manage.

This is the very same Minister who totallly igores Indonesia's committment to the Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes which gives (or at least it is meant to) give protection to orangutaans and their habitat. Which makes anything he says below extremely hard, if not impossible for me to believe.

Friday, March 28, 2008 12:42 PM

RI reaps $100m in grants for forest protection

Desy Nurhayati and Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Fri, 03/28/2008 11:27 AM National

The government has reaped US$100 million cash in grants from the international community to implement forest protection projects in Indonesia in an effort to sink below producing a million tons of carbon emissions per year.

Forestry minister MS Ka'ban said his ministry would issue a regulation to secure the implementation of Reduction Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects.
"Just wait a few weeks and we will announce a regulation on REDD projects," he said after the opening of a national working meeting on forestry at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

Ka'ban said the money would be distributed to regions eligible to perform pilot activities for REDD projects.

He did not specify names of areas that would host the projects, although he included as possibilities Papua, Aceh, Kalimantan and Maluku provinces.

REDD projects represent one of many measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions adopted during the UN climate change conference in Bali last December.

"We expect to have eight or nine REDD pilot projects this year," Ka'ban said.
He said his ministry would examine existing damages to forests to determine their eligibility for project funding.

A study by the government showed that with the price of carbon at about $10 per ton, the REDD would generate up to $2 million annually through carbon trading.

Indonesia is home to 120 million hectares of rainforest, the third largest area in a country after Brazil and Congo.

Green activists have criticized forest carbon trading, lamenting a newly-issued government regulation allowing open-pit mining in protected forests, saying it went against the government's promise to protect the forests.

Ka'ban, however, said the government would continue to implement the regulation, which demands payment for forest use.

"Nothing is wrong with the regulation. We will not issue new licenses for miners to operate in protected forests. It is only for 13 mining companies," he said.

The regulation, in effect since Feb. 8, stipulates non-forestry firms operating in protected forests must pay between Rp 1.2 and Rp 3 million per hectare per year, with open-pit miners having to pay the maximum fee.

Ka'ban also said forest crimes had sharply decreased in the past two years due to intensive monitoring.

"There were only 325 forest crimes in 2007, down from 769 cases in the previous year," he said.

He said the ministry had recorded illegal logging and illegal trading in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, this year.

"Currently, there is no more illegal logging in Riau," he said.