Saturday, 17 May 2008

RI opts for carbon trading over halting deforestation

So this new angle is one of ('give us, and who might 'us' be?) money for carbon credits, but we still want to continue logging - protected (there's not really any such thing as a protected forest any more in Indonesia) as well as unprotected forests. Maybe UNEP will give him an award for such an imaginative idea.

RI opts for carbon trading over halting deforestation

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Sat, 05/17/2008

The government called on developed nations to buy carbon credits from Indonesia, rather than push for a moratorium on forestry activities.

The Forestry Ministry expressed concern over rising calls from the international community for Indonesia to cease forestry activities in order to combat climate change.

"It would only hamper our economic development. If the carbon buyers sincerely want to protect the earth and help Indonesia, they should buy carbon stocks in protected and conservation forests," the ministry's director of forestry production management, Agus Sarsito, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said protected and conservation areas had long been permanent carbon stores. There are about 40 million hectares of protected and conservation forests in the country.

Agus said the ministry was also concerned about misplaced enthusiasm from local administrations for the proposed carbon trading scheme.

"Local administrations should obviously be involved in the project. But there are misunderstandings about it since the government has not yet drawn up the details," he said.
"Many local administrators now expect to make big money by merely selling carbon credits.

The carbon buyers have been very persistent in informing people of the carbon business."
Carbon trading has flourished since the UN climate change conference in Bali last December adopted the reduction emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries (REDD) initiative.

The REDD concept is closely tied to the Kyoto Protocol, which obligates 38 developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions by about 5 percent by 2012, when the protocol expires. To meet this target and also maintain economic growth, these countries may "sell" their carbon to developing countries.

Once Kyoto Protocol signatories agree to the REDD concept as a mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they can begin buying carbon credits from countries with extensive forest reserves.

The Kyoto Protocol currently allows only developing nations, including Indonesia, to promote afforestation and reforestation projects to tap financial incentives from carbon trading. However, none of the projects have been implemented in Indonesia because the government considers the system too complicated.

The government introduced its own emission reduction scheme at the Bali conference. The scheme was drawn up by experts from the Indonesia Forest Climate Alliance (IFCA). They said with carbon priced at $10 per ton, Indonesia could make $2 million per year, with 65 percent of the revenue going to local communities living near forests.

The governors of Aceh and Papua were among the first to express an interest in the scheme shortly after it was launched.