Saturday, 6 June 2009

RI could get $20 billion from protecting forests: Greenpeace

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 05/27/2009

With the third largest area of forests in the world, Indonesia could rake in billions of dollars every year from a future carbon market by curbing the rate of deforestation, a climate expert from Greenpeace said.

Paul Winn, a forest and climate campaigner from Greenpeace Australia-Pacific, said developed nations were waiting for Indonesia to impose a moratorium on logging before shelling out the money.

“Indonesia could generate roughly US$20 billion annually from market-linked fund mechanisms,” Paul told reporters at a weekly press briefing Tuesday.

He said the funding would come from developed countries like the United States, which has channelled money to countries like Papua New Guinea and Brazil under the same scheme.

Under the market-linked fund system, the money would not directly offset emissions in developed nations.

“The reductions funded are in addition to those made by developed nations, so leakage does not risk increasing net global emissions,” he said.

Greenpeace tabled its proposal of a Tropical Deforestation Emission Reduction Mechanism (TDERM) at the Bali climate change meeting in 2007.

The mechanism is applicable for developing countries affected by deforestation regardless of their ability to combat it.

The TDERM gathers funding for its forest protection efforts from the mandatory minimum contributions given by developed nations to meet their emission reduction obligations.

The proceeds from the sale of the Tropical Deforestation Emission Reduction Units (TDERUs) will be used by the TDERM to reward reductions in emissions from participating developing countries and provide a reliable source of funding to curb deforestation.

Tropical forests contribute to around 20 percent of global carbon emissions and are a major cause of damage to biodiversity.

Nations worldwide have adopted a new mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) as an alternative to simply cutting emissions from the forestry sector.

If the climate conference in Copenhagen in December approves the REDD, Indonesia, with about 120 million hectares of forests, can expect to reap a massive financial incentive from the carbon market.
Greenpeace has repeatedly called on Indonesia to impose a moratorium to stop deforestation, which destroys around 1 million hectares each year.

Last week, Greenpeace submitted a petition signed by around 60,000 “forest defenders” to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, urging him to order a moratorium be imposed.

According to Greenpeace, at least half of the 150 million hectares of forests in Indonesia have been destroyed, partly due to overlapping forest concessions and areas set aside for conservation.