Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Many local administrations remain unaware of REDD

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 10/21/2009

While the global society has praised Indonesian government’s role in promoting REDD, many local administrations are even now unaware of the scheme, with most questions still about how much money they could get.

An official from Papua Barat provincial office, Toto Mei Untardo, and forestry expert from North Sumatra University (USU) Onrizal warned that the government needed to conduct a massive campaign on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) issues to local authorities.

“The follow-up [to disseminate REDD] is very late. Most of the regencies and cities in Papua know nothing about REDD issues,” he told a discussion organized by the Conservation International (CI) in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Papua and Aceh were the first provinces declaring their readiness to host a REDD pilot project during the Bali climate change conference in 2007.

Onrizal said poor understanding of REDD could endanger the projects and inflict losses on local administrations.

“What they are thinking is that they will get a lot of money,” he said.

He said the capability of forests in Sumatra to absorb carbon was higher than those in Kalimantan and Papua.

“But, up to now, there is no special institution to deal with the REDD at provincial and regency level, making it difficult to disseminate the issue,” he said.