Monday, November 29, 2010

Indonesian forest plan under threat?

Indonesia is a testbed for so-called 'cash for carbon' plans (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD), where developing countries are given credits for reducing deforestation; this not only preserves valuable forest habitat for wildlife, but curbs carbon emissions from deforestation itself.

Greenpeace, however, has released a report that says Indonesia is planning to go ahead with massive forest clearance despite signing a new REDD agreement with Norway. According to the New York Times's coverage:

Greenpeace said that government documents show plans to bring 63 million hectares, or nearly 156 million acres, of land into production by 2030, including 80 percent of its peatland and half its forested orangutan habitat, to support expansion of industries including pulp, paper and palm oil.
At the same time, the group said, a push is on to rebrand the clearing of forests for plantations (which results in a net release of carbon into the atmosphere) as the replacement of degraded land with new trees (which takes carbon out of the atmosphere). This, they say, could effectively mean international funds would be subsidizing forest destruction. 

Tremendous disappointment, or 'more of the same'? How Indonesia handles this will certainly be watched closely. As with any current event it runs the risk of being swept under the carpet, or just sat upon until the media attention inevitably dissipates.

More coverage:

No comments: