REDD News Update Indonesia

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Palm oil plantation such as this one in Petaling, Sumatra will no longer be unsustainable, pledges oil palm giant Sinar Mas.

    BOGOR, Indonesia (February 28 2011)_Run by CIFOR and several partner organisations around the world, the 4-year Global Comparative Study (GCS) is one of the world’s first major comparative studies on how REDD+ schemes are being designed, implemented, monitored, reported and verified.As part of inter-related research on the media’s role in translating scientific knowledge for public consumption, and how science may inform policymaking, CIFOR is analysing print media coverage of REDD+ in Indonesia.

    News digests are compiled by Efrian Muharrom and Rita Oktarita, Forest and Governance Research Officers at CIFOR, and edited by freelance science writer, Michelle Kovacevic.


  • Concern is growing over the inaction of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in signing the presidential Instruction (Inpres) for the two-year logging moratorium. In order for the moratorium to be legally binding, it must be backed by a presidential decree, which has yet to be issued. Bisnis Indonesia (in Bahasa) reports that there is no clear information on when President will reconcile the different drafts that prepared by Ministry of Forestry and REDD+ Presidential task force (UKP4).  The ministry’s version states the moratorium should apply only to primary forests and peatlands, while the task force’s version says secondary forests in peat areas should also be included.Latif Adam of the Social Research Center (The Indonesian Institute of Sciences) said that UKP4 draft version will give too much power to REDD+ Task Force potentially allowing them to overtake the duties of the Ministry.

 

  • Green activists are also criticising the moratorium, reports the Jakarta Globe. They say it would only apply to forests that were already protected in the first place.“The government lied about the moratorium, because based on a map [of the affected forest areas], only 41 million hectares will be protected, but these are already categorized as conservation and protected areas,” said Teguh Surya, head of international liaison and climate justice at Walhi. “[The moratorium] will be useless, because even without it, [those forests] are automatically protected anyway.”

 

  • Meanwhile members of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) criticised international NGOs over their push to implement the moratorium.”If foreign countries want to push environmental sustainability, it should be implemented in their own countries first, not by forcing Indonesia to decrease carbon emissions while the US and Europe in fact produce more emissions,”said Kesuma Eva Sundari,  a member of the DPR, in the article published by Antara News Agency (in Bahasa).

 

  • Hadi Daryanto, Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry has said that the potential total investment loss from the moratorium with the Norwegian Government could reach IDR 29 trillion per year. In his opinion, expressed in Bisnis Indonesia (in Bahasa), the moratorium will not succeed if the government does not immediately resolve the issues of mega logging and conflicts over land ownership.He has also warned the private sector to be more alert and postpone their investment plans. Daryanto has estimated the  potential investment loss will be IDR 7.5 trillion a year from plantation forest, IDR 10.5 trillion from oil palm, IDR 3 trillion from biomass and IDR 8 trillion from mining.

 

  • Forest exploitation in Indonesia has reached 90 million hectares, reported Kompas (English). Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said, “Of the 130 million hectares, about 40 million hectares are still in good condition while 90 million hectares have been exploited.” The minister has said that the government is now conducting a large scale tree planting movement. He said that his ministry had also stopped activities to converse peat land and primary forests as part of the efforts to reduce forest damage.

 

  • Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer, Sinar Mas, has vowed to stop destroying forests for palm oil. Golden-Agri Resources will work with the government and The Forest Trust (TFT), a Geneva-based global NGO, to develop sustainable palm oil plantations. Environmentalists and the government have welcomed the action in articles published in the Jakarta Globe and Jakarta Post this week.“On paper, the new commitments from Golden Agri-Resources are a major step towards ending their involvement in deforestation,” said Bustar Maitar, chief forest campaigner for Greenpeace in Indonesia. “And if they do make these changes, large areas of forests will be saved. But now they’ve actually got to implement these plans, and we’re watching closely to make sure this happens.”
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