WWF welcomes landmark Norway, Indonesia agreement on deforestation

Oslo, Norway – WWF welcomed Wednesday’s announcement that Norway will provide USD 1 billion to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce emissions caused by deforestation in that country.

Loggers clearing a swamp forest for a palm oil plantation. Central Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. Norway will provide USD 1 billion to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce emissions caused by deforestation in that country. © WWF-Canon / Alain COMPOST

The two governments agreed Wednesday to enter into a partnership to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in Indonesia’s forests and peat lands.

The announcement came as more than 30 governments today meet to discuss a first-time partnership at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference to advance REDD+ activities this year.

“This partnership is a key step in developing a workable framework for reducing emissions from deforestation in Indonesia,” said Fitrian Ardiansyah, Climate and Energy Program Director of WWF-Indonesia, “The Indonesian President’s announcement to put a break in releasing new permits to convert peat land also provides new opportunities for further reduction of emissions and this will move the partnership of the two countries closer to achieving the goal.”

“Indonesia’s agreement with Norway to big reductions in deforestation is a groundbreaking achievement in the work to combat climate change,”said Rasmus Hansson, CEO of WWF-Norway,“This commitment to halting destructive forest and land use by one of the world’s key forest countries promises to directly limit global CO2 emissions.”

For real climate benefits to be realized, this agreement needs to be followed up by implementing specific work plans in developing countries, including in Indonesia, that formalize REDD+ implementation and ensure that these activities contain the proper governance for REDD+ and safeguards for indigenous peoples and biodiversity, according to WWF.

“This agreement sets an inspiring example of responsible climate cooperation between developing and industrialised nations,” said Hansson, “To WWF, it is of particular importance that the partners recognise that forest conservation is about much more than CO2 emissions. Safeguarding ecosystems, biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ livelihoods is an absolute prerequisite for making this work – and obviously a crucial benefit in itself.”

According to the Norwegian government, as part of the partnership funds will initially be devoted to finalizing Indonesia’s climate and forest strategy, building and institutionalizing capacity to monitor, report and verify reduced emissions, and putting in place enabling policies and institutional reforms, according to the Norwegian government. A two-year suspension on new concessions on conversion of natural forests and peat lands into plantations also will be implemented as part of the agreement.

By 2014, the plan is to move to an Indonesian-wide instrument of funding contributions in return for verified emission reductions, the government said in a press release. Funds will be managed by an internationally reputable financial institution according to international fiduciary, governance, environmental and social standards.

From WWF

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