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

WWF: Climate deal must include strong deforestation

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Global leaders must support a clear and effective deforestation target at climate talks in Copenhagen in December, or they risk crippling the world’s ability to control climate change.

As the XIIIth World Forestry Congress came to an end on Friday, WWF called for an ambitious and bold climate deal at COP 15 to give clear guidance and incentives for the forestry sector to do its part in stopping catastrophic climate change and adapt to predicted changes.

To this end, WWF during the Congress proposed a global target of zero net deforestation by 2020 to avoid runaway climate change and stop the current catastrophic trend of species loss.

WWF is calling for an ambitious and bold climate deal at COP 15 to give clear guidance and incentives for the forestry sector to do its part in stopping catastrophic climate change and adapt to predicted changes.

WWF is calling for an ambitious and bold climate deal at COP 15 to give clear guidance and incentives for the forestry sector to do its part in stopping catastrophic climate change and adapt to predicted changes.

In particular, negotiators must agree to strong financial and emissions reduction commitments to craft a climate deal that enables developing countries to halt forest loss.

“Setting immediate deforestation targets is a key component of any climate change agreement,” said Rodney Taylor, Director of WWF International’s Forest program. “If the global deal on climate change ignores the dangers of unchecked deforestation, it will set the world on an accelerated path to savage climate change.”

Despite conservation efforts, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares per year, or 36 football fields a minute. It generates almost 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and halting forest loss has been identified as one of the most cost-effective ways to keep the world out of the danger zone of runaway climate change.

“A zero net deforestation by 2020 target will set the scale and urgency needed to gather the political will to stop forest loss,” Taylor said.

WWF will continue to advocate for a strong deforestation target to be included in relevant international treaties and agreements, including in the Convention on Biological Diversity and COP 15.

“WWF received strong feedback at the Congress from various sectors, including governments, other NGOs, and the private sector to support our target on deforestation,” said Gerald Steindlegger, WWF International’s Forest Manager on Global Policy.

Many developing countries already are adopting major deforestation policies that mirror WWF’s call for zero net deforestation by 2020.

On Wednesday, government representatives from Argentina and Paraguay pledged during a special ceremony co-hosted by WWF and its partner organization Fundacion Vida Silvestre at the Congress to work towards zero net deforestation in the Atlantic Forest, and to implement a package of measures that include national legislation to enforce those commitments.

The Atlantic Forest initially spanned 500,000 square kms, shared between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. However, only 7.4 percent of the forest is left today – or about 35,000 square kilometers, making it one of the most threatened and fragmented subtropical forests in the world.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian government already has established a zero deforestation target by 2010 for the Atlantic Forest. Brazil also has pledged to establish protected areas covering at least 10 percent of the forest.

This year, the World Forestry Congress brought together more than 4,000 participants in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

From WWF

Kodagu in imminent Ecological, Demographic Danger

Mysore, Aug. 10 (KK&DM)- “Kodagu is our motherland and it should be protected now before it is too late.” This was the resolve of the Kodavas for the conservation of Kodagu, the source of Cauvery river.



The leaders of Cauvery Sene, environmentalists and the prominent citizens exchanged views on the steps to be taken for the conservation of Cauvery River Basin at an interaction and awareness meet organised by Kodava Samaja at Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Community Hall in Vijayanagar yesterday.

Nature lover and an engineer by profession, M.N. Appaiah said that forests in Kodagu are fast diminishing and expressed fears of an adverse impact on the catchment area of Cauvery river.

The water sources in Gangotri, the birth place of river Ganga too, are facing threat because of deforestation. Even US researchers have expressed concern over the danger. Deforestation has led to global warming, Appaiah said.

It has caused melting of snow in Gangotri thus threatening Gangotri’s water base. Similarly, deforestation is going on in Kodagu at a fast pace and this has posed a grave threat to Cauvery river basin, Appaiah explained.

Original inhabitants

Coorg Wildlife Society President Col. C.P. Muthanna (retd.), in his power-point presentation, said that the number of Kodagu’s original inhabitants is rapidly on the decline and instead Keralites are settling down in Kodagu in large numbers. Timber mafia of Kerala is eating away Kodagu’s forests and there is no doubt that Kodagu will become another Kerala if the situation continued, he warned.

Kodagu is faced with twin threats of deforestation and Keralisation. Hence it has become absolutely necessary for Kodavas to be united to face these threats. Kodagu is our motherland, he said and called upon everyone to protect it at least now.

He urged the Kodavas and the original inhabitants numbering about 24 to purchase land in Kodagu and discourage outsiders from buying land for commercial purpose.

Observing that illegal sand mining in Cauvery basin is another big problem that Kodagu was facing, Col. Muthanna said this also contributed to deforestation and drying up of Cauvery basin causing ecological imbalance.

Outlining the major problems that Kodagu was facing, Col. Muthanna said that rampant encroachment of forest land, opening of teak plantation, illegal entry to Kodagu by outsiders who encroach on government land, conversion of forest land for habitation, conversion of agricultural land in a large scale for commercial and residential purposes were the major problems faced by Kodagu today.

The deforestation in Cauvery catchment areas has gone out of control as illegal residential layouts and holiday resorts are mushrooming in the name of tourism, he added expressing concern that this was the main reason for the low rainfall this year.

Cauvery Sene Convenor K.A. Ravi Chengappa, who spoke, said that Cauvery Sene is relentlessly fighting against deforestation and illegal mining in Kodagu. Severe protests led to the stopping of Barapole project and currently an agitation is being carried on against the setting up of a power generation project in Abbe Falls. About 40 per cent of Madikeri will be lost if this project comes up. A PIL has been filed in the Court against the setting up of Abbe Falls and Irupu Falls Hydro-electric power generation projects, he said.

It may be recalled here that when Gundu Rao was the Chief Minister some timber merchants had the audacity to retort that soon they would make Kodagu forest a football ground.

About 500 people attended the meeting yesterday.

How to save Kodagu

• Prevent illegal encroachment.

• Prevent deforestation.

• Ban illegal sand mining in Cauvery river basin.

• Prevent Keralisation of Kodagu by Kerala migrants.

• Implement the concept of Greater Talacauvery Wildlife

• Ban felling of trees in Pushpagiri, Talacauvery, Brahmagiri Wildlife Parks. • Prevent urbanisation of Kodagu.

• Halt conversion of agricultural land for commercial and other purposes.

By Star of Mysore

Picture of the Day – WWF