Australia commits Rp77 billion to protect Indonesia`s forest

Australia commits Rp77 billion to protect Indonesia`s forest

25 July 2007

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Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Australian government would commit Rp77 billion (A$10 million) to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission from deforestation and promote sustainable forest management in Indonesia, Australian Embassy`s media release here has said.

The media release said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull announced the initiative at a high level meeting on forest and climate which was held in Sydney on Monday.

It said the funding was being provided from the Australian Government`s Rp1.54 trillion (A$200 million) Global Initiative on Forests and Climate.

“Indonesia is a key partner in the Global Initiative on Forests and Climate,” Downer said.

“This package will help Indonesia develop pilot projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of reducing deforestation; improve local forestry governance; and prevent, monitor and suppress peat land fires, including by training Indonesia`s fire fighters and fire management,” he said, adding that it would also support Indonesia`s move to develop a forest monitoring and assessment system to generate better forest sector data.

Peat lands are made up of undecomposed plant materials and store large quantities of carbon. As a result, fires in peat lands release large amounts of greenhouse gases.

Meanwhile, Minister Turnbull said Australia`s assistance would help Indonesian communities reduce forest destruction and encourage sustainable use of forests.

“This commitment represents a major step forward in helping Indonesia and other countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation,” Turnbull said.

The Global initiative on Forests and Climate provides a framework through which Australia and partner countries can share their experiences and technology, as part of global efforts to reduce deforestation.

“Global deforestation is a serious issue that impacts climate change, local economies, and the environment. Every day, more than 70,000 football fields of forest are removed globally with around 1.6 billions trees each year,” Turnbull said.

“This is a situation we can and must reverse quickly and this Initiative will help us do so,” he noted.

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