No Concrete Action, No Emission Reduction

No Concrete Action, No Emission Reduction

25 November 2009

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Indonesia — To achieve the 26 percent emission reduction target for 2020, the government hasn’t established concrete measures. The closing of canals or drainages for wetlands, especially in Riau and Central Kalimantan (Borneo), must be applied as a concrete action.

“The wetland must be wet so that it wouldn’t burn and release emission. If the government is true to it’s commitment to reduce emission by 26 percent, then it should close the wetlands in Riau and Central Kalimantan,” said the Indonesian director of Wetlands International, I Nyoman N. Suryadiputra, Tuesday, in Jakarta.

He stated that the former ‘One Million Acre Peat Soil Project’ in Central Kalimantan actually summed up to 1.5 million hectares. Currently the project left primary, secondary, tertiary, and quarternary canals that stretch as far as 4.500 kms.

And the wetlands opened in Riau, which summed up to 4.5 million hectares, have an even farther canal length that exceeds the wetlands of Central Kalimantan. The closing of the wetlands in those two areas would support the government’s commitment to reduce emission by 26 percent by 2020.

“So far there has been a misconception that cultivated wetlands would absorb carbon. That principle doesn’t include the carbon emission that would be released once the wetland is dried,” said Nyoman.

When the carbon emission caused by wetland and burning is included, Indonesia becomes the 3rd largest emitter in the world.

Separately, the director general of Forest Protection and Natural Conservation for the Department of Forestry, Darori, stated that currently an independent team is needed to review the peat soil issue, which has been licensed to be managed by private parties. The  government can’t revoke the license without firm legal back-up.

“Wetland with more than 3 meters of depth is prioritized for conservation. The Minister of Forestry will issue a new regulation for this.”

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