From: Reuters
Published March 4, 2009 08:00 AM

Indonesia applies for World Bank forest CO2 scheme

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia has applied to join a World Bank program that supports developing nations' efforts to fight deforestation and help them earn cash through the sale of tradable carbon credits.

The Bank's $350 million Forest Carbon Partnership Facility aims to support developing states design and create projects under a U.N.-backed scheme that could eventually earn poorer nations billions of dollars a year by protecting their forests.

A Bank official in Jakarta said on Wednesday the Indonesian government this week submitted a lengthy submission to apply to join the Bank's partnership.

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The Bank backs the United Nations' forest carbon scheme called Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, or REDD, which the U.N. hopes to formally bring into a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol from 2013.

Guyana and Panama have already applied to join the Bank's program but Indonesia is by far the largest to date and among the most crucial nations given the size of the country's remaining forests as well as the rapid rate at which they have been lost.

Indonesia is developing separate REDD regulations and is expected to issue them by mid-year, a top government official has said. About 20 REDD schemes are at various stages of development in Indonesia, the Bank has said, and has become a leader in developing rules governing the scheme.

SLASH AND BURN

Slash-and-burn farming and clearing for oil palm and other plantations have triggered vast fires in Indonesia, particularly on peat land, accelerating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists say.

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