From: Olivia Rondonuwu and David Fogarty, Reuters, JAKARTA/SINGAPORE
Published December 30, 2010 06:58 AM

Indonesia moves ahead on climate action

Indonesia has chosen once of its largest and richest provinces to test efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving forest and peatlands, a key part of a $1 billion climate deal with Norway.

Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases among Indonesia's 33 provinces because of deforestation, destruction of carbon-rich peat swamps, and land use change, the government says.


"The assessment showed that Central Kalimantan is a province with large forest cover and peatland and faces a real threat of deforestation," top technocrat Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of a special presidential delivery unit charged with managing the Norway deal, said in a statement on Thursday.

The agreement aims to test efforts that save and restore forests as a way to fight climate change. Forests soak up and lock away large amounts of carbon, while clearing and burning them releases carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

Under the climate deal signed this year, Norway will pay Indonesia for proven emissions reductions based on a transparent auditing system and a key part of the pact is selecting a province to test programmes that boost conservation, training and steps to improve livelihoods.

Overhauling the province's land-use plan is also key. The deal imposes a two-year national moratorium on new concessions to clear primary forests and peatlands, a step some palm oil and pulp and paper firms fear could disrupt expansion plans.

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