Berry Nahdian Forqan


Indonesia has been the focus of much international attention
over recent years due to its increasingly prominent role in
creating greenhouse gas emissions. It has emerged the third
highest carbon dioxide emitting country in the world after the
United States and China. During the meeting of the 13th
Conference of the Parties (COP-13) to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali
in 2007, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation in Developing countries (REDD) emerged as a
prominent component of any future efforts to mitigate climate
change. REDD aims to stabilise the atmospheric concentration
of CO2 at as low a level as possible through a system of
financial reward for halting or slowing rates of deforestation.
But in the reality, what is happen now is only about emission
trading. Another concern with linking REDD to markets relates
to the issue of national sovereignty over natural resources. Both
at the national and community levels we may see a loss of
autonomy over natural resources as third parties gain increasing
influence over natural resource decisions. There is significant
inconsistency between stated government aims regarding forest
protection and official government policy. While the government
publicly declares its intentions to effectively tackle climate
change and reduce forest destruction, it just the last 12 months
it has established a number of damaging regulations which
seek to do just the opposite. And Finally, in February 2009,
the Agriculture Ministry issued a decree allowing businesses
to convert millions of hectares of peatlands into oil palm
plantations. Opening up these peatland areas risks releasing
huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The decree has
been conditionally approved by the Environment Minister and
is expected to go into force later this year. The decision is
strangely at odds with the Agriculture Ministry’s previous
position - in 2007 it released a letter asking governors to stop
the conversion peatlands into oil palm plantations. This stark
contradiction has led to claims that the government is attempting
to satisfy powerful business interests in the lead up to the
general election later this year.The Indonesian government’s
commitment to real and meaningful reductions in deforestation
must be seriously questioned when such glaring inconsistencies

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