Complement Greenhouse Gas Reductions:
According to Ban, “REDD+ can be a win-win-win for local communities, for Indonesia and the world. But let me be clear: While REDD+ can play an effective role in engaging developing countries in the global fight against climate change, it is not a substitute for deep greenhouse emissions reductions in developed countries. It is complementary.”
Globally, deforestation accounts for some 17 per cent of global carbon emissions – the second largest source after the energy sector, Mr. Ban (UN Photo of UNSG visit to Indonesia - Kalimantan), pointed out. Each hectare of forest lost or degraded contributes to global greenhouse emissions. (Similar Program has been employed in preserving Ecuador forests, although funding and thus success is not yet assured – Read: “Nature Over Oil Drilling in Ecuador (Carbon Payments)” - http://diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/nature-over-oil-drilling-in-ecuador-un-pact-by-ambassador-mo/35355
Opposition to REDD+
Aware of opposition to REDD+, UNSG Ban Ki-moon offered: “As we move ahead with REDD+, and for the initiative to be a success, it will be crucial to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the communities who depend on forest resources. Indigenous people, in particular, are concerned that REDD+ is associated with unsustainable extractive industries that harm their well-being. Making REDD+ a success here in Kalimantan, and elsewhere, will require the commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders. We must ensure that all have a voice. This is a crucial test for REDD+ and for Indonesia.”
UN Office for REDD+ in Indonesia:
UN will do its part to help this groundbreaking partnership realize its potential, beginning with the establishment of the UN Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID), whose opening the Secretary-General attended during his visit. The UN is also consulting with government and civil society on improving forest governance and anti-corruption, as well as working to measure and understand the physical environment and the social implications of REDD+ to adjust efforts as they unfold.
The UNSG offered the following commitment: “We will facilitate environmental and social safeguards. And we will help to establish Green Schools, and work on forest fire prevention and sustainable plantations. In sum, our work will benefit local people while helping to address the global problem of climate change.”
REDD Could Generate Considerably More Revenue than Lost?
He noted that Kalimantan has extensive forest cover and peatland, and that many of its inhabitants are custodians of an invaluable wealth of forest-based knowledge. “Yet these men and women – and these precious ecosystems – are under threat from the global demand for palm oil, timber, minerals and other commodities,” according to the UNSG.
Further, a report issued in September by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), concludes that conserving key forests in Indonesia under the REDD+ program could generate billions of dollars in revenue, up to three times more than felling them for palm oil plantations. The report recommended designating new forested areas for REDD+, taking into account the multiple benefits for carbon storage, orangutan habitat conservation and the protection of ecosystem services, while expanding palm oil plantations on land with low current use value and avoiding agricultural and timber concessions where conservation value is high.
By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
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