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Indonesia and UN Launch Joint Effort to Curb Deforestation

Indonesia`s Forestry Ministry and the United Nations launched a UN Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) with a kick-off workshop opened by Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan.

“Our country is very vulnerable, it has 80,000 kilometers of coast line, and more than 17,000 islands, big and small. Many people depend on agriculture, forestry and fisheries for livelihood and food security. Many of these forest dependent communities still live in poverty,” Minister Zulkifly said here Tuesday.

In his opening remarks, the minister also emphasized the danger of climate change and asked people to act immediately.

The minister also highlighted the importance of local communities in REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) programs), and to make sure that the program will help them get a better life while preserving the forests and biodiversity, he said.

Under the joint initiative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program, and funded by the government of Norway, the United Nations will assist Indonesia in preparing the National REDD Implementation.

This requires preparation of policy, coordination between different REDD initiatives and testing of methodologies on province and district level.

Based on the UN-REDD program, the project total budget which reached some 5.6 million US dollars where the fund is provided by the Norwegian government as the donor country and will be working with FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the Forestry Ministry during 2009-2011.

The program will pilot its activities in Sulawesi Island. With other REDD initiatives being located in islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java, this further expands REDD in Indonesia.

The UN Resident Coordinator El-Mustofa Benlamnih highlighted that the UN-REDD program will support the Ministry of Forestry to get ready for national REDD implementation.

“The UN gives technical and policy advice and facilities coordination between REDD initiatives,” he said.

REDD has become an eminent priority for Indonesia because deforestation and forest degradation still represent a major source of green house gas emissions.

Source : Antara