Indonesia’s REDD+ pact: Saving imperilled forests or business as usual?

Edwards, D.P. and Pin Koh, L. and Laurance, W.F. (2012) Indonesia’s REDD+ pact: Saving imperilled forests or business as usual? Biological Conservation, 151 (1). pp. 41-44.

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Indonesia and Norway have entered into a landmark deal that will pay Indonesia up to US$1 billion for forest-conservation activities aimed at slowing rampant deforestation and resulting greenhouse gas emissions. A recent Presidential Instruction in Indonesia outlines a key deliverable of this “Partnership”—a two-year suspension on new concessions for clearing or logging of peat and old-growth forest. Here, we discuss the implications of this instruction for carbon and biodiversity protection. The protection of highly threatened deep peatlands represents a clear victory. However, by focusing solely on old-growth forests, the instruction excludes over 46 million ha of selectively logged rainforests, which often have high carbon storage and biodiversity. This leaves the logged forests, most of which are in accessible lowland areas, highly vulnerable to re-logging and conversion for oil palm and pulpwood plantations. The instruction also could allow large areas of peatlands and old-growth forest to be converted to sugarcane—one of the world’s most rapidly expanding biofuel crops. While the Partnership could potentially help reform land-use planning and reduce illegal deforestation in Indonesia, we argue that Indonesia must also strive to protect vulnerable logged forests, which comprise a large part of the country’s high-carbon, high-biodiversity lands.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: DPE and WFL were supported by an Australian Laureate Fellowship awarded to WFL. LPK was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the North-South Centre, ETH Zurich.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon trading; Peat forest; REDD, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation; Selective logging; Southeast Asia; Sugarcane; Sundaland; Tropical forest
Author Affiliation: Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS) and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4878, Australia
Subjects: Environmental Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Balakrishna Garadasu
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2013 11:44
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2013 11:52
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