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The Norwegian government is planning to compensate Indonesia after it has confirmed reports that the country has been able to curb carbon emission from deforestation in 2017, a Norwegian diplomat said.

“When the emission figures are independently verified, Norway will guarantee payments to Indonesia for approximately 4.8 millions tons of CO2”,  Lisetta Trebbi,  Consular for Forest and Climate Change at the Norwegian embassy in Jakarta told The Palm Scribe.

The payment, which may involve up to $24 million,  will be disbursed as soon as the emission figures could be verified by an independent third-party.

Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forests Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, announced  in a joint statement issued after their meeting here last week that the two countries were also launching a new phase.

Under a landmark bilateral climate and forest partnership forged in 2010, aimed at bringing a halt to deforestation in Indonesia to meet the Paris Climate Goals, Norway and Indonesian agreed on result-based financial rewards for reduced emissions in Indonesia.

With the agreement, Indonesia became one of the countries with expansive rainforest to receive payments for reduced deforestation at the national level.

The Director-General for Climate Change Control at the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, who supervises the implementation of this agreement told The Palm Scribe that the minister will still seek further advice from the cabinet regarding this issue.

Under the 2010 agreement, Norway pledges to support Indonesia with up to $1billion depending on results. So far, about 13 percent of this pledge has been spent to support the efforts of the Indonesian government to address deforestation.

“In general, Norway feels positive about the continuous positive developments in the forestry sector in Indonesia. We realize that Indonesia is a huge country with challenging geographical conditions and a long history of forest governance issues,” Trebbi said.

“But we can say that there have been so many achievements made for the betterment of forest governance in the country, including the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in managing the forests, the way the national and local governments and communities value the forests as a long-term asset for sustainable development and livelihood, as well as restoration of damaged peatland areas,” Trebbi added.

Indonesia has implemented a number of critical reforms and actions in the forest and land use sectors over the past few years. The government has introduced new measures to protect forests, including a ban on destroying primary forests and peatlands.

In an exclusive interview with The Palm Scribe earlier, head of the Peatland Restoration Agency Nazir Foead said that “The president was very clear and firm regarding the task assigned to us. We are ready to do whatever we can, using whatever efforts and faced whatever the risks.”

In 2018, president Jokowi announced a shift in policy to boost national palm oil output, stressing raising the productivity of existing oil palm plantation rather than opening up new plantations. Indonesia has embarked on a comprehensive legal review of existing forestry and agriculture concessions, and increased law enforcement efforts against forest crimes while addressing issues with local communities.

“The moratoria have provided break-time, especially for the government to revisit issues in the past and to make necessary legal basis and policies for making corrective actions to fix the problems. This first payment of the verified reduced carbon emission, although still very small than what is committed, we hope this will give Indonesia higher confidence that what many people thought was impossible 10 years ago, is possible with a strong effort and commitment,” Trebbi said.

Indonesia has the world’s third largest tropical rainforest. Its total emissions from deforestation and peatland destruction have put Indonesia amongst the world’s top emitters, but Indonesia has set ambitious targets for reducing its emissions from deforestation. It has called for international partnerships to increase its ambitious contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement and reduce emissions by up to 41 percent by 2030.

Forests are critical for meeting both the Paris Climate Agreement and many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Substantial actions on reducing emissions from deforestation are necessary if the world is to keep global temperature increase below 1,5 to 2 degrees.

ABOUT THE PROTOCOL

Results are measured against a 10-year historical average emissions level. For the period of 2006 to 2016 that was estimated at approximately 237 million tons of CO2 per year from deforestation and 42 mill tons from forest degradation.

Emission reductions from peat degradation and peat fires will be included in the results protocol in the near future, as estimates improve.

Indonesia will set aside 20 percent of the results to account for uncertainty, and another 15 percent to reflect its own ambition in reducing emissions. The remaining 65 percent of the results can be rewarded by Norway or other financiers.

Norway will guarantee payment for a portion of the available tons. Norway will not use emission reductions from Indonesia to offset its climate commitments.

“All of the continuous positive developments are encouraging for both Norway and Indonesia. But of course, Indonesia is in the driving seat to continue making improvements. There are still many home works to do and problems to solve. I think it is still too early to say that we should feel satisfied at this stage, but we feel optimistic to continue the hard work together,” Trebbi said.

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