Oil palm industry no threat to forest conservation: president

Oil palm industry no threat to forest conservation: president
ANTARA News  28 May 2010

 

President Susilo Bambang Yudhohyono said that the palm oil industry in Indonesia would not threaten Indonesia-Norway forest conservation agreement concluded under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme.

Speaking to the press after the opening of a forestry and climate Conference at Holmenkollen Park, Rica Hotel, here on Thursday the Indonesian president said that Indonesia had a special policy to synchronize the two matters.

"We already have our own plan to fulfill the obligation which has become our part in the cooperation between Indonesia and Norway in reducing our emissions from deforestation and forest degradation," the president said.

President Yudhoyono said that Indonesia would not stop its palm oil production, neither would it indiscriminately open up new forests for that purpose.

He said that Indonesia had taken a policy to use degraded land for the continuation of its oil palm industry.

The president said that Indonesia has identified specifically what had become its obligation in the forest conservation scheme with Norway, which among others included moratorium on the issuance of peat land cultivation permit, avoid deforestation and forest fires.

The governments of Indonesia and Norway signed here on Wednesday a letter of intent (LoI) on forest conservation worth US$1 billion as part of their joint commitment to overcoming climate change.

The letter was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa and Norwegian Minister of Environmental and International Development Erik Solheim at the guest house of Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

The LoI is part of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD-Plus) scheme in which Norway will provide up to US$1 billion in grant for Indonesia to protect its forests.(*)