Governments commit USD 4 billion for forest and climate protection

Indonesian President announces moratorium on new concessions for forest destruction

Press release - May 27, 2010
Oslo, 27 May 2010 -- Welcoming today's announcement by seven wealthy nations that they will provide USD 4 billion to help avert runaway climate change by preventing deforestation (1), responsible for up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, (2) Greenpeace warned that the critical question of how the funds will be spent remains unanswered.

Greenpeace also considers the Indonesian President Yudhoyono's announcement, made at the Oslo conference on climate and forests, of a two year moratorium on issuing new concessions for forest and peatland destruction to be a first step towards Indonesia meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 41%. Such a moratorium was a precondition of the USD 1 billion deal with Norway. However, deforestation will continue unabated unless the moratorium is extended to cover existing permits, not just new ones and is put into action immediately, not months from now.

“Indonesia has taken a step in the right direction but before the ink on this agreement dries, the millions of hectares of our country's forests and carbon rich peatlands that have already been allocated for destruction must be included in this moratorium for it to have any real and positive impact on the ground. This step must also be turned into a Presidential Decree with immediate effect,” said Yuyun Indradi, Political Advisor Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Today’s funding deal signals the first major international support for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), since the ill-fated UN Copenhagen Climate Conference last December.

“These and future forest funds must be spent responsibly on measures that protect intact and other natural forests, including peatlands, because preventing their destruction has the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Protection plans should also be country-wide because small individual projects can disrupt communities and merely push destructive industries to other parts of the forest,” said Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International forest campaigner. (3)

Greenpeace warns that REDD can only be successful if strong safeguards are established to protect biodiversity and if indigenous people’s rights are included.  It also warns against the funds being used to subsidise the logging and agri-business industries under the guise of so-called “sustainable forest management”.

Notes to Editors:
(1) The countries that have committed funds are: Norway, Germany, US, UK, Australia, Japan, France.

(2) Calculated from: IPCC (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III, Final Chapter 1. Page 104. Figure 1.2: Sources of global CO2 emissions, 1970-2004 (only direct emissions by sector). http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg3.htm
(3) Greenpeace expects countries to agree to a multilateral
agreement that: (a) Enshrines Key Principles and Safeguards for REDD (b) Establishes a Coordinating Body for All Interim REDD Activities and (c) Promotes Gross Reductions in National-level Deforestation Emissions. See: www.greenpeace.org/forestsforclimate


Contacts:
In Amsterdam

Roman Czebiniak, Greenpeace International Political and Business Advisor: +31(0)646 162 009
Matilda Bradshaw, Greenpeace International Communications Manager: +31 (0)629 001 131

In Olso

Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International forest campaigner +1 202 390 5586

In Jakarta
Yuyun Indradi, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Poltical Advisor: +62 8122 6161759

Hikmat Soeriatanuwijaya Greenpeace Southeast Asia Media officer: +62 8111 805 394