Indonesia commits to stop deforestation

by Mike Gaworecki

August 15, 2008

Some really great news out of Indonesia:

AMSTERDAM – The Indonesian province of Riau has pledged to halt the destruction of its forests and peatlands; a move that will prevent billions of tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

At a ceremony in the provincial capital Pekanbaru, Riau Governor Wan Abu Bakar announced the temporary ban, which will remain in place until a law is agreed. The move follows Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s pledge at the G-8 Summit in July to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation by 50 percent by 2009.

Indonesia is the world’s 3rd largest global warming polluter, mostly due to deforestation. In many cases, the forests of Indonesia are being cut down illegally to make way for palm plantations. Forest fires in Indonesia have been called the single largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

Aside from the direct impact a ban on deforestation in Indonesia will have on the amount of pollution being dumped into our atmosphere, it’s just nice to see that some of the world’s leaders actually made meaningful commitments to combatting global warming at the G8 summit. Other commitments made at that summit were not close to being ambitious enough to really tackle the enormity of the climate crisis we’re facing. It’s just nice to see some progress.

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