Norway Will Provide $1 Billion in Aid to Indonesia to Protect Forests

Norway is due for a noble cause in the form of protecting forests of Indonesia. Norway has planned to give Indonesia 1 billion dollar to help protect tropical forests as part of a drive to combat climate change, a senior Indonesian official said.

”It is the biggest (donation) from one country” to help Indonesia tackle global warming, said Agus Purnomo, head of the secretariat of Indonesia’s National Climate Change Council.

”The commitment is 1 billion dollar,” he said, adding that the money would raise Indonesia’s climate funds from all sources to about 3 billion dollar.

A letter of intent would be signed in Oslo on May 27 when Norway hosts an international meeting on forestry, Purnomo said.

Norwegian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Trees soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow and the United Nations estimates that deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all greenhouse gases from human activities. Large tracts of Indonesian forests have been cleared for palm oil plantations.

The project ”can start this year. The challenge is to find a financing mechanism so both parties are happy,” Purnomo said. It was unclear how long a period the cash would cover.

Norway, which has big savings from oil revenues, has led donors in safeguarding forests since 2007. Among projects, Oslo is giving up to $1 billion to Brazil from 2009-15 and smaller amounts to Guyana, Tanzania and Congo Basin nations.

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