Indonesia May Use Norwegian Funds for Oil Palm Plantation

Indonesia has signed a Letter of Intent to seal US$1 billion fund assistance from Norway to conserve its rain forests under REDD+ projects. In spite of many delays, the government has completed some preconditions for the fund disbursement. The newspaper, The Jakarta Post’s, talked to Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, on the progress over the past year.

Mr. Solheim told the newspaper that Norway is impressed and pleased with the progress of the REDD+ projects in Indonesia.

The roles between the the two countries are quite clear, Indonesia will design the path and Norway will supply assistance on the basis of the produced results.

The aid is based on results, if the deforestation does not go down, Norway will not provide assistance, using the same method as in Brazil and Ghana. Until now only a small amount of the promised aid has been allocated to the Indonesian government, about 30 million USD so far. The rest is expected to be paid in 2014 if the results meets the agreed level.

In already degraded natural forest areas Indonesia might be able to establish oil palm plantations without violating the agreement with Norway, according to Mr. Solheim and he added that the Indonesian Government has revoked a regulation that would have recognized oil palm plantations as forests, which he believes is good news.

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