03/ARTICLES

NORWAY IS PAYING INDONESIA TO NOT CUT DOWN TREES

Almost a decade after Norway signed a $1-billion deal with Indonesia to help protect its tropical forests, the first payment for reduced emissions will be made after deforestation rates fell, environmentalists and government officials said. Indonesia imposed a moratorium on forest-clearing under the 2010 climate deal, with payments linked to the Southeast Asian nation's progress on lowering planet-warming emissions from felling trees, which release carbon when they rot or are burned.

Image: REUTERS/Beawaharti

Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen agreed the first payments would be made after deforestation rates dropped in 2017, according to a statement issued on Saturday by the Norwegian embassy in Jakarta.

No details were provided on the payment amount, although green groups estimate the figure to be about $20 million.

"It is a big deal because it reflects the fact that Indonesia has turned (a corner), and that is great news for all of us," said Oyvind Eggen, director of the Oslo-based Rainforest Foundation Norway.

"We want to see from Indonesia that this is a trend and not a one-year event," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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