Source : Jakarta Post – September 29, 2011
The Indonesian and US government recently signed a debt-for-nature swap agreement worth US$28.5 million to fund conservation and climate-change mitigation efforts in three districts across Kalimantan.
The funds will be channeled to projects in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan as well as West Kutai and Berau in East Kalimantan.
The debt-swap, which is authorized under the US government’s Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), allows debts to be reduced in exchange for commitments to support biodiversity and tropical forest conservation programs.
“Partnership by the two countries through the TFCA2 Program will contribute to the commitment of the Indonesian government to forest and biodiversity conservation as well as to reducing green-house gas emissions outlined in the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Forestry,” said Darori, the director general of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation at the Forestry Ministry.
The move has also received support from environmental non-government organizations (NGOs).
The Nature Conservancy acting director Ade Soekadis said that this move would “support low carbon development and therefore help the livelihood of communities in the district, which in the end contributes to reducing carbon emissions by up to 41 percent while at the same time maintaining economic growth at 7% by 2020”.
The CEO of WWF Indonesia, Efransjah, added that the swap would “fund projects that benefit civil society as well as engage them as implementers of the program” in Kalimantan.
“This TFCA2 agreement is a huge step forward in efforts to save one of the world’s richest forest ecosystems,” he said in a press release provided to The Jakarta Post.