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10 September 2012
Australian Ambassador for Climate Change visits Kalimantan REDD+ demonstration project
The Australian Ambassador for Climate Change, Dr. Justin Lee was in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan today to view progress of the Australian Government-funded REDD+ demonstration project as part of his visit to Indonesia.
Ambassador Lee visited the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership, a project that is focused on restoring forests and reducing fires from damaged peatland, responsible for a large proportion of Indonesia’s carbon emissions.
“I’m pleased to see the progress on the ground. Seeing first-hand, I learned how complex the project is, but it is still one of the most advanced REDD+ activities in the world,” said Ambassador Lee.
During his visit, Ambassador Lee met with local communities in Katunjung village who are involved in the program.
“I am very pleased to have listened to their views on the project. We need their involvement to make this work. Seven village agreements are currently in place to ensure support for local communities carrying out REDD+ activities.”
The agreements empower the communities to manage the distribution of benefits and activities that contribute to REDD+.
“They have grown and planted more than 1.2 million seedlings which will help rehabilitate the damaged peat lands. And this is one of the few REDD+ activities in the world that has started making payments to communities,” said Ambassador Lee.
Rehabilitating the peatlands will help reduce fire incidents and carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.
During his visit to Central Kalimantan, the Ambassador also met with the Bupati of Kapuas District, Ir. Muhammad Mawardi.
“We both believe the project will give important lessons for Indonesia and other countries committed to tackling climate change,” said Ambassador Lee.
While in Indonesia, the ambassador will also meet with counterparts including the President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Rachmat Witoelar, the Head of UKP4, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and the Secretary General Ministry of Forestry, Hadi Daryanto to discuss continued cooperation on climate change.
Mia Salim, Public Affairs, AusAID Indonesia, 08121070237