President Yudhoyono invited to give keynote address at major conference on future of Indonesia’s Forests and Climate Change

MEDIA ADVISORY

Bogor (INDONESIA) 19 September 2011 _ Hundreds of climate change and forestry experts will meet in Jakarta next week to discuss how Indonesia can preserve its rainforests while at the same time ensure the country’s economic growth.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been invited to give the keynote address at the conference, which is entitled Forests Indonesia: Alternative futures to meet demands for food, fibre, fuel and REDD+.

He will be joined by Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim, the World Bank’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Andrew Steer and U.K. Minister for State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Jim Paice. Several other leaders of Indonesia’s government, business community and civil society will also attend and participate in the discussions. In all, more than 1,000 people have registered, including 250 businessmen and women.

The conference will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at the Shangri-La Hotel. It is being organized by the Center for International Forestry Research, which has its international headquarters in Bogor.

Indonesia is home to the world’s third-largest tropical forest. Globally, deforestation accounts for up to 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In Indonesia, however, that figure is more than 60 percent _ making the country one of the highest emitters in the world.

Indonesia’s government has a range of opportunities to reduce the pace of deforestation, while at the same time expanding agricultural production to guarantee food security targets and promote economic growth.

Indonesia’s forestry sector contributes US$8 billion in annual export earnings and directly employs 1.3 million people. However, at the same time it loses up to US$4 billion in large-scale illegal logging, with much of the timber being smuggled overseas. Indonesia also has more than 30 million hectares of so-called ‘degraded land’ that could be used for palm oil and timber plantations rather than having these expansions done on carbon-rich peatlands and rainforests.

In 2009, President Yudhoyono pledged to cut Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emission by 26 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 41 percent with international assistance. Since then, Norway has committed US$1 billion to help Indonesia meet that target, and in May this year the government issued a two-year moratorium on new forestry concessions.

It is predicted that up to US$30 billion could flow from developed to developing countries each year to help facilitate significant reductions in deforestation, and Indonesia could potentially claim a significant share of these funds through REDD+, a global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Indonesia is one of the countries with the most REDD+ demonstration activities in various stages of development, and Indonesia has been an early participant in various bilateral and multilateral initiatives to prepare for REDD+ implementation at the national level.

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Journalists are welcome to attend the Forests Indonesia Conference and are encouraged to register online by Tuesday September 20 at www.ForestsIndonesia.org, or contact Budhy Kristanty on email b.kristanty@cgiar.org or call +62-(0) 816637353.

Forests Indonesia Conference
9am, Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta

Please note that due to the President’s possible attendance at the conference, extra security measures will be in place and access to the building will be closed prior to 9am. Journalists and other attendees are strongly encouraged to come early. A light breakfast will be served from 7:30am.

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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing counties. CIFOR helps ensure that decision-making that affects forests is based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflects the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people. CIFOR is one of 15 centres within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
www.cifor.org
www.blog.cifor.org

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