Sepanjang tahun 2009 ini, persoalan lingkungan hidup masih pada seputar upaya mengatasi dampak pemanasan global (global warming). Indonesia, yang memiliki 10 persen dari luas hutan tropis di dunia, sampai sekarang keberadaannya terus terancam. Masih banyak terjadi perusakan hutan yang dilakukan perusahaan-perusahaan besar, yang ironisnya mengantongi izin pengelolaan dari pemerintah. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), sebuah lembaga riset kehutanan internasional dalam uieb-nya menyebutkan, telah terjadi pengurangan hutan di Indonesia setiap tahunnya sekitar dua juta hektare. Sedangkan data dari Human Right Watch melaporkan, korupsi dalam mengelola hutan di negeri ini mencapai dua miliar dolar AS per tahun.
Around 15 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide come from the clearing of forests for their timber and for agricultural expansion, mainly in tropical countries. So the long-hoped for agreement on an international system to reduce deforestation and degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries, specifically now called REDD-plus, remains vital to tackling climate change. This along with the commitment for fast track financing from a number of developed countries specifically for REDD last week lends significant momentum going into 2010. A final outcome may happen as early as June at schedule climate talks in Bonn, said Louis Verchot, principal scientist in climate change for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
The small beacon of hope for a legally binding text at the climate talks was the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plan. REDD is a UN-backed scheme that seeks to put a price on the environmental damage caused by forest degradation and allow developing nations to sell “credits” in exchange for not chopping their trees down. Stibniati Atmadja, a research fellow at the Center for International Forestry Research in Bogor, ttended the Copenhagen talks. She will be observing the implementation of REDD in forest communities in Indonesia as part of a Cifor’s comparative, three-year study across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Nigeria made a strong commitment to the world on the contentious issue of gas flaring just as the rift between negotiators from the developing and developed countries has closed, with substantial progress made, leading to a possible climate change deal. In short, the leaders may sign an agreement on this today. According to a statement by the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), though opportunities to use forest for change adaptation and mitigation are exceptionally good, it cautioned that many challenges still lie ahead.
Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? At the third-annual Forest Day event, held during the Cop15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, attendees were a buzz about going green and making green, all with a new forestry protocol called REDD. Given that many believe a cap and trade system is eminent, REDD offers opportunities to create inexpensive carbon credits that can be sold to companies who exceed their emissions allowances. This potential doesn’t come without some concerns. In her welcoming remarks, Frances Seymour, Director General for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) encouraged the audience to think bigger then carbon. “We need to look at forests as more than just carbon storage and talk about biodiversity retention, indigenous people’s rights and other issues,” said Seymour.
For Indonesian farmers, burning down rain forests is the cheapest and fastest way to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations. The millions of acres (hectares) they burn every year has made their Southeast Asian nation the world’s third-largest producer of greenhouse gases. And, environmentalists warn, the powerful forestry and agricultural industry will likely stymie any efforts to crack down. As difficult as it may be to hammer out a global climate deal in Copenhagen, implementing one could prove even harder. “But I think everybody has yet to realize how difficult this is going to be,” said Frances Seymour, director-general of the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research.
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An MOU regarding cooperation on the fight against climate change, protection of diversity and sustainable development was signed on November 8, 09 between the Governments of Guyana and Norway. These two countries intend to set up a Guyana REDD Investment Fund (GRIF) which will receive result-based funds from Norway and other subscribers to the fund. The project will come under the control of the Centre of International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the UN FAO plus relevant legislation, policies and processes in Guyana. This forum will develop transparency, rules, forest governance, accountability and enforcement.
Most of the headlines at climate talks have revolved around greenhouse gases that come from coal, oil and other fossil fuels. But the destruction of forests — burning or cutting trees to clear land for plantations or cattle ranches is thought to account for about 20 percent of global emissions. That’s as much carbon dioxide as all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined. Louis Verchot, who is following the forest talks for the Center for International Forest Research, said he was concerned that the weaker targets and lack of financing in the deforestation agreement could delay its implementation in some countries.
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