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A Breath of Fresh Air

Indonesians to Seek Compensation for Maintaining Tropical Forests at December Conference on Climate Change in Bali.

(10/15/2007) The Indonesian government will advance a bold proposal to preserve tropical forests at the coming United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) to be held in Bali December 3-14, 2007.

That proposal will seek financial support in the amount of US$5-20 per hectare for the estimated 40 million hectares of tropical forests found in Indonesia. In advancing the idea Indonesia's Minister for the Environment, Rachmat Witoelar defended the proposal, saying: "Our topical forests are around 40 million hectares. The payment we seek will be to ensure that we can care for these forests and prevent their destruction. We are asking for our right."

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Kompas, Witoelar said that European countries and the United States would be asked to pay for the upkeep and preservation of tropical rain forests as part of the developed countries response to global warming.

Prior to the December UNFCCC in Bali participating countries are expected to meet to discuss compensation and financing schemes from the developed "carbon gas producing" countries that will allow a degree of environmental recovery. According to, Emil Salim, the Chairman of the Indonesian delegation at the UNFCCC a separate meeting between various national ministers of finance and representatives of business will discuss carbon trading.

The proposal being advanced by the Indonesian government could net between US$200 -800 million dollars each years in "carbon compensations" for the people of Indonesia.

According to Salim, a distinguished elder statesman from Indonesia and a former Minister of State, all nations are designated to reduce their Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by 5.4% in 2012 as compared to measured levels of emissions in 1990. Countries are trying to meet this goal through technological steps. When technological steps prove insufficient, according to Salim, they have the option of paying developing nations to absorb their excess emissions through the maintenance of viable tropical forests.