Friday, August 13, 2010

Carbon Credits for Palm Oil growers

Environment organizations like WALHI and Greenpeace have accused that Palm Oil growers are responsible for destroying forests therefore destroying the habitat of Orangutan.  

Is spite of these accusations, the Ministry of Forestry is planning to include Palm Oil growers among those eligible to get Carbon Credit i.e. a United Nations backed scheme aimed at preserving forest.

Please find below a related report by Reuters.

Indonesia may let palm oil growers collect CO2 credits         

Mon Aug 9, 2010 8:15am  

By Sunanda Creagh

JAKARTA Aug 9 (Reuters) - Indonesia may propose palm oil plantations be eligible to earn carbon credits under a U.N.-backed scheme aimed at preserving forests, a forestry ministry official said on Monday.

Such a move could potentially create a new line of revenue for the palm oil industry and listed firms like Wilmar (WLIL.SI) and PT Astra Agro Lestari (AALI.JK), but is likely to anger green groups who accuse planters of deforestation.

Indonesia was the first country to develop a national framework for a U.N-backed forest preservation scheme called reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).

The scheme would allow forested developing countries like Indonesia to be paid potentially billions of dollars from rich nations not to chop down their trees. [ID:nJAK495718]

Countries began developing domestic legal frameworks for REDD in anticipation of a global agreement on the scheme at climate talks held in Copenhagen last year, which will be continued in Mexico in December.

"If there is agreement on REDD, we could put palm oil plantations to be eligible for that," said Wandojo Siswanto, a special adviser to the forestry minister and one of Indonesia's lead negotiators at global climate talks.

Siswanto said the forestry ministry was working with the national planning agency, Bappenas, on the feasibility of including palm oil in Indonesia's national strategy on REDD.

"I think it would be good if we just say that palm oil plantations could also mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration through the nature of the trees," he said, adding that both existing plantations and future plantations developed on degraded land could be eligible.

Monoculture forests trap climate warming greenhouse gases but not nearly as much as natural heterogeneous forests.

Moray McLeish, of the Washington-based environment think tank World Resources Institute, said clear definitions of what constituted a forest were needed.
"If a plantation is regarded as a forest, then you can cut down a virgin forest and replace it with a plantation and on paper you have no change," he said.
"On the ground you have massive carbon emissions, massive loss of biodiversity, loss of ecosystem system services and loss of livelihoods for local people.

OBSTACLES

The UN has yet to formulate its definition of forest for the purposes of REDD but has already developed a set of safeguards to prevent planters from clearing natural forest and then being rewarded with carbon credits.

Tim Boyle, the Bangkok-based regional coordinator for the U.N. REDD programme, warned that the global climate talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol may end up adopting a definition of forest that specifically excluded palm oil from REDD.

"It would be strange if it was assumed that palm oil was going to be counted as forest. That would seem risky to me," he said.

(Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Jonathan Thatcher)

9 comments:

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

I'm really surprised to find out that Indonesia is the first country that manifests the REDD scheme recommended by the Bali summit in 2008. Others have to keep pace with Indonesia, I think..

munir ardi said...

What a pity of Indonesia

H. Nizam said...

@Edwin,
Hopefully we can always keep all the commitments that we have made, for which law enforcement should be strengthened.

@Munir Ardi,
Let us hope that things would work out fine in the future.

darahbiroe said...

wah aku gak begitu paham nuy
pake bahasa inggris soalnya hehehe

H. Nizam said...

Darahbiroe,
Terima kasih atas kunjungan dan komentar anda. Saya sangat menghargai komentar dalam bahasa Indonesia.

colson said...

If effectively palm oil plantations are going to profit from carbon credits, it is another sad example that measures based on good intentions alone, are not scoundrel-proof.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
It is very sad that there is a plan to consider Palm Plantations as part of forest, thereby making Planters eligible to receive CO2 credit.
This is very ironic considering that there has been allegations that those Plantations were developed by cutting and burning of forests.

Indonesian Rhapsody said...

It always money should take the control. Indonesia, when will it be changed..

H. Nizam said...

Indonesian Rhapsody,
Actually there is nothing wrong about money as long as people stick to their commitment and obey the laws. The problem is that many people tend to be very selfish and don't care about other people.