An Indonesian district in West Java, Garut, has started a unique program to support reforestation. As reported by Reuters, any couple planning to get married must give ten trees to local authorities for reforestation efforts before marriage will be legally sanctioned.
But it’s not just married couples that must support reforestation. Couples filing for divorce must provide at least one tree, according to Wibowo, the district secretary. The new rules are due to budget difficulties within the Garut district government, after the central government launched a plan to plant a million trees across Indonesia
Currently Indonesia has the highest rate of deforestation in Asia and second only to Brazil globally. The nation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas from deforestation and land use change due to the destruction of its particularly carbon-rich forests and peatlands. This steady deforestation has made Indonesia third in rank of greenhouse gas emissions following industrial behemoths like China and the United States.
Conversion of peatlands and deforestation in Indonesia is largely driven by logging and industrial oil palm plantations.
Reforestation has been increasingly encouraged by environmentalists as one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, aid beleaguered biodiversity, and protect essential ecosystem services such as clean water, seed dispersal, and rainfall.
Indonesia applies for REDD partnership to protect forests
Indonesia has applied to join the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, becoming the largest developing country to apply to a program that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving tropical forests, reports Reuters.
Clinton, Obama botch opportunity on climate, forest conservation
The Obama administration squandered a chance this week to show U.S. leadership on climate and forest conservation issues, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a visit to Jakarta, failed to bring up a new Indonesian government decree allowing conversion of carbon-rich peat forests to oil-palm plantations.
Indonesia confirms that peatlands will be converted for plantations
Indonesia’s Minister for the Environment has approved a decree that will allow the conversion of carbon-rich peatlands for oil palm plantations, reports The Jakarta Post.
New model uses carbon credits, sustainable palm oil to save Indonesia’s rainforests
The World Resources Institute (WRI) has launched an innovative avoided deforestation model that aims to deter conversion of Indonesian rainforest for oil palm plantations. The project, dubbed “POTICO” (Palm Oil, TImber, Carbon Offsets), integrates sustainable palm oil, FSC-certified timber, and carbon offsets in order to “divert new oil palm plantations onto degraded lands and bring the forests that were slated for conversion into certified sustainable forestry”.