Australia has joined forces with its neighbor, Indonesia, to aid beleaguered forests in the Jambi province on the island of Sumatra, reports Reuters.
The A$30 million ($27 m) project aims to address the underlying drives of deforestation in Jambi, a province that has lost more than two-thirds of its forest as a result of logging, conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations, and subsistence agriculture. The initiative would fight deforestation, rehabilitate and reforest degraded land, and provide alternative incomes to locals, thereby raising the province’s capacity to store carbon in its rainforests and peatlands.
A site for the project has not yet been identified, according to Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.
The Sumatra Forest Carbon Partnership comes two years after the Australian government launched a similar project in Indonesian Borneo.
Australia views forest conservation as a cost-effective means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During climate talks in Copenhagen, Australia joined the United States, Norway, Britain, Japan, and France in pledging $3.5 billion towards a scheme—known as REDD—that would compensate developing countries for reducing deforestation. The Jambi and Borneo projects are seen as test cases for the proposed climate change mitigation mechanism.
Indonesia is world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind the United States and China. However unlike those energy-consuming juggernauts, Indonesia’s emissions are largely due to widespread deforestation.