US Reduces Indonesian Debt, Supports Forest Conservation

Posted September 30th, 2011 at 4:30 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The United States has forgiven almost $30 million in Indonesian debt in return for forest conservation.

The United States says the so-called debt-for-nature swap is the second such deal with Indonesia, aimed at reducing deforestation and climate change.

The U.S. State Department says it will reduce Indonesia’s debt payment to the U.S. government over the next eight years by $28.5 million. In return, Indonesia will use that money to support grants to protect and restore the country’s tropical forests in Kalimantan, on Borneo Island.

The agreement is supported and will be monitored by the World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy.

The World Wildlife Fund says Indonesia ranks fourth in the world in terms of total carbon emissions – behind the United States, the European Union and China. It says almost all of those emissions, 83 percent, come from deforestation and forest degradation.

It also says Indonesia accounts for more than 14 percent of global deforestation.

Kalimantan is home to home to as many as 15,000 flowering plants and many animal species, including orangutans, leopards, and pygmy elephants.

The first debt-for-nature swap between the United States and Indonesia was signed in 2009 and supports forest conservation activities on the island of Sumatra.