The MIFEE project, or the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate to give it its full name, is an agricultural mega-project proposed for Papua province in Indonesia. It was dreamed up as a response to the food and fuel price crises of 2008 and to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s appeal to “feed Indonesia, then feed the world”.
A new report by Greenomics Indonesia documents how the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate threatens peatland and forest in Papua province, Indonesia. The moratorium on new forest concessions, part of the US$1 billion Indonesia-Norway REDD deal has no effect whatsoever in limiting the destruction.
The mining industry has obvious reasons for being interested in REDD. The industry is responsible for vast greenhouse gas emissions. While the obvious way of reducing emissions is to reduce the amount of fossil fuels mined (an option that is never on the agenda at UN climate meetings), a more profitable option is to continue mining and “offset” the emissions by buying carbon credits.
Zulkifli Hasan, Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry, recently issued almost three million hectares of new plantation concessions to 44 firms. There’s nothing surprising about that. Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, largely due to oil palm and fast-growing pulpwood plantations. What is perhaps surprising is the timing.
Last week was an interesting week for REDD here in Indonesia. Most weeks are, to be honest. The following is an attempt to document a small part of what is happening, not an attempt to make sense of what is happening in the world of REDD in Indonesia. REDD-Monitor welcomes comments aimed at filling in some of the (many) gaps.
Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono likes to make promises. Particularly at international meetings. At last year’s G-8 summit in Japan, Yudhoyono committed to reducing carbon emissions from deforestation by 50 per cent by the end of this year, 74 per cent by 2012 and 95 per cent by 2025.
A Declaration produced during a recent meeting in Papua demands that “All forms of activities and initiatives for carbon trade and carbon compensation which do not recognize the rights of adat community in land of Papua should be stopped.”