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Indonesia, UN to jointly combat deforestation

JAKARTA, March 30 — Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry and the United Nations on Tuesday launched the United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD).

"Our country is very vulnerable. It has 80,000 kilometers of coast line, more than 17,000 islands. Many people depend on agriculture, forestry and fisheries for their income and food security. Many of these forest-dependent communities still live in poverty," said Indonesian Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan on Tuesday.

The minister highlighted the importance of local communities in REDD.

"We have to make sure that REDD will help them with getting a better life while preserving our forests and biodiversity," he said.

Under the joint initiative of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and funded by the government of Norway, the United Nations will assist Indonesia in preparing for the National REDD Implementation.

This, he said, requires preparation of policy, coordination between different REDD initiatives and testing of methodologies at province- and district-level.

The program will pilot its activities in Sulawesi Island. With other REDD initiatives being located in islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java, this further expands REDD in Indonesia.

The UN Resident Coordinator El-Mustofa Benlamnih highlighted that the UN-REDD program will support the Ministry of Forestry to get ready for national REDD implementation.

"The UN gives technical and policy advice and facilities coordination between REDD initiatives," he said.

REDD has become an eminent priority for Indonesia because deforestation and forest degradation still represent a major source of green house gas emissions. (PNA/Xinhua) LOR/ebp

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