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Indonesia: Carbon Credit Plan for Rainforest

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 7, 2008, a project to save Indonesia's Ulu Masen rainforest in Aceh Province, by using carbon trading markets to help villages preserve trees, was announced. Under the plan, villages that halt logging would receive about $26 million in revenue from the sale of carbon credits to individuals and companies seeking to offset emissions. It is expected that the project will reduce logging in Ulu Masen by 85 percent. Villages will be paid upon demonstrating that trees have not been logged, with progress monitored by on-site forest wardens as well as satellite images.

According to John O. Niles, chief science and policy officer for Carbon Conservation, a sponsor of the Ulu Masen project, forest burning accounts for 20 percent of global warming emissions, but there is no international agreement to reward developing countries for stopping the deforestation. In his view, the reduction of emissions by 100 million tons over 30 years (a rate of about 3.3 million tons of carbon per year) under the Ulu Masen plan "may help convince critics that saving forests can help slow the planet's warming." Because the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance, comprised of non-governmental organizations as well as companies, certified the project, it is "extremely likely" to begin producing carbon credits in 2009, Niles said. (Jim Efstathiou Jr., Carbon Trading May Reward Indonesians for Saving Rainforest, BLOOMBERG/CCB STANDARDS: NEWS & UPDATES, Feb. 7, 2008, available at http://www.climate-standards.org/news/news_bloomberg_feb2008.html.)