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Indonesia

The example set by Norway and Indonesia in tackling climate change through REDD+ could help encourage significant progress at the Cancun in Mexico, climate talks this year, the visiting Norwegian foreign minister says.

Jonas Gahr Stoere said here Sunday that while global climate meetings, such as the Copenhagen conference, had failed to produce legally binding agreements to stop global warming, reducing emissions from deforestaion and forest degredation (REDD+) was among the very few examples of tangible progress.

He said what Norway and Indonesia could do while waiting for the climate conference in Cancun and South Africa was to demonstrate that they had made tangible progress in their REDD+ deal.

Read more: REDD+ progress in RI ‘could spark new deal in Cancun’

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Environmental activists have renewed calls for the government to expedite what they call the “energy revolution”, by increasing the use of renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.

The calls were made by Greenpeace, the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) and the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) on Wednesday. 

The environmental groups conducted a joint study on the impact of coal-fired power plants in Cilacap in Central Java and Cirebon in West Java, and found that coal’s “footprint” was destructive in many ways, from the mining process to power plants that left local residents mired in poverty with poor access to electricity.

Read more: Government told to develop renewable energy

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Amid pressure from environmentalists to fast-track a planned moratorium on logging permits, a senior official says the government has not issued concessions for natural forests and peatlands since 2009. 

Under an agreement signed by Indonesia and Norway in Oslo in May, Indonesia has vowed to stop issuing forestry permits for peatland and primary natural forests for two years. 

That moratorium is set to take effect from Jan. 1, 2011. 

In return, Norway will set up a $1 billion fund for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-Plus) schemes, a UN-backed carbon trading mechanism, in Indonesian forests. 

Read more: Indonesia Government Slows Logging Permits Before Ban

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