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REDD+ runs as usual for Central Kalimantan

Palangka Raya, Ekuatorial – Despite of Indonesia’s agency to reduce emission from deforestation and degradation dissolved into the ministry of environment and forestry, Central Kalimantan would not abandon its position as a pilot province of the program, said an official in Palangka Raya, on Monday (9/2).

In 2010, Central Kalimantan was appointed as a pilot province for an initiative dubbed as REDD+, an acronym for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, under an agreement with REDD+ Agency based in Jakarta. However, the agency was dissolved into the ministry of environment and forestry based on a presidential regulation which took effect last January. It generated concern that all agreements made by REDD+ and local governments, such as Central Kalimantan, would be terminated.

“REDD+ programs in Central Kalimantan will be running as usual even though [REDD+] agency had been dissolved and merged into the ministry of environment and forestry,” said Mursid Marsono, head of Central Kalimantan Environment Agency.

Marsono said related regulations, including regional regulation (Raperda), governor regulation (pergub) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on REDD+ in seven districts of Central Kalimantan have stipulated for the program to keep on going.

Nevertheless, he said that they will coordinate with ministry of environment and forestry and local government to further discuss on the programs after REDD+ agency was dissolved.

“We will be discussing on this matter with central [government], on Central Kalimantan’s position as pilot province, as we will discuss Central Kalimantan spatial planning with the governor and minister [of environment and forestry],” he said adding that there were also REDD+ programs conducted by local civil societies or non government organizations in the province.

Meanwhile, local civil societies gave mixed reactions on the REDD+ agency closed down. Executive director of Indonesian Forum for the Environment chapter Central Kalimantan, Arie Rompas said REDD+ was in the domain of the ministry was constitutionally appropriate.

“I think the president’s decision is correct on dissolving REDD+ agency because REDD+ should be in the domain of forestry management. It is a challenge to see whether this merger would run smoothly,” said Rompas.

However, Kussaritano, executive director of Central Kalimantan Environment Partner said that dissolving the agency would instead weaken REDD+ programs, particularly in coordinating with other institutions. Because, he added, low carbon growth was influenced by other sectors, not just related to environment and forestry. Maturidi

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