Govt to use REDD+ funds to restore peat lands

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Wednesday that the government would use funds from the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program to restore the peat lands in the country.

"We will discuss the concept of peat land restoration that complies with the REDD+ program and credits from carbon trading and we will have to use a lot of funds from the national budget," he said.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla met with Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya and special presidential envoy for climate change control, Rachmat Witoelar, to discuss the problem.

He had asked for a review of the financing system of the REDD+ program and carbon trading to see if funds can be diverted for restoring peat lands.

Norway has pledged to extend $1billion for REDD+ and has so far given only $30 million.

Apart from REDD+ and carbon trading, the government would also force companies that have burned lands to take responsibility for the lands under their concession right.

"So, automatically, funds from them will also be available. All (such companies) must be (held) responsible," he said.

Kalla said restoring the functioning of peat lands was a must in view of the impact of the fires on the people.

He said restoration of peat lands would take around five years and cost trillion of rupiahs. (*)

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