Thanks to MIFEE, 3.6% of Indonesia’s Emissions produced in Merauke.

The Merauke Regency is experiencing a rapid rate of forest degradation and loss. This is ilustrated by Merauke Regency’s contribution to total emissons ((article doesn’t state whether this refers to carbon emissions or total greenhouse gas emissions)) in the province of Papua which is 45.29%. Merauke’s contribution to Indonesia’s national emissions is 3.6%.

Tangke Mangi, who is the Merauke Bupati’s Expert Staff for Economy and Finance, said that a high emissions rate resulted from forest degradation and loss in Merauke. The extent of forest cover in Merauke Regency is 2.12 million hectares, compared with 22.25 million hectares of forest cover and 3.084 million hectares of scrubland in Papua [province] as a whole.

“Merauke Regency as part of Indonesia, has already been assigned as an area for low-carbon development in Papua Province. So we have to swiftly follow up this initiative by compiling a Regency-level Strategic Action Plan (SRAK), he said in a workshop presenting the idea of the SRAK in Cafe Bellafiesta yesterday.

It has been mentioned that Merauke’s emissions are a result of forest degradation and loss, which means they are caused by exploitation on the part of several corporate investors that are involved in the MIFEE program.

“We can understand that this is happening because of the MIFEE program, so we need to balance it with the right mitigation actions. That way there can be a balance between economic development and environmental conservation”, he said.

He made it clear that several actions that are already taking place can be synchronised with a mitigation program such as participative mapping of important places for indigenous communities, as is outlined in Merauke Regency’s land-use plan (RTRW) “The people need to be give space and places so they can take care of their sacred sites as well as the important places which are sources of the indigenous community’s everyday livelihood needs”, he added.

Additionally the national commitment to reduce emissions by 41 percent is supported by Papua province which has been putting together a strategic action plan for the whole province. This will then be implemented by all development sectors in Papua, creating three zones of green economy and low-carbon development.

Source: Bintang Papua

[awasMIFEE comment: This data is quite startling, that logging by MIFEE companies means that a small corner of West Papua can produce such a significant percentage of Indonesia’s climate emissions. What’s more, the number of companies that have been clearing Merauke’s forest on a large scale for  plantations in the last few years is only around seven or eight. At least 25 more companies are still in the process of obtaining full permits, so in a few years time the situation is likely to be much worse. Setting aside important sites for local communities should not be considered emission mitigation, but as a basic responsibility which is absolutely non-negotiable. A serious approach to climate change mitigation means changing the whole approach to agricultural production away from large industrial plantations which destroy huge tracts of forest and marginalise indigenous people, to supporting small-scale food production by peasant farmers].

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