Indonesia, Norway agree to reduce deforestation

The Jakarta Post: Aditya Suharmoko: 26/05/2010

Indonesia and Norway signed a letter of intent to reduce deforestation and degradation in Oslo on Wednesday, in which Norway will provide up to US$1 billion in grant for Indonesia to protect its forests.

The letter was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa and Norway Minister of Environmental and International Development Erik Solheim at the guest house of Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg said Indonesia would establish a unit in charge to ensure the grant used appropriately. "Monitoring the implementation is the key to be able to verify whether the grant is making progress and really reducing deforestation," he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia still faced many challenges and problems in terms of funds to reduce deforestation.

"We have to reduce poverty and increase the people's living conditions, but we also have to protect our environment in facing climate change and global warming. These are twin aims, although we know we have to deal with this with or without international help," he said.