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Location: Bekasi, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Indonesia World's No.3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter

An increase of global temperatures has already resulted in prolonged drought, heavy rainfall leading to floods and tidal waves in Indonesia, putting the archipelago's rich biodiversity at risk, the report said.
"Emissions resulting from deforestation and forest fires are five times those from non-forestry emissions. Emissions from energy and industrial sectors are relatively small, but are growing very rapidly," the report said.
"This may lead to harmful effects on agriculture, fishery and forestry, resulting in threats to food security and livelihoods," said the report, which comes ahead of this week's G8 summit in Germany where global warming is major item on the agenda.
Indonesia's total annual carbon dioxide emissions stand at 3.014 billion tonnes after the United States, which is the world's top emitter with 6.005 billion tonnes followed by China at 5.017 billion tonnes, according to data from the report.
Indonesia's yearly carbon dioxide emissions from energy, agriculture and waste are around 451 million tonnes while forestry and land use change are estimated to account for a staggering 2.563 billion tonnes, the report, "Indonesia and Climate Change: Current Status and Policies", said.
Indonesia's rainforests are being stripped rapidly because of illegal logging and palm oil plantations for bio-fuels and some environmentalists say they could be wiped out altogether within the next 15 years.
According to some estimates, the tropical Southeast Asian country -- whose forests are a treasure trove of plant and animal species including the endangered orangutans -- has already lost an estimated 72 percent of its original frontier forest.
Forest fires, often deliberately lit by farmers as well as timber and oil palm plantation owners, are a regular occurence on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo during the dry season.
Indonesia's neighbours have grown increasingly frustrated with Jakarta's failure to tackle the annual dry season fires, which last year triggered fears of a repeat of months of choking haze in 1997-98 that cost the region billions in economic losses.
"Indonesia's lowland tropical forests, the richest in timber resources and biodiversity, are most at risk," said the report. "Fires from peatland have become the largest contributor to haze, which is also a major source of carbon emission."
Indonesia will host the next annual Kyoto Protocol meeting on the resort island of Bali in December.
In 2004, Indonesia ratified the protocol, which requires about 35 developed countries to lower their emissions to below their 1990 levels between 2008-2012. Developing nations are excluded from the emissions cuts during the first phase.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's top authority on global warming, predicted in a report in February that global temperatures would rise by 1.8 to 4.0 degrees Celsius (3.2-7.2 Fahrenheit) this century.
The World Bank report said perhaps the largest risk for Indonesia from climate change was decreased food security because of changes in rainfall patterns and soil moisture.
Climate change would also increase average sea levels, which in turn would reduce farming and coastal livelihoods in Indonesia, a country of about 17,000 islands where millions depend on fishing and farming.
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