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  PlanetArk 5 Jun 07
Indonesia World's No.3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter - Report
Story by Adhityani Arga

Yahoo News 4 Jun 07
Indonesia threatened by global warming, rising sea levels

Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change as global warming threatens to raise sea levels and flood coastal farming areas, threatening food security, according to a report released Monday.

The report sponsored by the World Bank and Britain's Department for International Development said global warming could increase temperatures, shorten the rainy season and intensify rainfall, leading to a significant fall in rice yields.

It said thousands of farmers in productive coastal areas would also have to look for other livelihoods if predictions of a rise in sea level came true across the vast archipelago nation.

"Indonesia is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including prolonged droughts and floods raising serious food security and health threats while endangering the habitats and livelihoods of coastal communities," said the report issued ahead of World Environment Day on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar warned in January Indonesia could lose 2,000 small islands by 2030 due to a rise in sea levels as a result of climate change.

The report also stressed that deforestation, degradation of peat land and forest fires had placed Indonesia among the world's top emitters of greenhouse gases.

Deforestation and land conversion, mostly by fires, accounted for 75 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the Indonesian forestry sector, it said. Rising temperatures due to global warming would further dry up the rainforest and peat swamps, increasing the risk of even more intense fires, the report said.

"Activities in forestry are the largest contributor to emissions of greenhouse gases in Indonesia," report author Agus Sari said in a press release. "It is time we put together all of our resources to prevent forest fires and irresponsible deforestation. We need to be united in this effort because the potential dangers of climate change are too great to ignore."

Every year, Indonesian farmers burn forests and shrubland to clear land for agriculture, causing a haze that spreads across Southeast Asia during the dry season, affecting tourism and health in the region.

The government has outlawed land-clearing by fire, but weak enforcement means the ban is largely ignored. Indonesia will host the UN climate change convention on the resort island of Bali later this year.

Jakarta signed the Kyoto Protocol on fighting climate change in 1998 and ratified it in 2004.

PlanetArk 5 Jun 07
Indonesia World's No.3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter - Report
Story by Adhityani Arga

JAKARTA - Indonesia is among the world's top three greenhouse gas emitters because of deforestation, peatland degradation and forest fires, a World Bank and British government climate change report released on Monday showed.

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.


Related articles on Global: marine, Global issues: Climate Change and Haze
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