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  Yahoo News 3 Jul 07
US considers Indonesian debt-for-nature swap

Antara News 30 Jun 07
Germany to write off Indonesia's debts if national parks in Sumatra are preserved

Kota Agung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - The government of Germany has agreed to write off half of Indonesia`s foreign debts if the country could properly preserve the national parks in Sumatra.

Chief of the South Bukit Barisan National Park (TNBBS) Task Force Ir Lusman Pasaribu said here on Friday the agreement made in the form of an MoU would be effective 2007 to 2011.

However, the government of Indonesia provided 6.25 million euros for the preservation of the South Bukit Barisan, Mount Leurse and Kerince Slebat national parks.

"If our government is able to implement the agreement, Germany has agreed to write off twice the value of fund allocated to the national parks," Lukman said.

It was reported that some other countries who acted as creditors for Indonesia as well as international non governmental institutions (NGO) had expressed readiness to provide such support under this facility and fund for the preservation of the three national parks in Sumatra.

Therefore, according to Lukman, the government of Indonesia along with the management of the three national parks should work hard to show to the international community that this country is really able to manage and preserve their flora.

"We should show them our ability to implement the agreement and manage the preservation of the South Bukit Barisan national park," he said.

Covering 356,800 hectares of land, the South Bukit Barisan National Park has a number of protected exotic and rare flora and fauna. Together with two other national parks, South Bukit Barisan national park was nominated as a cluster natural world heritage site as the last shield for the conservation of tropical forests in the world.(*)

Yahoo News 3 Jul 07
US considers Indonesian debt-for-nature swap

Nearly 20 million dollars of Indonesia's debt to the United States could be re-directed to tropical forestry conservation under a debt-for-nature program, the US embassy said Tuesday.

The US Treasury Department is to provide a 19.6 million dollar provisional allocation to be considered under the program with discussions toward an agreement due to begin in the coming weeks.

"This is good news," Indonesia's minister of forestry Malam Sambat Kaban, who met with representatives from the embassy on Tuesday, said in the statement.

Once concluded, Indonesia will have one of the largest programs under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), the embassy said.

Germany agreed to enter a similar program with Indonesia in May to protect three national parks in Sumatra. Indonesia's forests are recognised as some of the most biologically diverse in the world. Greenpeace estimates that Indonesia has lost more than 72 percent of its intact ancient forests and much of the rest is threatened by commercial logging and clearance for palm oil plantations.

Related articles on Global issues: biodiversity loss and forests
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