Indonesia Proposes Rainforest Nations Climate Group

JAKARTA ~ Indonesia has proposed that eight countries home to some 80 percent of the world’s tropical rainforests join diplomatic ranks amid rising climate change concerns, a senior official said.

“This is the initiative of our president, in order that they be able to play an important role in the diplomacy of global warming,” the spokesman for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.

“It’s important for the eight countries to have a joint consensus on their contribution to efforts to control global warming,” spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said, adding that the group would look at how forest conservation can happen in tandem with economic development.

Indonesia will open a meeting of the eight countries on September 24 in New York in parallel with the UN’s annual plenary session, he added.

The eight countries are Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, but more could join, Djalal said.

Indonesia is hosting a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali in December. Its 191 member states are to discuss climate commitments for the period following 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Indonesia is believed to be the world’s third-largest producer of carbon emissions, largely due to forest fires and massive illegal logging across the archipelago.

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