President Joko Widodo inspects a firefighting operation on burning peat forest in Pulang Pisau district, Central Kalimantan, on Sept. 24. The Indonesian president recently returned from a meeting with world leaders in the highly anticipated UN Climate Change Conference. (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

Joko to Introduce Forestry Reforms, Moratorium at Climate Change Summit

NOVEMBER 29, 2015

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo will introduce Indonesia's plans to reform the way it manages its forest and peatland at the annual conference of parties on climate change in Paris this week, as it sets an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 29 percent by 2030.

Joko was scheduled to issue a regulation on peat management before heading to Paris, according to Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar. But as he departed at 9.45 a.m. on Sunday, it became clear that the draft regulation will be introduced at the summit, where Indonesia is expected to answer some tough questions regarding the recent wildfire in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

Shortly before departing, the president told reporters at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta that he will ask leaders of developed nations to assist Indonesia in reaching this goal through funding, technology and capacity building.

For its part, Indonesia will introduce a series of reforms in how the country manages its forest and peatland after experiencing one of the worst environmental disasters in its history recently, with daily carbon dioxide emissions from forest fires in October alone exceeding total emissions from the United States' economic activity.

“We will reveal the concrete steps we will take [to reach the target], including peatland restoration, review of existing [forest and peatland exploitation] permits and [introducing] a moratorium [on deforestation] for a specific time,” Joko said.

The president is also scheduled to stage several bilateral talks with state leaders from the Netherlands, Norway, India and South Africa at the sideline of the summit.

“We are committed [to tackling climate change] because we are [a nation] of 17,000 islands which will be devastated from rising sea levels,” he said.

The Paris summit is expected to result in an international and legally binding agreement of efforts to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, which scientists believe to be the tipping point for catastrophic climate change.