Indonesia, home to a third of all rainforests worldwide, was one of more than 100 countries to support fighting deforestation. Indonesia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar now says the statement issued on the agreement “does not refer at all to ending deforestation.”
Milestone, or not?
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of a ‘milestone’ the day before yesterday, but according to Dutch nature organizations and other critics, the agreement is too non-committal.
“When I look at the text that has appeared, I see little concrete.” Pieter Zuidema, professor of tropical forest ecology at Wageningen University, is not reassured, he told RTL Nieuws.
“There are no national promises and no obligations. In fact, exactly the same is promised here as seven years ago in the New York Declaration on Forests. It is a promise that is not yet very much fulfilled. At the same time, it is positive that the problem is now again is on the agenda and that these world leaders are drawing attention to this.”
Indonesia’s environment minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar says it is “inappropriate” to force Indonesia to stop deforestation. She argues that the definitions of deforestation differ widely and that imposing European standards on Indonesia is unfair.
Ending it would clash with Indonesia’s development. According to her, this should not stop in the name of carbon emissions or deforestation. The politician believes that international agreements on deforestation should be refined.
Lungs of the Earth
Logging is one of the causes of climate change because trees absorb large amounts of CO2. Forests are also said to be the lungs of the earth. Money is also made available to protect and restore forests.
Brazil has also agreed to the deal. Large parts of the rainforest in the country have already been cleared, causing major problems for farmers in the area: