Rofiqi Hasan, Denpasar – Scores of activists from the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) held a demonstration in the Balinese provincial capital of Denpasar on Tuesday October 23.
The protesters were opposing carbon trading mechanisms that will be discussed at the Climate Change Convention to be held at Nusa Dua next December. The group said using carbon trading to deal with climate change is only a continuation of deceit by the advanced countries.
A theatrical action was also held depicting a businessperson offering sachets of dollars. As compensation, several activists playing the role of poor people were asked to take care of the forests. But the poor people refused pointing to posters with the message, “Our forest are not for sale”. A large banner was also put up reading, “Our forests are not the rich countries’ carbon toilets”.
According to Walhi’s regional coordinator Sri Widihiyanti, the measures that should be taken is to pressure the advanced countries to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. “The reality is that the United States and Australia continue to oppose [reducing carbon dioxide emissions] and then they offer this mechanism instead”, she explained.
Without such a commitment said Sri, carbon trading will be of no use in reducing the global climate warming that has now increasing by 0.6 degrees Celsius annually. This is because 85 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions originate from the advanced countries.
Carbon trade will also hurt traditional communities because their right to manage forest will be taken away and conflicts with government will be more likely to occur. On the other had, Sri is concerned that the results of carbon trade will only provide fertile ground for new forms of corruption.
Because of this therefore, Walhi is calling on the Indonesian government as the host for the Climate Change Convention to provide leadership to the developing countries to reject carbon trade mechanisms and renegotiate their bargaining positions in overcoming climate change.
Sri said that Walhi will be deeply disappointed if the Indonesian government continues with the plan to sell Indonesia’s tropical forests that cover some 91 million hectares for carbon dioxide absorption at 5-20 dollars per hectare. “It will not compensate for the ecological disasters that we have and will experience so the advanced countries must provide compensation for all of these disasters”, she said.
[Translated by James Balowski.]