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Norway congratulates Indonesia on their draft submission of its draft national Forest Reference Emissions Level

On 24 November, Indonesia presented a draft national Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL) submission at a stakeholder meeting in Jakarta. Indonesia plans to submit its national FREL to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2014.

The Government of Norway wishes to congratulate Indonesia on presenting a national forest reference emissions level. Once submitted to the UNFCCC it will move Indonesia’s REDD+ work significantly forward and help breaking new ground in international climate policy.

We also wish to congratulate Indonesia on a thorough and inclusive process, which now has resulted in broad consolidation among relevant stakeholders.

To our understanding, the document is of high quality. It is particularly positive that it reinforces the trend set by the earlier reference level submission by Brazil, using historical data as the key basis for its FREL.

The interest of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative in the FREL is particularly keen since the key feature of the third phase of Indonesia and Norway’s climate and forest partnership, as stated in its Letter of Intent, is that Norway’s payments to Indonesia will be based on Indonesia’s reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest and peatland degradation, compared to a reference emissions level.

To Indonesia, as to Norway, it is essential that these emissions reductions are achieved within a framework that promotes strong, sustainable, equitable rural economic growth in Indonesia. This is the vision of Indonesia’s REDD+ strategy, which Norway strongly supports.

As to the mentioned payments for emissions reductions regime, the current FREL as proposed submitted to the UNFCCC constitutes one impressive part of the foundations for such payments from Norway. In addition, two additional factors must be taken into account, as specified in the Indonesian Copenhagen commitments to the UNFCCC and thereafter in our joint Letter of Intent. First, emissions from peatlands (both forested and non-forested) would be integrated into the reference level. In addition, the level below which Norwegian payments would be made, would be identified through adjustments reflecting Indonesia’s pledge to reduce 26 % of its emissions by own efforts.

Indonesia’s draft FREL constitutes an important breakthrough in its reduced deforestation, sustainable green development efforts. Norway looks forward to continue to provide performance based support as Indonesia moves ahead in implementing its climate and forest agenda within the framework of its policy of strong, equitable, and sustainable rural economic development.