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WSJ: Papua looking to save forests for carbon credits

Carbon credits on Indonesia's wild eastern frontier

The governor of Papua--the Indonesian half of the large island of New Guinea--is examining a program in which the state would preserve old forests so the island could sell carbon credits to companies in developed nations, according to the Wall Street Journal. (subscription required.)

Barnabas Suebu, the first democratically elected governor of the state, became interested in getting westerners to preserve rainforests for money after serving as a representative for Indonesia in Latin America.

Under the plan, westerners would buy carbon credits, and the money would then be distributed to villages on the island. A lot of research--how much carbon dioxide do the forests consume? What is the compensation scheme--remains to be completed. Still, if it works, the plan would slow down deforestation (The acres of old growth forest lost to logging and planting every year in the country would cover Belgium) and also put a dent in carbon dioxide getting into the atmosphere from clearing land.