24 Sep 2007

International co-operation needed to save Papuan rainforests, says Indonesia

6:27 am on 24 September 2007

Indonesia's government says the best chances of saving Papua's tropical rainforests increasingly rest with co-operation among the international community.

Indonesia plans to join with Papua New Guinea and at least 9 other developing countries with tropical forests in a coalition to fight climate change.

Other countries on board are Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Columbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Malaysia, Mexico and Peru.

The coalition aims to press wealthy nations to pour money into offsetting the impacts of global warming.

The Minister for the Environment, Rachmat Witoelar, says their coalition campaign ties in with efforts to mitigate illegal logging of the Papua region's native forests.

"There is a large area of rainforest and a lot of it is destroyed. But we're trying to stop the destruction and we hope that the Europeans, the Americans and, I don't know, maybe the New Zealanders - they buy the furniture coming from here (Papuan forests) - I hope they stop buying these things and then maybe they can stop selling it."

The Minister for the Environment, Rachmat Witoelar, says the coalition will be officially launched next April