Jakarta – Indonesia is preparing regulation to help finance a program of mangrove restoration work from sources outside of the state budget, as part of its carbon-neutrality efforts, a senior government official told Reuters on Friday.
Indonesia launched a mangrove rehabilitation program in March, aiming to restore 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of degraded mangrove by 2024 to help absorb carbon emissions.
Southeast Asia's largest economy, which is also the world's largest archipelago country, aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 or sooner.
This year the government had aimed to restore 150,000 hectares of mangroves, but it has cut that goal to 33,000 hectares due to limited funding from the state budget as the government reallocates funds to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency and the environment ministry are designing a regulation so mangrove rehabilitation can be done under various funding schemes," Hartono, the agency head, told Reuters.
The agency estimated that the restoration program would require 38 trillion rupiah ($2.7 billion) by its third year, which Hartono expected would only be partially financed from the state budget.
The government is hoping to issue the regulation in early 2022, Hartono said.
A government study showed last month that Indonesia will need to invest $150 billion to $200 billion per year in low carbon programs over the next nine years to meet its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2060 or sooner.
To help reach its goal, Indonesia will start charging a carbon tax next April on coal-fired power plant operators with carbon emission levels above a government-set limit.
It also plans not to allow cross-border carbon trade until it meets its own greenhouse gas reduction targets, the finance minister said on Friday.