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UNODC and Norway: Working with Indonesia to protect Jayapura's Cyclops Mountains

Sentani, Papua (Indonesia), 17 September 2013
- Indonesia is home to the world's third largest tropical rainforest and 10 percent of global forest cover. This has enabled Indonesia to become a key timber supplier for the legal world market.

The dark side, however, is growing demand, falling supply and inadequate law enforcement and management that have also led Indonesia to become a major source for illegally produced and exported timber.

Crimes such as the illegal trade in timber and wildlife have reached alarming levels throughout Indonesia, which the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry estimates loses 1.6-2.8 million hectares annually (4-7 football pitches a minute) to illegal logging and land conversion. This can have devastating consequences.

In remote Papua province, a public consultation organized by UNODC confirmed that increasing encroachment threatens Papua's Cyclops Mountains' rich biodiversity, its many rare and endangered flora and fauna species, the clean water sources for people living in the nearby cities of Jayapura and Abepura, and the livelihoods of the traditional Tepra, Ormu, Sentani, Moi, and Teluk Humboh cultures.

H.E. Mr Stig Traavik, Norway's Ambassador to Indonesia, recently visited Papua as part of the final evaluation of the project X14, "Countering Illegal Logging and the linkage between Forest Crime and Corruption in Indonesia". Funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the project focuses on law enforcement. It uses specialized training, performance standards and the development of a coordination network to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and judicial officers. It also engages civil society to lend valuable local support to law enforcement efforts.

Accompanied by Mr. Troels Vester, UNODC Indonesia Country Manager, HE Traavik met Mr Yeri F. Dien, Jayapura District Secretary, who explained why the Norwegian government's attention to the management and protection of the Cyclops Mountains' Nature Reserve, the X14 pilot project area, mattered.

"Norway's support of this UNODC forest environmental protection project is very important for the people of Papua because Cyclops Nature Reserve is our main source of water and is also home to a wide variety of rare and unusual flora and fauna," explained Mr. Dien.

The "Countering Ilegal Logging" project successfully assisted the local government to finalize its Local Regulations of Jayapura District on Protection and Management of Cyclops. The local government also formed a state budget-funded civilian task force to protect the Cyclops Conservation Area. In addition, the project successfully established a strong coordination network among the law enforcement agencies and judicial officers. It also engaged civil society to lend valuable local support to law enforcement efforts.

With the conclusion of the "Countering Illegal Logging" project, Mr. Vester explained UNODC's next steps to preserve Indonesia's forests and biodiverstiy: "UNODC in Indonesia is responding in several ways to assist Indonesia in preserving its forests. We are committed to a new regime to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), and preparing for a fair, equitable and transparent REDD+ architecture."