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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ecuador backs Indonesia bid for forest compensation

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Ecuador President Rafael Correa on Monday expressed support for Indonesia's calls to have developing nations compensated for preserving forests as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Correa said Ecuador and Indonesia, both home to some of the world's richest biodiversity, had agreed to have a common negotiation position at a U.N. climate change conference in Bali next month.

"It is necessary to have a fairness principle in order to face this kind of issue, I mean to compensate countries that are providing this kind of good, environmental good, with high value but without price," Correa told a news conference after a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta.

"We are providing a very valuable good for human life," he said, referring to the forests.

Ecuador has asked for financial compensation from industrialized nation in exchange for forgoing the exploitation of oil fields in the Amazon.

The Indonesian government says it must be given incentives, including a payout of $5-$20 per hectare, to preserve its forests. It also wants to negotiate a fixed price for other forms of biodiversity, including coral reefs.

Indonesia has a total forest area of more than 225 million acres, or about 10 percent of the world's remaining tropical forests.

But the Southeast Asian country has already lost an estimated 72 percent of its original frontier forests.

Participants from 189 countries are expected to gather in the Indonesian resort island of Bali to discuss a new deal to fight global warming. The existing pact, the Kyoto Protocol, runs out in 2012.

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