Indonesia hosts talks ahead of Bali climate meeting

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BOGOR, Indonesia, Oct 24 (Reuters) Richer nations must take the lead in reducing carbon emissions, but developing nations should also play their part depending on their circumstances, Indonesia's president said today.

Indonesia is hosting a meeting of environment ministers and officials from about 40 nations this week ahead of a key meeting in Bali in December aimed at hammering out a new global climate deal to curb emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

''It is only logical that developed countries should continue to take the lead in significantly reducing carbon emission,'' President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the opening of the meeting in the presidential palace in Bogor, an hour's drive south of the capital, Jakarta.

There have been tensions between developed and oorer industrialising nations over who should bear the burden for cutting emissions, which is seen by many scientists as vital to slow global warming and effects such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels.

Kyoto binds 36 rich nations to cap emissions of greenhouse gases until 2012 and a new global deal would seek to engage outsiders such as the United States and developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

''Developed countries are also called upon to provide resources, environmentally sound technologies and the necessary financial support for developing countries,'' he added.

''Developing countries, on the other hand, should participate voluntarily in reducing their national greenhouse emissions according to their national circumstances,'' he added, without elaborating.

The president singled out deforestation as a key issue.

Indonesia has being trying to mobilise nations with most of the world's tropical rainforests -- Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Gabon, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea -- ahead of the Bali talks to get rich countries to pay the world's tropical nations not to chop down rainforests.

''We must look for ways to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, two pernicious practices contributing greatly to the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,'' he said.

During the Bali conference, participants from 189 countries will hear a report on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation (RED) -- a new scheme that aims to make emission cuts from forest areas eligible for global carbon trading.

Yudhoyono said the price should should be determined by the market, so that it is high enough to compensate countries for not cutting forests down.

Indonesia's environment minister said earlier this month that Indonesia wanted to be paid 5-20 dollars per hectare not to destroy its remaining forests.

He did not say how the country, which already has difficulty with law enforcement due to corruption, would ensure that its forests would not continue to be destroyed under such a scheme.

Reuters SG GC1617

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