Mr. Andreas Beckermann, Counsellor at the German Embassy and Head of German Development Cooperation in Indonesia, paid a visit to the Merang REDD Pilot Project in Southern Sumatra from 8th to 10 February 2011. MRPP staff had prepared a comprehensive programme, which included talks with representatives of Dinas Kehutanan and Pemda in Palembang, various meetings with representatives of villages cooperating with MRPP, and a visit to the MRPP pilot area. Mr. Beckermann was impressed by the high professionalism and innovative character of MRPP’s activities with regard to community development, biodiversity conservation and forest rehabilitation. At the same time he expressed his concern about the extent of forest degradation and the magnitude of illegal activities in the remaining peat swamp forest areas of South Sumatra. He said that MRPP was a good example for the multi-level approach of German Development Cooperation and should be further strengthened.

MRPP is a project funded by the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry as the Executing Agency. The project is located in Bayung Lencir sub-district of Musi Banyuasin (MUBA) District. Further information on MRPP is available on the project website http://merang-redd.org/REDD/