Indonesia and Australia announced a joint initiative on Tuesday to reduce logging and deforestation on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Australia will pay Indonesia 30 million Australian dollars ($27 million) to find economic alternatives to land clearing on Sumatra as part of the so—called REDD - for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation - scheme, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, and Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, said in a joint statement.

The project is the first large—scale joint programme to preserve the carbon—rich peat swamp forests of Central Kalimantan province, the statement said.

Loggers drain the swamps that emit high concentrations of carbon gases when they burn during the annual dry season.

Australia has been paying Indonesia since 2008 to reduce forest clearing, which accounts for 80 percent of the vast archipelago’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia is the biggest global emitter of greenhouse gases, blamed for global warming, through deforestation and third behind the United States and China in terms of total man—made emissions.

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