Gaia in cooperation with UK-based Creatura Ltd has completed the evaluation of progress and deliverables by the Indonesia–Norway REDD+ Partnership, which is being supported by the Government of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative.
The underlying idea is that felling or burning forest ecosystems releases greenhouse gases (GHGs), so REDD+ stands for ‘Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation’ by protecting forests, plus social and environmental safeguards agreed at recent international conferences on combating climate change.
The UNFCCC conference in Cancun made headway in policy approaches on issues related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Still, neither the international climate conferences nor the investors that will be needed have however yet worked out exactly how REDD+ is to be done and paid for. Hence Norway is kick-starting the process in tropical countries with its own funds, while also making deep emission cuts at home. Thus Norway has offered up to a billion US dollars to Indonesia, in return for measured and verified reductions in GHG emissions from deforestation and peat degradation in that country.
This is in line with Indonesia’s own policies, which call for emissions cuts on a scale that can only be met by changing a ‘business as usual’ system based on logging and forest clearance. But to make changes on this scale, reform of the whole system for managing forest lands is needed, along with new laws, capacities and institutions to ensure the accuracy and transparency of information as well as the permanent safety of forests. To achieve this demands a new level of understanding among law-makers, officials and the public that Indonesia’s future must be clean, green and sustainable.
To begin this historic task, Indonesia’s President has appointed a REDD+ Task Force, staffed with some of his most energetic officials. Since late 2010 these have been planning, lobbying, drafting decrees and building consensus, and the Task Force has now begun work with a pilot province (Central Kalimantan) where all the details of a new approach to low-carbon development in forest and peat lands can be field-tested and proven.
“While the partnership has started a process to enable full-fledged REDD+ progress in Indonesia, it also has relevance for the international REDD+ scene. At the same time, some key questions are being asked and answered about exactly what REDD+ means and how it is to be done to high-enough global standards that further investment can be attracted and fairly distributed. This in not re-inventing any wheels; it is creating a wheel for the first time”, states Mr. Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia.
The evaluation report delves into the workings of this whole reform process. It is based on scores of interviews with Indonesian and international stakeholders, all of them picked for their relevant knowledge as observers and representatives of key government institutions, donor agencies, REDD+ projects, and civil society organisations.
“The result is not only an independent and neutral evaluation of the progress in the partnership, but also a detailed ‘snap-shot’ of an astonishing change in progress”, says Julian Caldecott, the main author of the report.
Supported by abundant evidence, the report came to very positive conclusions about the processes that Indonesia and Norway have begun, and the great potential for improvement that they promise. Some deliverables had not yet been achieved, but for good reasons given the scale of the challenge, so the report recommended giving more time for key breakthroughs to be made. Described by the Task Force itself as ‘a fair and comprehensive report, covering the quality of outputs as well as the process’, this milestone publication can be downloaded here.
For further information:
- Gaia/Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, +41-79-472 6909, email@example.com
- Julian Caldecott, Director, Creatura, tel. +44 (0) 1225 422 257, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Gaia Group
Gaia is a leading partner for corporations, international organisations, and private and public institutions looking for innovative solutions for sustainability. Our main focus areas are climate change, sustainable energy, risk management, environment and innovation. More information about Gaia at www.gaia.fi