Indonesia and Norway formed a transformational partnership in 2010 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and peatland degradation in Indonesia. The partnership consists of Norway’s offer of one billion dollars to be paid against verified results, Indonesia’s commitment to cut its emissions, and regular review of progress by Gaia. The results so far suggest that significant greenhouse gas cuts are possible but require leadership, technical capacity and commitment to innovative solutions.
Indonesia has in recent years been a major emitter of greenhouse gases, with some 80 % of emissions originating from logging, fires and clearing forests and peatlands for plantations. At the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh on 25 September 2009, President Yudhoyono announced that Indonesia would commit to reduce its emissions by 26 % by 2020 compared to the emissions from a ‘business as usual’ scenario.
President Yudhoyono also foresaw a further reduction of up to 41 %, if international help was forthcoming. This attracted considerable interest and support from Indonesia’s development partners, including Norway. The two countries formed a partnership, in which Indonesia would reduce its deforestation and forest degradation according to United Nations REDD+ mechanism. REDD+ uses market and financial incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
The forest sector is hugely important to Indonesia and it was clear that such an ambitious partnership would face many challenges. It would require wholly new institutions as well as changes in the way existing institutions functioned.
Gaia’s second evaluation of the partnership found that there has been significant progress. In particular, the partnership has been able to impose an effective though still imperfect forest-logging moratorium, to develop a national REDD+ strategy, and establish a national REDD+ agency.
“The schedule of the partnership has not quite kept, but it was too ambitious to begin with, given the scale of reform that the partnership aimed at,” says Julian Caldecott of Creatura Ltd, team leader of the evaluation. “The introduction of new ideas and new systems was bound to be a challenge to some of Indonesia’s key institutions.”
“The partnership has been pioneering a complex enterprise against turbulent political headwinds, locally and globally, and to us the wonder is not that there have been delays but that so much has been achieved so quickly,” states Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia Group. “Despite the fact that international climate talks have been slow and indecisive, the leadership, commitment and technical capacity of both Indonesia and Norway have taken the partnership forward.”
The evaluation concluded that the goals of the partnership have either been accomplished or are in the process of being accomplished and will likely be achieved during the current evaluation phase.
However, with Indonesia’s election year in 2014, there is an urgent need and a real window of opportunity between now and the end of 2013 to solidify the new low-carbon institutions and systems within the national and local government and society. This will require dynamic and effective leadership from the head of the country’s new REDD+ agency, as well as continued and better-coordinated support from those governmental and non-governmental development partners that work to stop deforestation and peatland degradation.
International actors are particularly encouraged to endorse Indonesia’s REDD+ process and progress, and to continue the discussion with the Government of Indonesia and with each other on ways to consolidate and build upon the progress to date.
- Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia Consulting Oy, tel. +358 400 464 127, email: email@example.com