The Indonesian government and the Jakarta-based Partnership for Governance Reform, better known as Kemitraan, signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen the infrastructure and implementation capacity of the United Nations initiative for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+, in the archipelago.
This agreement is a continuation of a letter of intent the Indonesian and Norwegian governments signed in 2010.
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said the two countries agreed that strengthening the Indonesian government’s institutional capacity was important in preparation for payments it will receive for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
“The strengthening of this capacity includes the mapping, prevention and control of forest fires as law enforcement and information dissemination efforts are indispensable,” Siti said during the signing ceremony in Jakarta on Friday (03/11).
Norwegian Ambassador Vegard Kaale meanwhile said his country was committed to encouraging Indonesia in its efforts to curb deforestation and forest degradation.
“[The] $1-billion funding commitment in the letter of intent will be awarded in three phases, which are $200 million for the first and second phases, and $800 million for the third phase, which is for verified emissions reductions,” Kaale said.
He added that the cooperation agreement will ensure the availability of important program support, especially on strengthening law enforcement, enhancing the monitoring of forest concession permits and also developing emission measurement mechanisms for peatlands.
“If the preparation process is going well, the Norwegian government is looking forward to making available the first funding of verified emissions reductions to the Indonesian government by 2018,” he said.
As part of the negotiations with Norway, Kemitraan is entrusted with facilitating the implementation of these infrastructure and capacity-building programs, including implementing coordination and communication between the two countries.
“Kemitraan is ready to facilitate the continuum of the cooperation between the two countries, so that Indonesia will be better prepared to receive funding for verified emissions reductions. As part of civil society, we will also ensure that Indonesian society is the core beneficiary of this partnership,” Kemitraan director Monica Tanuhandaru said.
In January 2015, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo disbanded two state agencies established by his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. These were BP-REDD+ and the National Council on Climate Change (DNPI). This raised questions at the time about the future of the country’s fight against global warming.
Deforestation in Indonesia has led to massive long-term environmental and social impacts. REDD+ is a mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing compensation to parties that prevent deforestation and forest degradation.