Following the publication of a forest landscape restoration framework by the World Research Institute and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, in April, the two organizations have launched the Indonesian edition in Jakarta on Thursday (29/09).
The guide titled “Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology” or ROAM, was translated to the abbreviation “Mekar” to match the Indonesian word for blossom – a goal for the guideline to be adopted across the archipelago.
With Indonesia being home to the world’s most biodiverse forests, the handbook highlights the importance of restoring degraded areas and the potential for a better livelihood in coming years.
“In 12 years, Indonesia’s forest cover has lost 30 times the area of Bali, and 53 percent of them have turned into a critical condition,” WRI Indonesia director Nirarta Samadhi said.
This would in turn disrupt the livelihoods of communities that highly depend on the forests and watersheds, as many villages are situated within those areas.
“In Central Kalimantan, 73 percent of villages depend on resources provided by forests and watersheds,” he added.
Nirarta believes that establishing the framework would be essential to take advantage of the opportunities available in improving the quality of forests through restoration. Meanwhile, WRI Indonesia Forest and Landscape Restoration manager Satrio Wicaksono stated that the country is in dire need for restoration, especially in the bigger picture.
“Restoring forests and landscapes involve forests, ecosystems, climate, the economy, social culture, law and politics, food and biodiversity, which is why it is essential for Indonesia,” Satrio said.
The IUCN shared the same sentiments and noted that opportunities are abundant around the world for forest restoration.
“By creating the Indonesian version, IUCN hopes that we can bring relevant stakeholders to make use of this tool to reach the Bonn Challenge goal of restoring 150 million hectares of degraded land around the world by 2020,” IUCN Asia-Pacific Forest Land Restoration coordinator Li Jia said.
Just like the English edition, Mekar guides relevant stakeholders, especially government officials on a national and regional level, with a framework for sustainable forest landscape restoration, while addressing issues such as resources and methodology.
The adoption of Mekar has been piloted in two watershed areas in Sumatra, namely the Musi River Palembang and the Batanghari River in Jambi.