The Path for Indonesian Tropical Forest for the World of Hope

[Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia (DELRI) consisting of representatives from Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Development Planning, and PTRI New York attended the 16th United Nation Forum on Forest (UNFF) session in a virtual way. To facilitate better consolidation and coordination amongst the delegations in Indonesia, together they attended the session in Santika Hotel, Jakarta 26 April 2021, while the representative from PTRI New York joined directly from New York. The session was scheduled to last for 5 days from 26 to 30 April 2021 using the Interprefy platform.

On the first day of the session, 26 April 2021, Indonesia had twice opportunities to present intervention, which was directly conveyed by Head of the DELRI, Dr. Agus Justianto.

The first intervention was delivered at the High Level Round Table (HLRT) which was also attended by Forestry Ministers from several member countries. During HLRT, impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the progress of forest management were discussed as one of the agendas.

Following the direction of the Minister of Environment and Forestry, in the time of HLRT agenda, Agus Justianto responded the issue of how forests can be part of the solution to the current global crisis, in particular severe climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and land degradation, including inequality and poverty in the post COVID-19 era. In addition, he explained Indonesia’s measures to promote the private sector’s engagement in and contribution to overcoming the global crisis.

According to Agus Justianto, despite climate change exacerbated by the pandemic and the global recession, Indonesia has succeeded in taking a balanced approach to cope with the issue.

Agus Justianto, who also serves as the DG of FORDA, further mentioned that Indonesia continued to focus on the commitments to improving the environment and forestry, while addressing the health crisis and economic recovery.

Two performances have been achieved according to Agus, in the forestry sector and the economic recovery program.

In the forestry sector, Indonesia has succeeded in halting the conversion of 66 million hectares of natural forests and peatlands, larger than the UK and Norway combined. “Last year we achieve the lowest deforestation rate in decades, only 0.1 million hectares, and cut down the area of forest fire up to 82%. All is achieved when deforestation and forest fire causing forest degradation increase over the world,” Agus Justianto said.

He added that Indonesia had been rehabilitating 620,000 hectares of mangrove forests and it would be completed by 2024. This is the largest rehabilitation in the world resulting in four times higher carbon sequestration than in tropical forests.

Another performance is related to the post covid economic recovery program. To cope with this pandemic situation, the Government of Indonesia has issued various policies to stimulate the economy through some intervention, such as supporting MSMEs and accelerating community forest development. The government also promotes development of wood-based industries including required-market compliance, like timber legality assurance.

In closing, Agus Justianto emphasized the priority of sustainable development and global cooperation in climate change making use of a balance approach in the upcoming Indonesia presidency of the G20 Summit in 2022.

Five Targets of Indonesia’s Voluntary National Contribution (VNC) to the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests

Indonesia presented another intervention during the second agenda, which was progress on the implementation of the UN strategic plan for forest 2017 – 2030. This agenda discussed how the voluntary contributions of each member country were implemented at the national level and how to follow up on the priority themes of forestry development.

Agus Justianto as Head of the DELRI expressed Indonesia’s insights which highlighted some of Indonesia’s progress in Voluntary National Contribution (VNC).

In accordance with the Indonesia’s VNC which was previously delivered at the 14th UNFF Session in 2019, there are 5 (five) targets set by Indonesia, which are aligned with the United Nations strategic plan for forest. The first target is to reduce deforestation to 0.45 million ha. On this occasion, Agus Justianto said that Indonesia had exceeded the target, which had essentially reduced deforestation by 0.1 million ha in 2020.

The second target is social forestry. Agus Justianto mentioned that Indonesia had exceeded the total allocation for social forestry of 12.7 million ha. According to him, as of March 2021, around 4.5 million hectares of social forestry area were allocated to nearly 7000 forest farmer groups and 930 thousand households, which was supported by 1,250 extension workers. This resulted in 7,529 social forestry enterprises and an increase in the productivity and value of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities including rural small industries.

The third target is promoting the Sustainable Production Forest Management and the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) Certification for sustainable forest and forest product management. Agus Justianto stated that Indonesia has taken further steps in promoting the Sustainable Production Forest Management and the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) Certificates for sustainable forest and forest product management. The implementation of SVLK in Indonesia has been proven to increase trade in forest products from Indonesia in the global market in a legal and controlled manner.

To achieve the fourth target, Indonesia has established a Public Agency for Environmental Fund Management or BPDLH under the Ministry of Finance. BPDLH plays a key role in managing funds to support better environment management including forest, carbon trading, environmental services, agriculture, marine management and fisheries.

The fifth target is achieved by actively encouraging gender equality leadership, led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. It is done by appointing female government officials to top management positions. This is followed by institutionalizing policies / facilitating women in carrying out their functions, including providing a nursery space.

Communication Strategy on International Day of Forests

Continuing with the second intervention, Agus Justianto as Head of the DELRI also conveyed information on implementation of the communication strategy and outreach of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forest 2017-2030, including the celebration of International Day of Forests 2021;

Dr. Agus Justianto conveyed that Indonesia has carried out some activities to commemorate the International Day of Forests 2021, among others, a webinar discussing “Protecting and Managing Indonesian Forests: Real Contribution to Conservation of World Nature” in which the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Siti Nurbaya has delivered four main messages in her speech.

The messages highlighted the important role of forests and their sustainable management for the environment; people’s livelihoods; health; and food security. Based on the data collected, this webinar was attended by 1,275 participants from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, local governments, international organizations and stakeholders from various entities.

Agus Justianto also mentioned that a photo competition and virtual tour to Indonesian National Parks were held during the webinar. The event was attended by the wider community, including the young millennial generation. A virtual tour of the Indonesian National Parks featured three different sites which included marine national parks  (Wakatobi, Karimunjawa, and Cenderawasih Bay), volcanic area national parks (Kelimutu, Rinjani, and Bromo Tengger Semeru) and rainforest national parks (Manupeu Tanah Daru, Tanjung Puting, and Mount Ciremai)

The International Day of Forests is expected to increase public awareness of the vital role of forests in addressing the climate change and biodiversity crisis, in producing goods and services for sustainable development, and in encouraging economic development that create jobs and improve livelihoods.

As a part of home to the world’s largest rainforest, Indonesia dedicate in contributing better global environment.

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