Features & Commentary
REDD+ in Indonesia – Is Indonesia Ready?
After three years of effective REDD+-readiness work, supported by Indonesia's UN-REDD National Programme, the country is progressing towards the next phase of its REDD+ efforts.
By : Rogier Klaver
When is a country ready for REDD+? And when will REDD+ be ready for a country? These are the ultimate questions we ask ourselves as Indonesia's UN-REDD National Programme comes to an end. On 30 October 2012, the three UN agencies of the UN-REDD Programme (FAO, UNDP, and UNEP) and Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry operationally closed the country's National Programme after three years of working towards REDD+ readiness in Indonesia. The Programme focused on several key areas related to REDD+ readiness, including: the development of national policies and stakeholder engagement; methodologies and provincial piloting; and preparation for implementation at the district level. Did the UN-REDD Programme achieve its objective of supporting the Government of Indonesia in attaining REDD+ readiness?
It is important to acknowledge that the UN-REDD Programme was one of many REDD+ initiatives in Indonesia. There are other REDD+ initiatives by international development partners such as AusAID, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (World Bank), USAID, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and others. In addition, Indonesia signed a bilateral REDD+ partnership with Norway shortly after Indonesia's UN-REDD National Programme started, resulting in the establishment of a National REDD+ Task Force. This Task Force became responsible for setting the REDD+ agenda and working to implement it. UN-REDD Indonesia adapted to these new developments by supporting the agenda set by the Task Force, including the development of a REDD+ Strategy and a strategy for Information, Monitoring and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV).
While the UN-REDD Programme might not have been a game changer in Indonesia in terms of shaping the National REDD+ Programme, the Programme was effective in influencing the rules of the game. The Programme was successful in engaging stakeholders at local and national level. This was first demonstrated through a series of consultations for the National REDD+ Strategy covering the whole country. Consultations such as these helped to enhance the level of ownership of the activities and the outputs.
The UN-REDD Programme in Indonesia implemented jointly with the Ministry of Forestry, which took on a leading role in the programme. As one of the main national stakeholders in REDD+, the Ministry was at the forefront of national programming as well as the international negotiations. As REDD+ evolved internationally and nationally, we continuously tried to adapt to the changes in the REDD+ environment and anticipate these changes where possible.
A driving force behind the provincial level activities was the Central Sulawesi REDD+ Working Group, which was established with the support of the UN-REDD Programme. Most of the UN-REDD Programme activities in the pilot province of Central Sulawesi were conducted and led by the Working Group that consists of a wide variety of stakeholders. Their achievements were supported by the Governor of Central Sulawesi who signed a number of decrees based on their contributions, thereby committing provincial budget to the further implementation of the decrees.
A number of methodologies were developed and tested. Building on the existing forest monitoring capacities of the Ministry of Forestry, the Programme helped redesigning the National Forest Inventory, including quality control and data management. This resulted in the improvement of forest data, and of transparency in the way the data are managed. Learning from existing Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and National Program of Community Development, options for benefit distribution were developed. To identify the most suitable sites for REDD+ implementation, opportunity costs and socio-economic impacts analyses were conducted. In addition, a toolbox was developed and tested to incorporate multiple benefits in the decision making process. Key to the methodology development was capacity building, through trainings as well as through participation in the implementation as part of the ownership by the Government of Indonesia.
REDD+ continues to evolve in Indonesia. The UN-REDD National Programme is completed. The country is looking to replace the REDD+ Task Force with a more permanent REDD+ agency and MRV institution. A dedicated UN Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID) was established to support the REDD+ process in Indonesia. FAO, UNDP and UNEP in Indonesia are working to follow up UN-REDD Programme activities in Central Sulawesi province. Although the UN-REDD Programme in Indonesia has been operationally closed, the country continues to work toward REDD+ readiness. We believe that the outcomes of the UN-REDD Programme have made valuable contributions to Indonesia’s REDD+ readiness. We also believe that specific follow up within the context of REDD+ will consolidate the UN-REDD Programme’s achievements in Central Sulawesi.
So is Indonesia REDD+-ready? Central Sulawesi is ready to implement the next step of REDD+, where piloting of five REDD+ activities will test the effectiveness of the foundation and provide additional lessons. National institutions like the Ministry of Forestry and the REDD+ Task Force continue to improve the systems for REDD+. Several things may go differently than expected. REDD+ will continue to evolve, just as the required systems and capacities in Indonesia will continue to evolve.
|Rogier Klaver is Natural Resources Officer at FAO in Indonesia. Between 2009 and 2012, Mr. Klaver worked with FAO Indonesia for the UN-REDD Programme.