Lifting the partnership to combat deforestation to the next level
Indonesia and Norway has brought their climate and forest partnership several steps forward since the signing of their Letter of Intent in May. At a special event on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September 2010, the two countries presented their partnership to other countries committed to REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), and invited them to join the partnership.
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, US special envoy on climate change Todd Stern and representative for the UN Secretary General, Achim Steiner, were present, and expressed strong support to the partnership. Along with delegates from Denmark, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the UK, and representatives from UNDP, FAO, UNESCO and the World Bank they discussed the opportunities presented by the partnership and the recent strides Indonesia has made in an effort to reduce emissions.
During this event, the Government of Indonesia (GoI) announced the establishment of a REDD+ Task Force (Presidential Decree No. 19/2010). This entity has oversight over the preparation of the national REDD+ strategy and is responsible for designing the REDD+ Special Agency and the funding instrument for REDD+ activities. The formation of the Task Force is expected to largely drive Indonesia’s efforts in putting in place the infrastructure to reduce emissions through breakthrough REDD+ transformation while improving economic prospects of their people and ensuring sustainability of its economy through a low carbon growth strategy.
The taskforce will be chaired by Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Head of the President’s Delivery Unit on Development Monitoring and Oversight, and will report directly to the President of Indonesia. Dr. Kuntoro previously served as the Head of the Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (BRR) Aceh-Nias established after the tsunami disaster in late 2004.
Following the discussion, Dr. Kuntoro stated, “This is a promising start that can only achieve its true potential through concrete actions and with the support of the countries that joined forces to form a global REDD+ Partnership.” He continued, “By shifting to a less carbon-intensive growth model and playing a leading role in addressing the global climate change challenge, we in Indonesia hope to achieve a more sustainable and diversified development for our people without sacrificing the country’s economic and development objectives.”
REDD+ aims at creating a financing scheme for forest emissions reductions in developing countries for global benefit. The Indonesia-Norway REDD+ partnership presents a new opportunity for donor government and agencies to coordinate their multilateral support to combat deforestation and forest degradation at the country level. This collaboration is based on a new model for international support, one that includes incentives for systemic change, and host government ownership and strategic leadership.
“The establishment of a special task force by the Indonesian government, and the designation of Dr. Kuntoro to head it, shows the seriousness of purpose of the Indonesian government on this issue. I have high hopes that other partner countries will appreciate the new model of partnership between developed and developing countries that is being established here, and choose to join us in supporting Indonesia’s climate and forest strategy. Success in the global battle against climate change depends on partnerships like these succeeding on a grand scale, and Indonesia is showing the way”, stated Norwegian Minister of Environment and Development, Erik Solheim.
The partnership was well received by the attending delegates. Stern stated, "Indonesia and Norway have both shown great leadership, and I am confident that they have the vision and dedication necessary to meet the challenges ahead."
Also in attendance was businessman and philantrophist George Soros, who is dedicating his work in land use and forestry in Indonesia. “We are on the verge of a breakthrough in saving the rainforest, engendering important change in the Indonesian administration, as well as finding a new way of delivering official development assistance,” said Soros. “Success of this project is not guaranteed. It’s very important that others join.”
In May of this year, Indonesia and Norway signed a Letter of Intent in Oslo outlining the framework for a USD 1 billion partnership to combat deforestation and forest degradation. Implementation of Phase I of the partnership will this year include the establishment of an Indonesian REDD+ agency, development of a comprehensive national REDD+ strategy, creation of financing instrument, development of a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework, selection of a pilot province project and the implementation of a two–year suspension for new concessions on forests and peatland, commencing in 2011.