Linking REDD and NAMAs: ASB’s whole landscape approach can boost Indonesia’s emission reduction efforts

Indonesia has received tremendous attention recently after the president signed into law a two-year moratorium on logging in remaining primary forest and peatlands. Intense debate before and after this moratorium has clarified positions: only 25% of Indonesia is covered by the Moratorium, which includes all areas that already have conservation and national park status.

Indonesia has previously demonstrated leadership in its commitment to forest conservation and initiatives proposed at the global level on reducing carbon emissions. It is among the first developing countries to actively promote Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). The moratorium as it stands willIndonesia has initiated a National Action Plan on Emission Reduction to guide the implementation of NAMAs and international  supported activites such as REDD+Indonesia has initiated a National Action Plan on Emission Reduction to guide the implementation of NAMAs and international supported activites such as REDD+ only make a small contribution to the NAMA promise by Indonesia to reduce its 2020 emissions by 26% without reliance on foreign co-investment.

NAMAs combine a set of actions that are necessary to facilitate the transition to low-carbon growth for different sectors of the economy, including agriculture and forestry, and Indonesia has so far channeled efforts in key focus areas that are mainstreamed within national development priorities. Planned conversion of logged-over forests to intensively managed plantations for pulp/paper and/or oil palm remains a key feature of the policy, securing economic growth. Protecting the remaining peatlands, with their high and continued emissions is a key feature of the policy – going beyond the internationally agreed forest definition that defines REDD+. With NAMA, all land uses qualify for emission reduction, regardless of forest definition.

The country hopes that combining NAMA with international co-investment, it can achieve a further emission reduction of 15% and this has seen deliberate attempts to link NAMA with REDD+, - the proposed mechanism through which developed nations pledge to support developing countries in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks. To meet it’s overall emission objectives, a National Action Plan on Emission Reduction has been initiated and it articulates in detail national action points required as well as areas/sectors in need of international support.

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB) are contributing to the debate on linking national efforts and international response through the Accountability and Local Level Initiative to Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Degradation in Indonesia (ALLREDDI) which aims to create an understanding on the drivers of land use change and provide strategies for policies that act as incentives for REDD at various benchmark sites in Indonesia. There is also the REALU- Reducing Emissions from All Land Use project that takes on a whole landscape approach and explores how the REDD+ process can be more effective in accounting for emission reduction beyond the forest while improving the livelihoods of the communities.

According to Yuliana Wulan from the National Planning Agency in Indonesia, an integrated landscape approach such as presented by REALU is needed for full carbon accounting purposes. “A clear scope will allow us to establish baseline scenario/reference levels and the remaining NAMA/REDD+ elements (mitigation scenarios, policy measures, instruments, mitigation actions, monitoring, reporting and verification) can be established only if we know the respective scopes,” she notes. She was speaking at a joint seminar organized by ASB-ICRAF and the Ministry of Forestry and National Planning Agency in Indonesia. The seminar, whose theme was Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses in Indonesia: Linking REDD+ and NAMA Approaches clearly demonstrated how an integrated wider scope can easily deal with challenges currently faced by REDD+ implementation such as unclear forest definitions.Participants at the ICRAF-ASB joint seminar with the Ministry of Forestry and National Planning Agency in IndonesiaParticipants at the ICRAF-ASB joint seminar with the Ministry of Forestry and National Planning Agency in Indonesia

ICRAF’s results (ASB-Policy Brief 16) for Indonesia showed that loss of tree cover outside the statutory  forest contributes to as much carbon emissions per unit area, as changes within the forest. “It is heartening to see that the land-based NAMA approach of the National Planning Agency will provide an institutional home for efforts to reduce emissions from all land uses,” says Meine van Noordwijk, Chief Science Advisor of ICRAF based in Indonesia. “This way, the country can transcend the sticky issue about international forest and peatland definitions and get down to business,” he says.

With such evidence feeding into ongoing national efforts that are backed up by strong government commitment, Indonesia is on track with its goals to reduce emissions and provides a model that can be replicated globally for the benefit of other countries. ASB and ICRAF hope to learn from this process and facilitate wide dissemination of this knowledge.

View presentations from the seminar Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses in Indonesia: Linking REDD+ and NAMA Approaches on slideshare

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