Countries take first steps to implement their partnership to combat deforestation
The government of Norway has agreed to transfer an initial contribution of USD 30 million through an international financing mechanism to finance Phase I of the Indonesia-Norway partnership on REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) in Indonesia. The two sides signed a Letter of Intent in Oslo in May of this year outlining the framework for a USD 1 billion partnership to combat deforestation and forest degradation.
President Yudhoyono stated in Oslo that the partnership is well-aligned with Indonesia’s national efforts, and the global UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) pathway to build a viable system to reduce emissions from deforestation and peat land conversion. Indonesia is confident that by working with the people and government of Norway, Indonesia can push further both the international negotiation and concrete REDD+ programs on the ground to tackle the global challenge of climate change.
A two-day meeting between Indonesia and Norway delegations took place in Jakarta on August 18 and 19 to discuss the implementation of Phase I of the partnership, which include the establishment of an Indonesian REDD+ agency, development of a comprehensive national REDD+ strategy, implementation of an interim funding instrument, development of a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework, selection of a pilot province and the implementation of 2-year moratorium for new concessions on natural forests and peatland, commencing in 2011.
The Indonesian delegation was led by Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, while the Norwegian delegation was lead by His Excellency, Eivind S. Homme, Norway’s Ambassador to Indonesia.
Dr Kuntoro, who was the Head of BRR (Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency) Aceh-Nias established after tsunami disaster in 2004, expressed his optimism towards the partnership, "The relationship and spirit of partnership between Norway and Indonesia has strong roots in the BRR work, where Norway was one of the first partner countries to make a commitment to the rehabilitation and rebuilding fund, and not only fulfilled their pledged amount, but also surpassed it. This REDD+ partnership is a mark of the continuous strong relationship between our two countries, and is only one of many future collaborative work efforts.”
”Indonesia under the leadership of President Yudhoyono is taking a global leadership role on climate change. Norway is honored to work with Indonesia in a Partnership built on mutual trust and respect, and a long time friendship,” stated ambassador Eivind Homme. “Our shared commitment to transparency, accountability and predictable contributions in return for agreed deliverables breaks new ground in international climate change collaboration. This meeting has brought us significantly forward and increased our confidence that a fully operational Partnership will be in place by the UNFCCC 16th COP (Conference of Parties) in Cancun.”
A task force will be set up to ensure that the implementation of the LoI reflects both Indonesian and Norwegian interests. Strong and coordinated action will be taken by committed ministries and departments to reach common objectives and goals and shifting mindsets and attitudes to climate change and to drive real and lasting impact on the ground.
The two governments agree that the moratorium, which will commence on January 1st 2011 and have a duration of 2 years, should be comprehensive enough to ensure reduced emissions. The Ministry of Forestry has already ceased the issuance of new licenses, and substantial work is currently being completed to ensure the best possible design of the moratorium. This effort will pave the way for reaching Indonesia’s goal of a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, increasing to 41 percent provided adequate international support is forthcoming.
The Indonesian national REDD+ strategy will be designed through an inclusive multistakeholder process. It will not only focus on addressing all significant drivers of deforestation, forest degradation and peatland conversion, but will also aim to implement low carbon economic growth strategies and will contain all necessary financial safeguards as well as environmental and social safeguards to protect communities and biodiversity. Norway will contribute to the financing of the policy and program infrastructure which will eventually generate revenue based on demonstrated GHG abatement.
The discussion also included the working model to be employed by Indonesia and Norway. Both parties expressed enthusiasm at the landmark partnership and commitment to engage in a collaborative relationship, and agreed to follow-up with a high-level meeting in September on the margins of the United Nations’ General Assembly. The Partnership will prepare Indonesia to tap into the wider international climate change funding in the future.