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The Norway-Indonesian REDD+ partnership FAQ

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Government of Norway
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Since the new partnership on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation between Norway and Indonesia was signed last Thursday, the Royal Norwegian Embassy has received a number of questions on how the partnership will work and why Norway chose to work with Indonesia. Read the answer to these and many other questions in our new FAQ sheet below. 

1.      Why did Norway choose Indonesia?

Norway and Indonesia both recognize that climate change is among the greatest challenges facing the world today. In October 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono committed to reducing Indonesia’s CO2 emissions by 26% against a business-as-usual trajectory in 2020, the largest absolute reduction commitment made by any developing country. Indonesia has set a bold target and Norway wanted to support the Indonesian government’s efforts to realize its commitment.


2.      What is Norway’s financial commitment?

Norway and Indonesia have entered into a partnership to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests and peat lands. Norway will support these efforts with up to 1 billion US dollars based on Indonesia’s performance, over the course of the next 7- 8 years.


3.      How does the partnership work?

The partnership has three phases. In the first phase, funds will be devoted to finalizing Indonesia’s climate and forest strategy and putting in place enabling policies and institutional reforms. In phase two, the objective is to make Indonesia ready for the contributions-for-verified emissions reductions while at the same time initiate larger scale mitigation actions through a province-wide pilot project. In the third phase, starting in 2014, the contributions-for-verified emissions reductions mechanism will be implemented nationally.


4.      What will the money be spent on?

In 2010 the money will be spent on completing a national REDD+ strategy for Indonesia. However, the money will be distributed over a 7-8 year period and most of the funds are tied to verified emissions reductions by Indonesia. 


5.      How will the funds be disbursed?

Funding will be allocated on the basis of deliverables channeled through an agreed financial mechanism.


6.      Will Norway get carbon quotas from Indonesia?

No. All efforts under the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are additional to Norway’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and will not be counted towards Norway’s commitments under a new climate agreement.


7.      Will the partnership continue even if there is no agreement in the UNFCCC by the time Indonesia is ready to move to the contributions- for verified emissions reductions phase?

Yes.  The partnership will continue and Norway’s contribution will be a public financing contribution.


8.      How will this partnership impact Indigenous peoples rights?

Representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities will take part both in the planning and implementation of Indonesia’s REDD+ strategy as well as the institution that will manage the funds. Currently, insecure land tenure gives indigenous peoples and local communities little incentive to contribute to sustainable management of forest, especially when concessions for mining, logging, pulp and paper or palm oil plantations are awarded on land inhabited and used by indigenous peoples and local communities without recognition of traditional land rights and without compensation. Indonesia will declare a two-year suspension on new concessions on conversion of natural forests and peat forests into plantations. Natural forests are essential to the livelihoods of indigenous people and local communities, and the suspension of new concessions for natural forests conversion is a breakthrough for a more sustainable management of forest in Indonesia.


9.      How will you make sure the funds reach local communities?

The Norway-Indonesia REDD+ Partnership is based on the principle that all relevant stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, local communities and civil society in Indonesia are given full and effective participation in planning and implementation. This means that a transparent benefit sharing mechanisms between the national and local governments will be established in line with Indonesia’s new regulations in this area. Funding will also depend on the program being executed according to these agreed principles, and will be assessed annually by an independent third party review group.


10.  What are the expected results of the program?

The program is expected to bring significant reductions in Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions as well as improvements in forest governance and law enforcement. Almost 80% of Indonesia’s current greenhouse gas emissions stem from deforestation, land use change and drying, decomposing and burning of peatland. This means Indonesia can make deeper cuts in CO2 emissions and do it more quickly than most other countries, and it’s this unique opportunity the Norway-Indonesia REDD+ Partnership will support. As part of the program, Indonesia will implement a two-year suspension on all new concessions for conversion of peat and natural forest.


11.  How will results be measured?

The partnership is performance-based, both in terms of actual emissions reductions and with regards to policy change and institutional reforms required. This is in itself a strong incentive to achieve results. Every year, an independent, third party review group will verify the results and report to a Joint Consultation Committee. The largest portion of funds will be made available based on a principle of contribution-for verified emissions reductions. The program starts with establishing mechanisms that will enable Indonesia to monitor, report and verify emissions reductions according to the standards of the International Panel on Climate Change. This will ensure accountability and that emissions reductions can be trusted to be real, additional and permanent, and not displaced by emissions elsewhere in the country.


12.  Indonesia has set a target of 26% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020, and 41% if international financial support is available. What is this program’s contribution?

It’s too early to give any exact numbers, but we are confident we can make an important contribution to global CO2 abatement through this program. For example, Indonesian peatland stores 132 gigatons of CO2. In comparison, the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, stores 168 gigatons of CO2.  An Indonesian cut of 1.20 gigatons  (41% reduction) of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 would equal around 8% of the total global reduction required to reach the emissions levels recommended by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and which scientists believe are necessary to prevent the average global temperature from increasing by more than 2 degrees Centigrade.


13.  Will money go towards reforestation?

Clearing a hectare of forest can immediately release some 250 tons of carbon, and much more over time if it is on peatland, while planting a hectare of forest can only sequester 5-10 tons per year. Under the Norway-Indonesia REDD+ Partnership, funds are tied to verified emissions reductions from deforestation, forest degradation or peatland conversion/destruction. The partnership will be implemented in phases and starts with establishing mechanisms that will enable Indonesia to monitor, report and verify emissions reductions according to the standards of the International Panel on Climate Change. Deforestation, forest degradation and conversion of peat forests represent up to almost 80% of Indonesia’s greenhouse emissions, and preventing emissions-causing activities in forested areas in Indonesia represents a combined emission reduction opportunity of more than 570 million tons CO2 annually. 


14.  Is Norway worried that funds will be lost to corruption?

Indonesia has a very good track-record of managing foreign donor funds under President Yudhoyono. The Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) established after the 2004 tsunami managed around US$ 7 billion of foreign donor funds in line with the best international standards. Many of the same governance principles will be used for the special agency that will be established to coordinate the development and implementation of REDD+ in Indonesia. Indonesia and Norway have agreed that the funds will be managed by an internationally reputable financial institution according to international fiduciary, governance, environmental and social standards.


15.  Will this program stop illegal logging in Indonesia?

According to estimates, illegal logging costs Indonesia more than USD 2 billion a year in lost revenue, taxes and duties. One of the objectives of the program is to secure a more sustainable management of forest in Indonesia. The program aims to set up a set up a special unit to tackle the problem of illegal logging and enforce existing laws against illegal logging and trade in timber and related forest crimes. 


Extpub | by Dr. Radut