The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in association with leading business groups, NGOs, development agencies and government ministries, will convene a one-day conference, Forests Indonesia: Alternative futures to meet demands for food, fibre, fuel and REDD+. The event will provide a platform for leaders of all stakeholder groups to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by Indonesia in the sustainable use of its forests.
Indonesia is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gasses, most of which come from the forestry sector. Globally, international institutions, governments and scientists have come to agreement that financing schemes under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhancing carbon stocks, or REDD+, hold the greatest promise for combating climate change in the short term. Against this backdrop, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has pledged to reduce emissions by 26% from business-as-usual levels by 2020 and by 41% if assisted with outside funding.
However, competing demands for national forest lands from agriculture, mining, pulp and paper and other development objectives have sparked heated debate on how the President's global aspirations to reduce emissions can be achieved. The Government of Indonesia has announced a two-year moratorium on the issuance of new forest concessions, and a segment of the business community has responded with doubt and rejection. In particular, some business leaders complain that the moratorium, combined with conflicting regulations, lacks clarity. Add in pre-existing legal uncertainties, overlapping concessions, and social conflicts over land use, and the result, say businessmen, discourages operations in Indonesia. At the same time, however, a growing number of Indonesian businesses are leaning toward the embrace of a low carbon economy and sustainable resource use, but are waiting for the incentives or proof of business opportunities.
Indeed, there is also growing realization by all stakeholders that current land-use patterns in Indonesia are unsustainable. Even in the absence of the President's call to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, there would be many reasons for Indonesia to rethink the conditions under which natural resources extraction is taking place, including local social and environmental impacts. Therefore, an open and honest dialogue on the required policy actions in Indonesia is urgently needed.
The conference will feature agenda-setting keynote speakers and a series of engaging forums under two themes:
Join the discussion.
For more information, email CIFOR-ForestsIndonesia@cgiar.org