Equitable Efforts to Save the World’s Forests: Don’t Put the Burden on the Poor (Commentary)

20 November 2013

That President Yudhoyono’s green legacy may be in peril has been put in the spotlight by the recent visit to Indonesia of Harrison Ford, a Hollywood megastar-turned-environmentalist. Ford was in Indonesia last month filming ‘Years of Living Dangerously’, a series about climate change. His trip to Central Kalimantan and Riau, was described by Michael Bachelard of Sydney Morning Herald as bearing witness to the devastation of Indonesia’s tropical forests.

The visit highlighted two issues: illegal encroachment in Tesso Nilo National Park and a still unissued ecosystem restoration concession (ERC) permit requested by Rimba Makmur Utama, a private company operating in Katingan, Central Kalimantan. These cases were challenging President Yudhoyono’s commitment to protect the country’s forests .

Expensive lessons learned for REDD+

As Indonesia strives to operationalize REDD+, a system whereby the international community will pay for reductions in the rate of deforestation, the above cases highlight very real difficulties in reducing forest loss and managing the carbon rich forests that avoid the cut.

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