Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at World Leaders Summit on Forest and Land Use, 2 November 2021, at Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, Scotland
Your Excellency Boris Johnson,
Your Excellency Iván Márquez,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On yesterday’s Summit, I have announced that Indonesia’s forestry and land sectors will become a net carbon sink by 2030. This is Indonesia’s commitment to be part of the solution.
Indonesia’s concrete achievements in the forestry sector are undeniable. In 2020, the rate of forest fires in Indonesia dropped to 82 percent. In 2019, we also reduced emissions from forest and land use by 40.9 percent, compared to those in 2015. Indonesia’s deforestation rate also reached its lowest level in the past 20 years. All of these were carried out when last year the world lost 12 percent more of its primary forests compared to the previous year, and when many countries experienced the worst forest and land fires in history. This success is achieved since Indonesia puts climate action in the context of sustainable development.
Moreover, policy on sustainable forest management must combine environmental, economic and social aspects. Partnership with the communities must also be a priority. The social forestry program was created with the aim to carry out forest conservation and improve livelihoods for local communities. This is crucial given the fact that 34 percent of villages in Indonesia are located at the borderline or inside the forest areas. Millions of Indonesian people rely on the forestry sector for their livelihood. Denying this matter is not only unrealistic, but also unsustainable.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to share perspectives on making forests as part of global climate action.
First, our attention must cover all types of forest ecosystems, not only tropical forests but also temperate and boreal climate forests. Forest fires, for example, have an impact on carbon emissions and biodiversity regardless of ecosystem type.
Regarding the forest management, Indonesia has also changed its paradigm from forest product management to forest landscape management for a more comprehensive forest management. In addition, Indonesia is also doing restoration of mangrove ecosystems, mangrove forest which plays a role in absorbing and storing carbon. Indonesia is home to more than 20 percent of the world’s mangrove forests. Indonesia has 3.3 million hectares of mangrove forests, the largest in the world.
Second, incentive mechanisms must be provided for sustainable forest management. Certification and production standards must be accompanied by market incentives so that they can encourage sustainable forest management and not become a trade obstacle. Certifications, methodologies, and standards must be based on multilateral and fixed parameters. Certification must also be conducted in a just manner so that it has an impact on the wellbeing of small farmers. Certification must also consider all aspects of the SDGs so forest management is consistent with poverty alleviation and community empowerment.
Third, mobilization of financial and technological supports for developing countries. Commitment must be made with real action and real implementation, not a mere rhetoric. Providing support without dictating, let alone violating a country’s sovereign rights over its territory. The support must be country-driven, based on the real needs of forest-owned developing countries.
For Indonesia, we will keep moving forward with or without support. We are developing innovative funding sources, including the establishment of the Environmental Fund Management Agency, issuance of green bonds and green sukuk, as well as developing a carbon pricing mechanism as an incentive for the private sector to meet gas emission reduction targets.
Ninety percent of the world’s population living in extreme poverty relies on forests for livelihood. The misuse of the climate change issue as a trade barrier is a terrible mistake. This will erode trust in international cooperation to tackle climate change and even hinder sustainable development, which is much needed.
Forest management within the framework of sustainable development becomes our only option. Indonesia is ready to share experiences and knowledge on it. Let us manage forests in pro–environment, pro–development, and people–centered manners. This is the main goal of the Forest Agriculture and Commodity Trade Dialogue which is co-chaired by Indonesia and the United Kingdom so that forests can become a sustainable solution for global climate action.
I thank you. (GWH/MUR)