REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia (DELRI), which consists of Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemenlu), Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia (Bappenas), and Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to New York, attended the 16th United Nation Forum on Forest (UNFF) virtually due to pandemic Covid-19. The meeting was held for 5 days, from 26-30 April 2021 using interprefy platform.
During the first day of the meeting, there were two intervention agenda from Indonesia presented by the Head of the DELRI, Agus Justianto. The first intervention was delivered during High Level Round Table (HLRT) attended by Minister of Forestry from several member countries. The discussion also covered on the progress of forest management as an impact of Covid-19.
Following the direction of Minister of Environment and Forestry, Agus Justianto answered some questions on how forest could take part as a solution for this global crisis, mainly on climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, as well as inequality and poverty as an impact of Covid-19. Another topic was how Indonesia attract private sector to contribute effectively to overcome global crisis.
According to Agus Justianto, Indonesia has successfully taken a balance approach to cope with the issue despite the impact of climate change and Covid-19.
Agus Justianto, who also serves as the Head of Research, Development, and Innovation Agency at KLHK, also mentioned that Indonesia focused on reaching the goal to improve environment and forestry, while tackling health crisis and economic recovery
There are two progress in this sector. They are in the forestry sector and in economic recovery program.
On forestry, has succeeded in halting the conversion of 66 million hectares of natural forest and peatland. The number is larger than the UK and Norway combined. “Last year we achieved the lowest deforestation rate in several decades, along with cutting down the area of forest fire up to 82 percent. Everything is achieved when the world sees the increasing number of deforestation and forest fire in several countries,” Agus Justianto said.
Agus Justianto added that Indonesia has been rehabilitating 620,000 hectares of mangrove forest and it will be completed by 2024. This is the largest rehabilitation in the world, resulting in four times carbon absorption compared to tropical forest.
He further explained about the economic recovery policy. “For this pandemic situation, Indonesia Government has issued several policies to stimulate the economy through several interventions, such as supporting Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), accelerating community forest development, and promoting wood-based industries combined with required market compliance such as timber legality assurance,” he said.
He emphasized the priority on sustainable development and global cooperation in climate change using balance approach in the upcoming Indonesia presidency of the G20 Summit in 2022.
Next, Indonesia presented another intervention during second agenda, which was progress on the implementation of the UN strategic plan for forest 2017 - 2030. This agenda discussed on the voluntary contributions of each member country at the national level and how to follow up on priority themes of forestry development.
Agus Justianto expressed Indonesian views on Indonesia's progress in Voluntary National Contribution (VNC).
Based on VNC Indonesia presented during the 14th UNFF Session in 2019, there are 5 targets set by Indonesia, which are aligned with the United Nations strategic plan in forest sector. The first target is to reduce deforestation rate to 0.45 million ha. On this occasion, Agus Justianto said that Indonesia had surpassed the target, which had substantially reduced deforestation by 0.1 million ha in 2020.
Talking on the second target, which is social forestry, Agus Justianto mentioned that Indonesia had exceeded the total allocation target for social forestry of 12.7 million ha. According to him, as of March 2021, around 4.5 million hectares of social forestry area were allocated to nearly 7,000 forest farmer groups and 930 thousand households, which was supported by 1,250 extension workers. This resulted in 7,529 social forestry enterprises and an increase in the productivity and value of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities including rural small industries.
For the third target, Indonesia promotes Sustainable Production Forest Management and the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) Certification for sustainable forest and forest product management. “Nowadays, Indonesia has move further to promote Sustainable Production Forest Management and the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) Certification for sustainable forest and forest product management. The implementation of SVLK in Indonesia has been proven to increase trade of forest products from Indonesia legally and controllably,” he said.
To achieve the fourth target, Indonesia has formed a Public Agency for Environmental Fund Management (BPDLH) under the Ministry of Finance. BPDLH plays a key role in managing funds to support environment, including forest, carbon trading, environmental services, agriculture, marine, and fisheries.
Next, about the fifth target, Indonesia through KLHK actively encourages gender equality leadership by appointing female government officials as management position. Then, it is followed by facilitating women in carrying out their functions, including providing a lactation room.
Continuing the second intervention, Agus Justianto as Head of DELRI conveyed information on the implementation of communication strategy and outreach of United Nations Strategic Plan for Forest 2017 - 2030, including the celebration of International Day of Forests 2021.
He conveyed that Indonesia has been commemorating the International Day of Forests 2021, among others, through a webinar titled “Protecting and Managing Indonesian Forest: Real Contribution to Conservation of World Nature” in which the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya has delivered four main messages in her speech.
The messages highlighted important role on forest and its sustainable management for the environment, people's livelihoods, health, and food security. Based on the data collected, this webinar was attended by 1,275 participants from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, local governments, international organizations, and stakeholders from various entities.
Agus Justianto also said that a photo competition and virtual tour to Indonesian National Parks were held during the webinar. The event was attended by public, including millennials. The virtual tour presented three different locations, including marine national parks (Wakatobi, Karimun Jawa, and Cenderawasih Bay), volcanic area (Kelimutu, Rinjani, and Bromo Tengger Semeru), and rainforest (Manupeu Tanah Daru, Tanjung Puting, and Mount Ciremai).
“The International Day of Forests is expected to raise public awareness of the vital role of forests in addressing the climate change and biodiversity crisis, in producing goods and services for sustainable development, and in encouraging economic development that create jobs and improve livelihoods,” Agus said.
As a home of the biggest tropical rainforest in the world, Indonesia is dedicating its contribution for the better global environment.