In the wake of global climate talks in Germany, Indonesia continues to see a strong role for forests in tackling climate change.
Efforts are now moving ahead from the readiness stage to making performance-based payments for REDD+ — the national scheme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable forest management.
The challenge now is to find a way to ensure that REDD+ payments, the financial incentives for reducing forestry emissions, reach the hands of the people managing those forests at the ground level. And judging by the experiences of REDD+ schemes elsewhere, local governments are likely to play a crucial role.
“Subnational governments will be crucial for REDD+ success in Indonesia,” says Shintia Arwida, a researcher for the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS-REDD+) led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
“REDD+ is a national policy, but it needs to be implemented at the subnational level. We would like to see how the national government will work together with subnational governments, and what kind of arrangement they will use to distribute funds from the national to the project level,” she adds.
Work on this has already begun, with the long-awaited establishment of a Climate Change Fund Management Agency (BPDI). It will operate under the newly passed Government Regulation on an Environmental Economic Instrument, involving several ministries, from finance to transportation, energy, public works and more.
The complex policy environment will be a further challenge for translating the national initiative to the local level. There is ongoing research collaboration between CIFOR and the government’s Center for Research and Development of Socio-economic and Climate Change Policy (P3SEKPI) to find solutions.
Their preliminary findings were presented in a Focus Group Discussion in Jakarta, involving stakeholders from research, government, donors, the private sector and funding mechanism institutions from the national to the local level.