Continued cooperation and support for sustainable landscapes and livelihoods in South Sumatra

Landscape in South Sumatra that burned in 2015 - Photo:Royal Norwegian Embassy, Jakarta.
Big areas in South Sumatra burned during the extensive land and forest fires in 2015 and 2016. The province authorities are now working with a number of parties to prevent future fires.

South Sumatra province is working towards sustainable landscape management, together with Zoological Society London’s Indonesia office and other partners. United Kingdom and Norway have funded the program since 2015, and have agreed with the province to continue the cooperation until 2020.

In 2015, Pak Alex Noerdin, the Governor of South Sumatra, decided to establish the “South Sumatra Partnership for Ecoregion and Landscape Management”. One important part of the program is to implement a pilot partnership to combine sustainable production of different commodities with protection of the coastal lowland and peat landscape of South Sumatra.

As Governor Noerdin opened the Sustainable Landscape Festival in Palembang, South Sumatra, on 24 July, he highlighted how the province is applying the principles of green growth to achieve sustainable development.

Sustainable management of 1,6 million hectares

Through the program, the authorities of South Sumatra aim for sustainable management of the Sembilang-Dangku landscape, an area that covers approximately 1,6 million hectares in Musi Banyuasin and Banyuasin districts. The landscape covers an area which is larger than half the size of Belgium.

The program supports the authorities and business in their work for a greener development. Not at least, it supports villagers in 21 villages in the landscape in terms of solving conflicts, fire prevention and fire management, sustainable forest management and sustainable production of palm oil and rubber.

In 2017, close to 200 villagers were selected and supported as members of Social Forestry groups, 100 participated in the community-based fire prevention groups, and almost 800 smallholders received training to increase their production of palm oil and rubber through improved and sustainable production methods.

Peat restoration and improved agriculture practices to avoid fires

Large areas around the villages burned during the massive forest and land fires that struck Indonesia in 2015 and 2016, damaging people’s health and destroying their food production. The program works with large companies and plantations as well as small-scale farmers to prevent such fires, which also caused massive emissions of greenhouse gases, to happen again.

– This program is in the core of our cooperation with Indonesia on sustainable land-use and climate change. We are happy that the parties have decided to continue the cooperation until 2020, says Vegard Kaale, Norway’s Ambassador to Indonesia.

The program was expected to finish in 2018, but it is now decided to continue the cooperation until 2020. The Norwegian contribution to the program is up to 102 million NOK over five years. The UK Climate Change Unit is managing the funds for the program on behalf of both countries.

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