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Embassy mission visits the REDD+ pilot province Central Kalimantan

The Norwegian Embassy, represented by Counselor Joar Strand and Advisor Nita Murjani, visited Central Kalimantan from 11-13 May 2012 to learn about progress on REDD+ implementation in Central Kalimantan, the pilot province of the Indonesia-Norway partnership on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

Throughout the visit, the delegation was reminded about the commitment by the province to actively take part in REDD+. The Province Secretary and highest ranking bureaucrat, Mr. Siun Jarias, welcomed the embassy and expressed the commitment for REDD+ projects. He explained that there has been some significant progress in REDD+, such as a local strategy for REDD+, and a REDD+ Joint Secretariat (Sekber), which is co-chaired by representatives from the REDD+ Task force and local government.

Local authorities have also invited local organizations and enterprises to participate in REDD+ through a call for concept papers and they have received more than 30 proposals for projects covering REDD+ related issues. The proposals cover a wide range of areas, such as livelihood empowerment to help reduce human pressure on forests, as well as rehabilitation of destructed forests. A selection team is now being established to review the feasibility of these proposed projects.

Since 2007, the Norwegian embassy has supported Partnership for Governance Reform (Kemitraan) and their project for Forest Governance Reform. This experience proves to be of great value for the work on REDD+ in Indonesia.  One of the areas they work in is the peatland forests in Ramang village in Central Kalimantan. The Embassy trekked through the forest and met with the Lurah (Village Head), Mantir (Village Customary Leader), Damang (Customary Chief of Villages), local NGOs and other local community members to discuss efforts by local communities to protect the forests and promote livelihood development. An example of such efforts is the community-initiated spatial planning to facilitate economic development and forest conservation in and around the village.

The Embassy also had meeting with the Head of the newly established UNORCID-office (United Nations Organization for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia), which mandate is to help facilitate and coordinate REDD+ related activities and visits, as well as to serve as an information center that can provide input from the whole UN system. The embassy attended the official closing ceremony of a training course organized by United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with forest rangers as participants. The course has been supported by the Norwegian embassy as part of a larger program to improve forestry law enforcement and forest governance.