President SBY establishes REDD+ Agency

President Yudhoyono signed a Presidential decree No 62/2013 to establish a new agency that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and peatland conversion, to be known as “the REDD+ Agency”.

The decree is part of Indonesia’s commitment to reduce emissions by 26%  from business as usual level in 2020 or up to 41% with international assistance as pledged by President Yudhoyono in 2009.

The establishment of this ministerial level agency is a major milestone in the REDD+ partnership between Indonesia and Norway.   Norway has committed a billion US$ grant for several deliverables including “payment upon performance” in reducing GHG emissions from forest and peatland areas.

The objective of REDD+ agency is to achieve emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation and peatland and to ensure that this efforts are managed in an effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable manner.

 “The process to establish this agency has been long and thorough. The establishment of the REDD+ Agency is proof of Indonesia’s commitment to contribute to the global effort in reducing carbon emissions, to preserve Indonesia's mega-biodiversity forests, and ultimately to increase the welfare of local and customary people who dependent upon forest resources” says Agus Purnomo, President Yudhoyono special assistant on climate change issues.

This agency will not only deliver REDD+ commitments as agreed in the partnership with Norway, but will also create confidence within the international community to invest in Indonesia’s unique forest ecosystems and globally important climate services.

“Through the REDD+ Task Force, operational since September 2010, we have elaborated various REDD+ plans and engaged in extensive consultations with national and local stakeholders. We now have the REDD+ National Strategy, REDD+ Financing Instrument design, MRV design including the One Map program that will serve as the basis to measure achievements in maintaining our forests and peatlands. We have established a platform for REDD+ activities in several provinces, focusing in the pilot province of Central Kalimantan involving the community and the local government. We have started a review of mining and plantation licenses and expediting the forest gazettement process in Central Kalimantan. But more importantly, we have established transparency, non-bureaucratic approach, multi-stakeholder participation and a focus on governance improvement as a working principle for the agency” say Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesia REDD+ Task Force which have just ended its mandated term. Kuntoro add that the REDD+ Agency can immediately start implementing those plans and principles, and endeavor to deliver measurable results.

“As the ministry in charge of forests management over an area of more than 100 million hectares across the archipelago, we welcome the REDD+ Agency and look forward for a productive partnership in the years to come. For the first time in Indonesia's modern history, effort to conserve forests and peatlands can add local government revenues and directly benefitting the local and customary people" say Zulkifli Hassan, Minister of Forestry.

The staffing of REDD+ agency will be decided in a couple of weeks. Full decree can be downloaded from Secretariat Cabinet website