Visit of head of standing committee for Energy and Environment of Norway Parliament, Mr Ola Elvestuen to Indonesia

Head of the Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee for Energy and the Environment, Mr. Ola Elvestuen, visited Indonesia from 3rd to 7th of May 2014.

Mr. Elvestuen was invited by CIFOR to attend the Forest Asia Summit in Jakarta and to take part in two panel discussion during this event. Prior to the Summit, he went on field trip to Jambi to see Norwegian funded initiatives. The overall  purpose of the visit was to share Norwegians experiences on green and equitable development, as well as to learn about the Indonesian-Norwegian REDD+ partnership and community-based natural resources management in Indonesia.

During his visit to Jambi province, Mr. Elvestuen met with Governor Hasan Basri Agus, who explained about the multi-stakeholder approach in the province’s spatial plan and the merits of community-based forest management.

Governor Hasan Basri Agus exchanged gifts with Mr. Elvestuen    Mr.Elvestuen also visited KKI-WARSI’s office, and was briefed about historical land use changes in Jambi and community forests. He was also briefed about REDD+ activities in Jambi.

In order to observe community forest management, Mr. Elvestuen visited Senamat Ulu Village in Bungo District. The District is a pioneer in pursuing institutionalization of community-based forest management, which results in the first nationally recognized village forest.

During his visit to Senamat Ulu Mr. Elvestuen met with the local community and learned about their aspirations as well as challenges concerning sustainable development and environmental protection. He also visited a biogas plant, and met Rainforest Foundation Norway, which has been working with indigenous community to protect a national park in Jambi.

Mr.Elvestuen also released fish hatchets in the village’s “forbidden” pool, which serves as a venue for important village and religious events.

Together with District Secretary of Bungo, Mr. Ridwan Is, Mr. Elvestuen officially started the operations of a micro-hydro power plant. While the current power plant provides ample electric capacity for the whole village, it still only utilizes a fraction of the full potential of Senamat River. Mr. Rudi Syaf of WARSI explained that the Bujang Raba landscape, which consist of village forest and old rubber agroforest, on the upstream of the river ensures steady flows of water throughout the year, with minimum soil erosion which means less wear and tear on the turbines.

Back in Jakarta, Mr. Elvestuen attended CIFOR’s Forest Asia Summit, where he was amongst main speakers of the second day plenary session and a UNORCID-hosted discussion on green and equitable development. He reaffirmed Norway’s broad commitment to REDD+ during the plenary. Transparency, good governance and multi-stakeholders cooperation, he highlighted, are among the main requirements for green development with equity.