Minister Sundtoft was especially impressed by good progress made in the REDD+ pilot province, and encouraged by recent positive initiatives by the private sector to reduce deforestation. In meetings with civil society the Minister found it encouraging that several initiatives are taken to follow-up on the Constitutional Court ruling about indigenious peoples land rights and to also further strengthen the gender perspective in the REDD+ program.
Throughout her visit, Minister Sundtoft had fruitful discussions with various key REDD+ stakeholders. She met with four Ministers; Minister of Environment HE Balthasar Kambuaya, State Minister for National Development Planning HE Armida S. Alisjahbana, Minister for the Presidential Working Unit for Supervision and Management of Development (UKP4) HE Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, and Minister Heru Prasetyo of the newly established REDD+ Agency.
While in Jakarta Minister Sundtoft and her delegation also attended a REDD+ Stakeholders Meeting, together with representatives from key line ministeries and governmental institutions, as well as from development institutions, civil society organizations and key donors.
Escorted by Minister Heru Prasetyo, Minister Sundtoft and her delegation proceeded from Jakarta to the REDD+ pilot province of Central Kalimantan, where she met with Governor Teras Narang.
At the REDD+ Training Center in Palangkaraya, she got a briefing about recent REDD+ developments in the pilot province and key districts. Several encouraging steps have been taken to improve forest governance, conduct concession reviews, improve spatial planning, develop consolidated forest maps, strengthen the capacity to investigate and prosecute forest crimes. At the same time it is clear that these initiatives need to be further strengthened to prepare for the final phase of the REDD+ program.
At Bukit Tunggal Village the Norwegian delegation was presented to forest fire management by a community fire brigade. Minister Sundtoft also visited a Sustainable Peatland Management Project in Jabiren Village, where the community is being helped to develop smallholder plantations in a degraded peat land area. This pilot project provides new livelihood opportunities from rubber and pineapple agri-production (intercropping plants), while at the same time reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of new forest fires.
While in Kalimantan Minister Sundtoft also met with representatives of several civil society organizations. She also explored some of the beautiful rainforest- and peatland areas along one of the main rivers of the province where she could see examples of the rich local biodiversity, not only in the form of trees and vegetation but also wildlife like orangutans.
Back in Jakarta, Minister Sundtoft joined a roundtable discussion with representatives from the palmoil and pulp & paper industry, as well as from environmental NGOs and development institutions. This roundtable, where the role of the private sector in the REDD+ program was the main theme, provided a good backdrop before she met with the top management of the world’s largest Palmoil company, Wilmar, to discuss their recently announced zero-deforestation policy.