Indonesia Launches Forest Governance Index To Strengthen REDD+

Jakarta  (Antara News) - As the two-year moratorium on deforestation faces expire, Indonesia has launched its first forest governance index to address the current state of forest protection and management of central and provincial government.

"Good forest governance is about public system and laws to protect the forest and peat lands. We hope the assessment results will translate into concrete actions to improve forest, land and REDD+ governance," said Beate Trankmann, country director of the UNDP Indonesia at the official launching event held in Le Merdien Hotel here on Monday.

UNDP Indonesia, Ministry of Forestry, National REDD+ Task Force and National Development Planning Board (BAPPENAS) jointly conducted the participatory government assessment (PGA) to provide adequate monitoring instrument for forest and peat lands protection in Indonesia.

According to UN-REDD Indonesia program, the country`s forest land comprises 60 percent of its land area, which makes it the third largest area of tropical forest coverage in the world.

However Indonesia has shown one of the worlds` highest deforestation rates since 1990 due largely to logging, pulp and paper production, agricultural expansion, fires and oil palm plantations.

"More than half of the forest in Aceh National Park is disappearing. The implementation of good forest governance through REDD+ is expected to reverse deforestation rates in Indonesia. It could be a good model," said Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan in his keynote speech.

In fact, Indonesia is the first of four PGA pilots amongst Ecuador, Nigeria and Viet Nam. The PGA research covered 10 largest forested areas of Aceh, Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, West Papua and Papua as well as two districts for each province since March 2011.

"85 percent of forest managements are in the hand of local government. This participatory approach assessment could bring all stakeholders to claim their ownership to forest. The law engagement to deal with corruption, illegal logging and clear cut of the forest should be addressed," said Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the head of the national REDD+ task force.

Indonesia`s first forest governance index (2012) recorded at the national level of 2.32 out of a maximum score of 5, while at the central government level of 2.78 and at average index value of 10 provinces of 2.39, at 20 districts of 1.8.

The PGA report pointed the main issue of central level as open access of implementation and rights conflict when in province level has main issue of limited law enforcement and transaction cost in organization.

Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Stig Traavik attended the forest governance index launching event.

Under the REDD+ scheme, Norway allocated up to US$1 billion over seven or eight years to finance Indonesia`s emission reduction programs. ***4***

(editing by Fardah)
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