REDD+ projects 30
Other readiness initiatives 45
Forest cover High
Deforestation rate High


REDD in Indonesia

Indonesia has the third largest area of tropical rainforest on the planet, with 68% of its landmass - equivalent to 131.3 million ha - covered by forests (Ministry of Forestry, 2012). Deforestation rates in Indonesia are high, with current rates estimated at 1.17 million hectares per year (Government of Indonesia and UNREDD, 2009). A 2010 report suggests that 85% of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from land use activities; with 37% due to deforestation and 27% due to peat fires (National Council on Climate Change, 2010).

Over the last 20 years deforestation has been driven predominantly by agricultural expansion, especially of oil palm plantation monocultures (Singh & Bhagwat, 2013). Other drivers of deforestation include smallholder shifting cultivation and subsistence agriculture, mining, logging, aquaculture and forest fires; both natural and human induced to clear land for other uses. The total export value of forest products (timber and timber products, furniture, pulp and paper) has risen over recent years, from USD$ 7.33 billion in 2005 to USD$ 9.71 billion in 2010 (Indonesian Ministry of Trade, 2011). Illegal logging continues to be a major cause of deforestation, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimating that it costs the country an estimated USD$ 3 million a year in lost revenues (UNEP, 2007).

In recent years, the Government of Indonesia has taken steps to tackle environmental issues and climate change. In 2009, the Government pledged to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% unilaterally and by 41% with international support by 2020 (Reuters, 2009). The Government also enacted a National Action Plan Addressing Climate Change and has included the rehabilitation of forests as one of the priorities in its National Medium-Term Development Plan 2010-2014. A number of laws that will help facilitate REDD+ have been put in place, including a law for guidance on REDD+ pilot projects (Ministerial Decree P68/2008), a law that outlines mechanisms for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (Ministerial Decree P30/2009), and in April 2012, Ministerial Regulation P20/2012, which gives the basic principles and criteria for demonstration activities, and the rights and obligations of forest carbon project proponents (SSEK, 2012).

The plight of Indonesia’s forests was brought into the international arena in May 2011 when a Memorandum of Understanding with a commitment of USD$ 1 billion in funding was signed between the Governments of Indonesia and Norway. As part of this landmark agreement, Indonesia established a moratorium on new permits to clear primary forests (Presidential Instruction no.10/2011).

In September 2011 a new REDD Task Force was appointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Presidential decree  no. 25/2011). The Task Force is responsible for the establishment of REDD+ financing mechanisms; the preparation of Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) institutions and the effective implementation of the moratorium (CIFOR, 2011b). It is organised in ten thematic working groups, each headed by senior government officials and experts in their field.

Indonesia is a member of the UN-REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), both of which support national level REDD+ planning and implementation. In March 2009, USD$ 5.6 million in funding was approved by the UN-REDD programme policy board for the Indonesia National Programme and in March 2010 funds were released from UN-REDD’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund, marking the start of the programme’s inception and implementation phase. Phase I of Indonesia’s UN-REDD Programme was closed in October 2012 (UN-REDD Programme, 2012).

The Government submitted a Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the FPCF Participant’s Committee in June 2009, and in January 2011 a grant of USD$ 225,000 was approved under Indonesia’s Forest Investment Program (FIP) (Climate Investment Funds, 2011). In June 2011 a readiness grant for USD$ 3.6 million was signed to support the readiness process, determine reference emission levels, develop measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) infrastructure and support capacity building between 2011 and 2013 (Forest Carbon Asia, 2011).

In September 2012, the National REDD+ Strategy was launched by the REDD+ Task Force, following an extensive stakeholder consultation process. The National REDD+ Strategy considers various factors for REDD+ planning, including the institutional setting and guidance for implementation. The strategy is a non-binding document that acts as a work plan for REDD+ to proceed under in Indonesia. As part of the ongoing efforts led by the REDD+ Task Force, a joint Secretariat (Sekreatariat Bersama; Sekber) was launched in the Task Force’s first official REDD+ Pilot Province, Central Kalimantan. Sekber serves to coordinate the joint REDD+ initiatives of the Task Force and the Regional Commission (KOMDA).

Indonesia has more than 60 REDD+ activities that are either active or in the preparation phase (FCPF, 2012). These activities range from support of REDD policy development at the national level to large-scale provincial demonstration projects and local capacity building efforts.

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Institutional arrangements

While climate change mitigation and adaptation within Indonesia is coordinated by the National Council on Climate Change chaired by the Indonesian President, REDD+ is being managed under the National REDD+ Task Force, which was established by Presidential Decree no. 19/2010 following the signing of the Letter of Intent between Indonesia and Norway. The Task Force, chaired by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, has gone through three extension phases and consists of ten working groups, each led by government and non-government representatives. The working groups each focus on a different aspect of REDD+, and include Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV); funding instruments; and communication and stakeholder engagement, amongst others. The Task Force, led by a Chair and Acting Secretary, will oversee the establishment of a REDD+ Agency, the completion of the National REDD+ Strategy and improvement in coordination between the central government and local ministries (CIFOR, 2011b). The REDD+ National Strategy includes plans for the legal establishment of a national REDD+ Agency, which it states will undertake and improve governance at the national level, coordinate all REDD+ activities, and ensure effective funding and fair benefit distribution (Indonesian REDD+ Task Force, 2012). The strategy identifies the establishment of the REDD+ Agency as a priority for 2012 (Indonesian REDD+ Task Force, 2012), however by the end of its second phase on 31 December 2012, the REDD+ Task Force had not yet established the REDD+ Agency, and consequently the Task Force was extended until 30 June 2013 at the earliest or until the Agency is established (Surowidjojo, 2013). 

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Stakeholder engagement and participation

Most consultation regarding REDD+ in Indonesia has been associated with the drafting of the REDD+ National Strategy, which aims to provide for equitable involvement of stakeholders (Indonesian REDD+ Task Force, 2012). UN-REDD led this consultation process, holding focus group discussions and consultations at the national level, as well as having a series of regional consultation meetings. In total, more than 300 experts representing more than 200 local, national, and international organisations participated in the 7 regional and national REDD+ strategy public consultations. The process produced three public drafts ahead of the strategy being launched by the REDD+ Task Force in September 2012.

These consultations have aimed to involve a diverse range of stakeholders in the REDD+ planning process. The Indonesia Forest Climate Alliance (IFCA) provides another avenue for stakeholder engagement. IFCA, established by the Ministry of Forestry in 2007, is a forum for communication, coordination, and consultation for stakeholders working on forest and climate change issues in Indonesia (Forest Research and Development Agency, 2010), including representatives from government ministries, private sector, civil society and international institutions.

Some institutions feel however that there has been a lack of transparency in the stakeholder consultation process. The Forest Peoples Programme have criticised the Indonesian Government’s efforts to consult NGOs and indigenous peoples’ groups during the FCPF process citing the absence of full, effective and iterative participation (Forest Peoples Programme, 2011).

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Land tenure arrangements and carbon rights

Forests in Indonesia are either classified as state forests, with limited ownership rights; or as private forests with ownership rights (hutan hak) (Colchester, 2010). Forests can also be defined as “adat”, which means that they are located in traditional jurisdiction areas. The Forestry Law 41/1999 acknowledges that the state will respect customary laws but the Forests Peoples Programme has voiced concern that there are no procedures for the recognition or management of hutan hak (private forests) (Colchester, 2010), and that the Forestry Department has handed out permits for logging and plantations that cover tens of millions of hectares of forests with little regard for customary laws (Forest Peoples Programme, 2011).

In recent years, steps have been taken to better include the rights of indigenous people in relation to forest management. For example, Law no. 32/2009 states that traditional communities have a right to seek damages from the state for losses suffered due to environmental pollution. The Medium Term National Development Plan 2010-2014 also states that traditional land rights should be taken into account in an effort to maintain local social and cultural values. In 2009 Indonesia established the National Forestry Council (DKN), as a multi-stakeholder advisory body of the Ministry of Forestry, which includes a desk to tackle land rights conflicts since 2009. This desk is tasked with identifying and mediating the land conflict resolution process.

There has been a rise in interest within the Government of Indonesia to address land tenure conflicts. Immediate actions were proposed by the REDD+ Task Force during the International Conference on Tenure in Lombok in July 2011. This includes the establishment of a common map, managed by the National Mapping Institute (FCFP, 2012), to be used by all government institutions in the land use planning process. This is intended to have higher precision than existing maps and to be updated to cover all of the forest areas in the country. The implementation schedule of the REDD+ National Strategy also identifies the mapping and acknowledgement of indigenous peoples’ territories and local communities in its programme strategy for sustainable landscape management (Indonesia REDD+ Task Force, 2012).  

The Letter of Intent between Indonesia and Norway makes clear that the Government of Indonesia should take appropriate measures to address land tenure conflicts and compensation claims (Westholm et al, 2011), whilst the National REDD+ Strategy itself makes a case for land tenure reform as a prerequisite for successful implementation of REDD+ (Indonesia REDD+ Task Force, 2012). However, the REDD+ National Strategy also suggests strengthening of Forestry Law no. 41/1999, which grants the State full rights over forest land. This means that the Ministry of Forestry has the authority to decide on forest tenure for the people, including through granting concessions or issuing permits and licenses for forest exploitation and cultivation (Costenbader, 2011).

The UN-REDD Programme has supported the development of national guidelines for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and has started the FPIC process for the Central Sulawesi pilot province (UN-REDD, 2011c). In conjunction with the National Forestry Council, UN-REDD has also released policy recommendations for the use of FPIC in indigenous and local communities.

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Forest management

The National REDD+ Strategy acknowledges that one of the key issues to be addressed in Indonesia is the improvement of laws and regulations and the strengthening of law enforcement. Although non-binding, the strategy lists how this can be achieved, including strengthening Forestry Law no. 41/1999 and improving sanctions against illegal activity in forests. It also notes that, at present, the number of people convicted of forestry crime is very low.

Law no. 26/2007 is an effort to control illegal activities in the forest. This law mandates provincial governments to review spatial plans, but unlike previous spatial planning regulation (Law no. 24/1992), this new law expressly states that any utilisation of land that is not in line with existing spatial plans will be declared illegal.

Through the Regulation regarding Procedures for Licensing for Commercial Utilization of Carbon Sequestration and/or Storage in Production and Protected Forests (P.36/Menhut-II/2009), Indonesia has developed a provision for sharing benefits from REDD+ projects between different government levels, project developers and local communities. The regulation stipulates how benefit sharing varies according to the forest type where a REDD+ pilot project is located. However, this was rejected by the Ministry of Finance and therefore ambiguity remains over arrangements for benefit sharing (Costenbader, 2011).

On 20 May 2011, Presidential Instruction (PI) no. 20/2011 regarding the Suspension of New Permit Issuance and the Improvement of Primary Forest and Peat Land Governance (the ‘moratorium’) was issued. This policy saw the suspension of the issuance of new permits for the conversion of selected areas of forest and peatland. PI no. 10/2011 was released with an accompanying indicative map (at scale 1:19,000,000) showing the areas of primary forest and peatland covered by the moratorium. PI no. 10/2011 requires revisions of the maps every six months, with a series of indicative maps having been published since at finer spatial resolutions. The moratorium period is due to expire in May 2013, but it is expected that it will be extended for another two years (Surowidjojo, 2013). 

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Reference levels

Under Regulation no. 30/Menhut-II/2009, Indonesia has committed to a national approach with implementation at the sub-national level. The guidelines on reference emission levels (REL) contained within the regulation therefore state that the REL is to be set at national, sub-national and REDD+ project levels. The Ministry of Forestry will set the national reference level, while emissions at the sub-national and project level will be defined by the regional government (provincial or district/city) and project implementers respectively. Both the sub-national and project reference levels will be confirmed at the national level. The MRV Working group of the REDD+ Task Force is working to calculate reference levels for every province to determine potential future cuts in emissions.

Measuring changes in forest cover and forest carbon stocks will be done in accordance with UNFCCC guidance and data will be collected through analysis of maps, survey data, national/local statistics and spatial data from high resolution remote sensing. This will include carbon stock data from the National Inventory, with periodic measurement and modelling.

The UN-REDD Programme has developed an initial historical emission level from forestry in Central Sulawesi for the period 2000-2009. This was carried out as a demonstration of MRV and reference level methodologies that could be applicable at the national level.

The initial work on the development of a reference scenario has been carried out, yet no comprehensive approach for the national and sub-national REL system has been published (FCPF, 2012). 

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A system for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) in Indonesia is currently being established under the National REDD+ Task Force. The MRV Institution will be established to develop policies, standards, and work mechanisms for MRV that are in compliance with UNFCCC decisions and approved by the REDD+ Agency, as well as to coordinate MRV activities (Indonesian REDD+ Task Force, 2012). To assist in this process the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is helping the Ministry of Forestry with the development of an MRV road map for the REDD+ Task Force. This road map includes information on required tasks and possible entities to implement those tasks.

Regulation no. 30/Menhut-II/2009 also states that periodical monitoring will be carried out to determine changes in carbon stock and other forest benefits. Monitoring is being carried out by project implementers, provincial governments and the Ministry of Forestry every year up to 2012 and at least every 5 years thereafter.

Significant funding is being provided to Indonesia to develop a national carbon accounting and data acquisition system. For example, as part of its Indonesian National Carbon Accounting System (INCAS) programme the Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership is providing funding and technical support to enhance Indonesia’s capacity to develop and implement a national accounting system (Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership, 2012).  The national carbon accounting system will include remote sensing; ground-based inventory data; soil carbon, especially for peat land; as well as other data, including trends in land use, land use change, and biodiversity (Forest Research and Development Agency, 2010).

At a provincial level the UN-REDD Programme is developing several activities relevant to MRV including a Remote Sensing and Forest Inventory training in Central Sulawesi together with Tadulako University (Palu) and a new National Forest Inventory (NFI). The Programme is also testing satellite land monitoring approaches to identify land use categories in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, with a view to using similar technology at a national level.

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While Indonesia has yet to develop a clear strategy for the implementation of safeguards, several initiatives are underway. In March 2011, the National Forestry Council, a multi-stakeholder advisory body to the National Ministry of Forestry, released recommendations on Free, Prior and Informed Consent and REDD+ (Westholm et al, 2011). The recommendations were developed over several months, with a wide range of forestry stakeholders providing input, including indigenous peoples. As a result of such discussions, pressure and precedents are building which will require REDD+ projects to respect the right of communities to give or withhold their consent to planned REDD+ developments (UN-REDD, 2011d).

In September 2012, the REDD+ Task Force released a draft of principles upon which Indonesian national safeguards should be based. These principles follow the UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards and additionally include principles related to equitable benefit sharing and gender equality considerations in stakeholder participation (Daviet, 2012). The REDD+ Agency, once established, will be mandated to integrate and institute safeguards in the REDD+ framework. It will be the designated national authority to facilitate the formation of a framework and information system for REDD+ safeguards implementation; establish a Safeguard Committee; and legalise and coordinate the implementation of a REDD+ integrity system involving safeguards and audits in the fields of finance, social interactions and the environment (REDD+ National Strategy, 2012).

The National REDD+ Strategy emphasises the need for adherence to safeguards in three areas to maintain fiduciary, environmental and social integrity (Indonesian REDD+ Task force, 2012). The Strategy highlights three key areas of work: the formulation of principles, criteria and safeguards framework indicators; the formulation of evaluation procedures and safeguards implementation; and the inclusion of safeguard indicators into the MRV system. The National REDD+ Strategy also covers issues such as land tenure, governance, biodiversity and FPIC (Indonesian REDD+ Task Force).

At the project level, the picture is more varied. While some projects such as the Ulu Masen Ecosystem project are being designed with safeguards in mind, research into the safeguards being used in Indonesia for bilateral funding suggests that most bilateral donors have not put in place specific safeguard policies in connection with REDD+ (HuMa, 2010).

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Gender Equality

Indonesia has adopted a variety of policy tools to mainstream gender issues into broader policy considerations. For example, Presidential Instructions No 9/2000 and No 3/2010 promote gender mainstreaming and inclusive development. Other legislative and policy measures include the National Machinery for the Advancement of Women (Presidential Decree of 1978), the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Violence against Women and law No 12/2003 under which each political party should consider appointing 30% of female candidates in general elections. Pursuant to the 1960 Basic Agrarian law No 5, women may own land and have access to loans. The National Development Plan (2005-2025), furthermore, identifies gender mainstreaming as a target. However, legislative efforts are often confronted with local practices and are in contradiction with the other two sources of law in Indonesia, customary law and religious law which may sometimes detrimentally affect women.

Indonesia submitted an ER-PIN in 2014 in which it mentions that outreach and consultation processes will specifically address gender issues. The development of Principles, Criteria and Indicators for REDD+ Safeguards in Indonesia (PRISAI) also aim to see the effective and full participation of all stakeholders while paying attention to gender equality. Gender equality is, furthermore, mentioned as a non-carbon benefit. The ER-PIN mentions one women’s organisation that will support REDD+ processes, namely, the Ngata Toro Customary Women’s Organisation (OPANT).

As part of Indonesia’s UN REDD programme, a Provincial REDD+ Strategy (Strategy Daerah, STRADA)) was developed which aims to ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout REDD processes, for instance, through FPIC, benefit-sharing mechanisms and gender-responsive indicators. STRADA led to the development of Provincial Government Regulation No 36/2012.

An example of a REDD+ project which puts special emphasis on addressing gender equality is the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve project. According to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard Project Design Document (PDD), one of the main goals of the project is to promote gender equality and empower women, for instance, through equitable distribution of jobs.


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United Nations Office for REDD+ Coodination in Indonesia
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