Indonesia: (1) Concentrate on meeting its existing Paris Agreement pledge before considering an increase; (2) Encourage provincial and local governments to take a greater role in mitigation; (3) Work with corporations, companies, and smallholders to implement sustainable land management practices that reduce emissions from LULUCF and restore degraded land.
By 2020, Indonesia has committed to reduce its emissions by 26% and up to 41% conditional upon international support. Indonesia should concentrate on achieving its initial target rather than setting higher goals. A higher reductions commitment would not be reasonable because many of Indonesia’s mitigation strategies have only recently gotten off the ground. Indonesia should only increase its NDC pledge when these strategies have produced measurable and reliable results. Increasing the pledge before the current strategies have been proven could potentially harm Indonesia’s credibility in meeting its Paris Agreement commitments and erode public support for those efforts if they fall below targets. A strong, solid, steady start to climate change mitigation and adaptation policy will encourage the greatest support.
The government of Indonesia must also clarify what level of international support would be required to begin the conditional 41% reduction. The government of Indonesia has not explained, for example, how the $1 billion REDD+ agreement with Norway fits into the 41% conditional commitment. Based on Indonesia’s INDC, the REDD+ agreement could fall under two of the international supports; “payment for performance mechanisms” and “access to financial resources”.
The government of Indonesia must encourage regional efforts and provincial and local governments to take a greater role in mitigation. Democratization has changed the administration of the archipelago. The Suharto era development planning was very centralized, often at the expense of Indonesia’s diverse communities. Indonesian climate change policy remains highly centralized. One of the promises of Indonesia’s new democracy was decentralization. Although RAN-GRK, the national action plan on climate change, is an important national directive, the administering development ministry (BAPPENAS) cannot force the provincial and local governments to dutifully implement climate goals into all government planning. The government should encourage sub-national jurisdictions to adopt climate-focused policies. Indonesians must urge their governors and provincial governments to further develop and RAD-GRKs, the provincial climate action plans, and press their city governments to develop climate action plans. Citizens must also demand that the governments be transparent about RAD-GRK actions.
National development planning will not be sufficient to direct the provinces to achieve reductions. In the first and second communications to the UNFCCC, only the line ministries were involved, not the local governments. The inclusion of subnational leaders in climate talks and planning will improve provincial and local understanding of climate change and increase their stake in combatting it. This is crucial as subnational jurisdictions will ultimately operate and administer the government goals and directives.
The bulk of Indonesia’s emissions have come from forest and peatland fires as well as other land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities. The government has extended the moratorium on forest clearing for another two years into 2019. The minister of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Siti Nurbaya Bakar, wants to make the 66 million hectare moratorium permanent. Bakar has emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s biodiverse ecosystems; “our primary forests cannot be cleared out”. The peatland clearing moratorium should also be expanded and in particular seek to protect high carbon stock peat domes. Given the already growing threat of this year’s summer fires, a permanent moratorium on deforestation is vital to ensure a high quality of life and success in Indonesia’s reduction commitment.
The government must work with corporations, companies, and smallholders to implement sustainable land management practices that reduce emissions from LULUCF and restore degraded land, especially once One Map has delineated land tenure. Without cooperation between government officials planning land use and those using the land, efforts to reduce emissions will not be effective. Corporations should be encouraged and pushed to contribute their own versions of NDCs. Some companies have adopted No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments. The Central Kalimantan Jurisdictional Commitment to Sustainable Palm Oil is an example of a corporate commitment. More corporations should adopt these commitments. These corporate commitments to sustainable production must also be verifiable and their practices must be transparent. Agricultural producers, palm oil and pulp and paper, should adopt technologies and techniques that intensify yields from already cleared land rather than grow their concessions.