Article | Last updated: 2014-03-20
In May 2010, Norway signed a partnership with Indonesia to support the country's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and the destruction of peat marshes. The support will amount to up to USD 1 billion, assuming that Indonesia achieves good results.
Norway will pay for the results achieved, first in the form of political reforms and capacity development, and later for independently verified reductions in emissions.
Around 80% of Indonesia's emissions come from deforestation and the destruction of peat marshes, primarily to establish palm oil plantations. Virgin forest and palm oil plantations in Indonesia. (Photo: Elisabeth Brinch Sand/KLD).
Indonesia, rainforests and climate
Indonesia is home to the world's third largest tropical rainforest which covers around 1 million km2.
Indonesia produces the third highest greenhouse gas emissions in the world, when deforestation emissions are included. Around 80% of the emissions come from deforestation and converting extremely carbon-rich peat marshes to plantations. According to the authorities' estimate, Indonesia's total greenhouse gas emissions are expected to grow to almost 3 billion tons of CO2 by 2020, given a so-called 'business as usual' scenario.
The establishment of palm oil plantations is a major factor behind deforestation in Indonesia. Rainforest is also felled to provide space for fast growing trees that can easily be turned into pulp for paper. Mining is another reason why the rainforest is disappearing. 1 million hectares of forest disappear each year in Indonesia.
It is calculated that a further 210,000 - 280,000 km2 of forest and peat marshes will be lost by 2030 because of increasing global demand for minerals, timber, paper and palm oil. This is a trend that Indonesia's government, under the leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, wants to turn around.
Climate promises and forest partnership with Norway
Indonesia has promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% with the aid of its own resources, and 41% with international aid. Together with Brazil's climate promises, this is the biggest commitment to cut emissions signed by any developing country.
In May 2010, Norway signed a climate and forest agreement with Indonesia. Norway will support Indonesia's efforts with up to USD 1 billion in the years leading up to 2020. This support is contingent on Indonesia delivering on its targets.
The size of the Norwegian contribution will depend on how successful the Indonesians are at reducing deforestation. Norway will primarily pay for the results achieved, first in the form of political reforms and capacity development, and later for independently verified reductions in emissions. The partnership will be evaluated before the phase where we pay for results is reached. An annual, independent report will evaluate the progress made in reforming forestry administration, capacity development, and measures for less carbon intensive land use. This report will determine the size of the payments made by Norway.
The funds have helped to put protecting the rainforests on the political agenda in the country through:
• Indonesia introducing a 2 year moratorium in 2010, i.e. halting the distribution of new licences for deforestation in virgin forest. This moratorium was renewed for a further 2 years in June 2013.
• Indonesia has produced a national climate and forest strategy.
• Indonesia has, for the first time, produced a single official map of all forests and the licences that have been issued in the various areas, and can thus plan which areas they want to protect and where they want to establish plantations.
• The authorities have started to investigate and punish companies involved in illegal deforestation.
• The authorities have formed a dedicated special unit to protect rainforest, which is headed by a minster for the climate and forests.
• Indigenous peoples have, for the first time, been given rights to areas of land.
• Work is continuing on establishing the necessary regulatory and institutional framework that will enable Norway to pay for the results achieved.
Norway will support Indonesia's efforts with up to USD 1 billion in the years leading up to 2020, assuming that Indonesia delivers on its targets. The funds will be managed by an internationally recognised financial institution in accordance with international standards.
The size of the Norwegian contribution will depend on how successful the Indonesians are at reducing deforestation. Norway will primarily pay for the results achieved, first in the form of political reforms and capacity development, and later for independently verified reductions in emissions. Before that phase is reached, an annual, independent report that verifies the progress made in reforming forestry administration, capacity development, and measures for less carbon intensive land use determines the size of the payments made by Norway.
Poverty and economic growth
In order to successfully combat climate change, one must successfully grow the economies of developing countries at the same time. Norway does not want Indonesia to reduce its deforestation at the expense of economic growth and fighting poverty.
With adequate political management and good land use planning, forest-based industries such as palm oil and pulp production can continue to contribute to economic growth without this being at the expense of virgin forest and peat marshes. For example, production can be relocated to already destroyed areas instead of destroying new forest covered areas. Part of the agreement between Norway and Indonesia involves Indonesia gaining alternative sources of income for those who currently make a living from destroying the forest.
Rubber tappers in Indonesia's rainforest. Harvesting rubber from rubber trees could be an important, sustainable source of income for people who live in and near the forest. (Photo: Elisabeth Brinch Sand/KLD)
Agreement and background documents
Declaration of intent on the climate and forest partnership between Norway and Indonesia: /globalassets/upload/smk/vedlegg/2010/indonesia_avtale.pdf
Joint Concept Note on the first phase of the climate and forest partnership between Norway and Indonesia: /globalassets/upload/md/2011/vedlegg/klima/klima_skogprosjektet/indonesia/jcn_indonesia_norway_redd_partnership_2010.pdf
Indonesia's REDD+ Task Force (will be replaced by a website for REDD+ Agency) http://www.satgasreddplus.org/en/