Monday, September 19, 2011

REDD Programme Plus Return Discussed in Palangkaraya

Program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) will not work properly if it does not involve the local community. This statement was delivered William Boyd, Senior Adviser GCF (Governor's Climate and Forest Task Force), in a press conference to reporters, Monday, September 19, 2011 evening in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. 

"GCF is a unique collaboration," said Boyd is a researcher at the University of Colorado, United States. GCF, he said, was formed to provide input on a comprehensive program of REDD plus or reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This scheme was launched since the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali in 2007.

At 20 to 22 September 2011, Central Kalimantan to host the fifth meeting of the Task Force on Climate and Forest Governor (GCF). This institute is an association of 15 states or provinces that have forests around the world. U.S. states that joined the California and Illinois, while in Brazil are Amazonas, Acre, Amapa, Mato Grosso and Para.

In Mexico, states that participate are Campeche and Chiapas. In Nigeria there is Cross River State. While there are four provinces in Indonesia who join, the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and Papua. Forest area of ​​all members of the GCF is 20 percent of forests worldwide.

Boyd hopes the states and provinces are joined in GCF leads the world in the development of REDD programs plus a strong and sustainable. "Not a lot of forum for dialogue between provinces in the national and international levels to develop REDD architecture," said Avi Mahaningtyas, GCF Coordinator for Indonesia.

GCF Coordinators Brazil, Mariana Nogueira Pavan, explaining the benefits of the GCF is able to grow public awareness of REDD. "The forum is to be a means of exchanging experience implementing programs to reduce emissions through the woods," he said.

Indeed, during the three-day discussion meeting will be filled by various international experts on issues of social and environmental protection, funding, and alignment plus the REDD program. The task force will also announce the establishment of a new funding mechanism for members of the GCF. UNTUNG WIDYANTO | Tempo Iteraktif

Criticized, Kelapa Sawit So Forest Tree

Greenpeace condemned the release of the Minister of Forestry (Permenhut) which accommodates the oil palm as part of forest plants. This could potentially increase the destruction of peatland forests and increase carbon emissions.
That policy contained in Permenhut Number 62/Menhut/II/2011 on Forest Plantation Development Guidelines on Various Types of Business License Timber Utilization in Industrial Forest Plantation (IUPHHK / HTI) issued August 25, 2011 and promulgated on September 6, 2011.
"We consider that the Ministry of Forestry to lie and not consistent in its commitment to maintain Indonesia's remaining forests. Permenhut discharge is a form of failure of the government in enforcing the law relating to breach of the expansion of oil palm plantations in forest areas, "said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace forest campaigner, on Monday (9/19/2011), in Jakarta.
According to him, with the inclusion of forest plantations in the category, it is feared will lead to the growing emissions from the destruction of forests and peatlands which are now very large. Moreover, it also justifies dibabatnya forest to be used oil palm plantations. "This is clearly contrary to the commitment of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for Indonesia to reduce emissions 41 percent by 2020," said Bustar.
Consumption of crude palm oil (crude palm oil / CPO) and the increasing use of palm oil for biofuels in the international market has resulted in widespread destruction of forests and peatlands in Indonesia. Minister of Forestry of this step will exacerbate the destruction of Indonesia's natural forest remains because it gives the opportunity to hide behind the plantation forest category.
For information, Indonesia is the country with the fastest rate of deforestation throughout the world, so placing it as the country's greenhouse gas emitter in the world's third largest. Greenpeace analysis has identified there are about 5.4 million hectares of oil palm plantations that overlap with areas of forest and peat. On March 18, 2011 the government also has revoked the licenses principle of the release of forest land for oil palm plantations covering 182 companies throughout Indonesia because it allegedly has penetrated the forest area without a legitimate procedure.
"Minister Zulkifli Hasan Permenhut should immediately cancel this and start focusing on how to protect Indonesia's remaining forests, biodiversity, and communities dependent on forests. If passed, enormous destruction of forests will continue to occur and the minister will be responsible for the failure of Indonesia to meet emission reduction commitments that have been made President, "he said. | Sains.Kompas

Stop the Project REDD Indonesia - Australia

Stop the Project REDD Indonesia - Australia At Territory Indigenous Dayak of Central Kalimantan
We the undersigned, Mantir Peoples in Kadamangan Mantangai Kapuas in Central Kalimantan, has conducted serious talks on 7 - June 8, 2011 held at the Village Katunjung Mantangai Kapuas district of Central Kalimantan, the results of monitoring and evaluation of development of REDD projects of cooperation between Indonesia and Australia that was done by KFCP since 2009 to date June 2011, providing ratings and critical notes of the development projects, among others:
  • REDD projects signed since the beginning even before the review field (setting down on paper / map) has been in the area of ​​Indigenous Dayak communities covering 14 village / hamlet in the district and subdistrict Mantangai Timpah Kapuas district. The appointment of the project site area 120,000 hectares + without notice and prior consultation with the Dayak communities. Appointment location by letter dated December 20, 2010 No. KT.12/II-KIM/2010 which was signed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry Republic of Indonesia. 
  • During the presence of the REDD project to make citizens become restless and conflicts between fellow citizens that have an impact on the loss of brotherhood, mutual suspicion and no longer the peace that is created in the villages.
  • Implementation of REDD projects, often times put pressure on people both physically and MONEY fisikologis and promising millions to every citizen when the supports. Models like these make people more too intimidated and seduced by promises of MONEY. This is not good for the community's customary law in the process of self-help spirit of cooperation in the rehabilitation and reforestation of ex post PLG 1 million hectares.
  • REDD implementation and referral program conducted by the project executing agency KFCP using BOS Foundation, CARE International, Wetlands, Universities, giving more pressure on residents to close the access to and neglect of indigenous forests, plantations, fisheries and livelihood is the claim area REDD.
  • REDD project from the beginning never provide a guarantee in writing on the recognition of the indigenous Dayak peoples. But more emphasis on indigenous legal community to recognize the existence Ngaju REDD project area. This is an act does not have justice, we can not accept. REDD project is to be owned by Australia as a dirty industrial absorbent Australia (emissions) and obviously foreign-owned. On the contrary we are a born and raised since before the state became independent had not received justice for territory management.
  • Implementation of REDD projects give more sweet promises to the indigenous Dayak community Ngaju law, when in fact all the more lies at the field level. Report to supervisor all good, but in fact not true. This act of manipulation of the REDD project to the adat law community.
With the evolving situation REDD projects, the stance taken by Mantir are:
  • We Mantir Indigenous Kadamangan Mantangai Kapuas regency in Central Kalimantan, reject the presence of the REDD project because it threatens the rights and life of the Dayak in the REDD project.
  • Urged Mr. President. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian Prime Minister to stop the project, which has ignored the rights and threaten the livelihoods Dayak community.
  • Mr. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono immediately set by a decree of the right to manage the Dayak communities in the Watershed (DAS) Kapuas, which has long contributed to the climate crisis solutions in the areas of Central Kalimantan Peat.
  • Mr. President. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono immediately recognize the initiative of Dayak indigenous people in managing peat through planting, rehabilitation, pemeriharaan river, tatas gardens, indigenous forests as an integral part of the solution to the climate crisis (outside the REDD mechanism).
Dayak communities have made protection of peat resources with their local wisdom. We do not require the presence of REDD, we do not need promises. What we are doing to the climate crisis solutions for the salvation of mankind in the world - not looking for carbon funds. What we need now free health care, free education, increased skills and knowledge, provision of adequate technology and appropriate, adequate capitalization policy and support rehabilitation of the gardens and indigenous forest that burned last 3 years.
Thus we submit this statement. For your attention and cooperation we thank you.
Katunjung, June 8, 2011

1)Umbie Ipe Desa Mantangai Hulu, 2) Arthen. U. Sampah Desa Mantangai Tengah, 3) Yanmar Kurius Desa Kalumpang, 4) Sambung Desa Sei Ahas, 5) H. Arben anus Desa Katunjung, 6) Mudin Jaman Desa Katunjung, 7) Kanisius. B Desa Katunjung, 8) Tinus Desa Tumbang Muroi, 9) Zuda Dusun Tanjung Kalanis, 10) Simpei Desa Katimpun,

Friday, September 16, 2011

Many Bolder Blocks in Singkil Swamp Are No Longer Accurate

The Singkil Swamp is an important part of the Leuser Ecosystem, and is well known for its value in conserving biodiversity. In particular it holds the highest densities of orangutans in the world, and supports viable populations of python, crocodiles, and large turtles. Tigers also inhabit the area during the dry season and prey on the numerous deer, and pigs that live there. The Singkil swamp is also important as a significant carbon store (contained in its peat) and its value to neighbouring marine fisheries is also important for the economic welfare of the local fishing communities. Being part of Leuser Ecosystem it is automatically part of the National Strategic Area which covers the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh. The boundaries of the Singkil swamp were put in place in 2000 and were acknowledged in the Ministerial Decree No 190 2001.

Based on Ministerial Decree 190/2001, the Singkil Swamp covers an area of more than 100,000 ha. It is an important for its role as effective barrier against natural disaster such as Tsunamis, while continuously providing various ecosystem services that contribute directly to local livelihood such as acting as freshwater reservoir,and fish breeding ground.

Unfortunately, despite its ecological and economic importance, the Singkil Swamp still has to face perpetual threats from timber poaching, ever-expanding plantations, and road development. In order to safeguard the area and to avoid unnecessary conflicts it is important to have the area clearly demarcated in the field - and in fact this is something the neighbouring district governments call for regularly. For this reason BPKEL undertook an eight day survey to check on the condition of the boundary markers The field trip produced significant information; many of the boundary markers  are now located underwater due to receding coastline, while many others are in a  deteriorated condition (see photo).

Recognizing the the importance of making the boundaries as clear as possible BPKEL is now planning to reconstruct the boundaries around the Singkil Swamp - a challenge because of the waterlogged topography and because of the unstable coastline - but necessary to help protect this unique part of the Leuser Ecosystem.
Monday, September 12, 2011

Govt Determined to Fight Forest Fires As Hot Spots Proliferate

The Indonesian government appears to be determined to reduce the number of forest fire hot spots by 20 percent annually in order to help meet the country`s pledge to cut its gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020. “Indonesia has successfully reduced the number of forest fires over the past three years, and this year, the government is determined to do a similar thing as the National Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has predicted a prolonged drought since May,” the forestry ministry`s Forestry Protection and Nature Conservation Director General (PHKA) Darori said here on Wednesday (Sept 7).

The government has anticipated forest fires by among other things allocating funds amounting to about Rp160 billion to tackle forest fires in ten provinces. Darori said earlier that the number of hot spots in Indonesia since the January 2011 were 8,082. “The hot spots in Indonesia are found in six provinces which are prone to forest fires, and the highest is recorded in Riau with 2,159 hot spots, West Kalimantan 809, North Sumatra 600 and Central Kalimantan 543, Jambi 455, and South Kalimantan 259 hot spot,” Darori said.

Around 77 percent of forest fires in Indonesia have occurred in plantation and agricultural areas, and only 23 percent in forest area, as fire has been considered the cheapest, fastest, and most effective a land clearing method. In general, fires in peat land area were set intentionally. “The fires are due to illegal logging, plantations,and land clearing for agriculture purposes,” he said. Darori stated that the forestry ministry is ready to deal with forest fires currently occurring on Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands.

The government has emphasized preventive measures by urging the community not to use fire as land clearing methods, according to the director general. The coordination with the regional administration authorities has also been intensified because most of the fires are located outside forest area under the responsibility of the regional administrations, Darori said, adding that he regretted, however, that the funds allocated by the regional governments for forest fire handling were too small.

As the number of forest fire hot spots is increasing in this current dry season, the central government has decided to deploy personnel to help put out the fires. Forest Fire Operation Teams were sent to three provinces – South Sumatra, Central Kalimantan and Riau, from Jakarta on Thursday. “The forest fire operation team will be working for three months,” Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono said when seeing off the departure of the teams at Halim Perdanakusuma airport, eastern Jakarta.

Forest fire hot spots in swamp and peat land areas are particularly rampant in Jambi, South Sumatra, and Riau Provinces known as the triangle of forest fires in Indonesia. “In Jambi, the forest fires hit Muaro District, and three peat land spots at the Berbak National Park conservation area,” Darori said, adding that a human-induced fire razed around 8,000 hectares of Kerinci Seblat National Park in Jambi Province. The Jambi fire has entered the first level status of alert because it has spread from around 500 ha last week to more than 1,000 ha currently.

The fire hot spots were detected in 12 peatland locations, including three inside the Berbak National Park in Tanjung Jabung Timur District, and one inside protected peat forest area in Tanjung Jabung Barat District. The forest fires have been going on since two months ago in Jambi and South Sumatra. The transitional condition from dry season to rainy season has triggered the hot spots in Riau as the temperature was quite high, according to Yudhistira Mawaddah, an analyst of the Riau Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) .

On Tuesday (Sept 6) alone, the US NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellite detected a total of 73 hot spots on Sumatra Island, including 20 hot spots in Riau Province. The number significantly increased from only three hot spots in Riau on the previous day (Monday, Sept 5), Yudhistira said in Pekanbaru on Thursday (Sept 8).

In addition to the 20 in Riau Province, there were also 12 hot spots in Jambi Province, two in Aceh Province, three in West Sumatra Province, three in Lampung Province, and one each in North Sumatra and Bengkulu Provinces, he said. And the highest number of hot spots was found in South Sumatra, namely 31 hot spots.

In Central Kalimantan Province, 40 forest fire hot spots were detected in Kotawaringin Timur District, by Terra and AQUA satellites between August 30 and September 6, 2011. “The 40 hot spots indicate forest and plantation fires,” Ian Septiawan, the head of the Region II Conservation Section of the Regional NatureConservation Agency (BKSDA) said in Kotawaringin Timur on Wednesday (Sept 7).

The number of hot spots, however, had decreased lately due to rainfall. Previously, the Terra and AQUA had detected 188 hot spots during the August 19-26 period in Kotawaringin Timur, he said. Most of the hot spots were detected in large oil palm plantations and not easily put out despite rainfall, he explained. “The regional and provincial governments in Central Kalimantan have so far blamed local people for the forest fires. In fact, the main perpetrators of forest fires are large oil palm plantations which have so far escaped legal sanctions,” he said.

During the current dry season, hot spots have been detected in six provinces prone to forest fires, namely Riau, West Kalimantan, North Sumatra, Central Kalimantan, Jambi, and South Kalimantan. The latest fires are currently razing on the slope of Mount Sumbing in Central Java Province, and at Panaikan village in South Sulawesi. Forest fires caused by plantations and traditional farming methods have been blamed for the choking haze which shrouds the region annually during the dry season.

Given the increasing number of fire hot spots in the country, Rofi Munawar, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR RI)`s Commission IV, has urged the government to tackle the fires seriously. The government must be on alert to prevent business-driven forest fires and must not work half-heartedly, Rofi, a member of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said in Jakarta on Thursday.

It was possible that the commercial fires had been started intentionally to clear land for plantation or mining businesses, he said. “The forestry ministry must act fast to anticipate more hot spots and to prevent the fires from spreading out of control,” Rofi said. As most of the fires were human induced, the government must intensify environmental campaigns, empower local people and improve the economic condition of people living surrounding forest area, the legislator urged.

“The worst disaster where the number of hot spots reaching up to 146,264 in 2006, must not be repeated,” he said. Indonesia`s forest area reaches over 130 million hectares, the world`s third largest after Brazil and Congo. In 1982-83 and 1994, El Nino-induced forest fires had destroyed around 6.4 million hectares of forest, especially in East Kalimantan.

Antara | By Aditia Maruli
Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sustainability is the new buzzword

Dire forecasts about climate change and the global failure to rein in the growing carbon footprint has made it imperative for both industry and grassroots movement to not only advocate sustainability but embrace it.

"Unfortunately for many decades, we have delayed taking action to protect our environment, which is now at the edge of collapse. We have been brushing our problems aside to dream of solutions tomorrow . But now there are no easy options left," said Times Group MD Vineet Jain in a grim warning.

In an address at the Earth Care the awards ceremony on Friday evening, Jain called for striking a balance between development and environment sustainability. "There are no 'either-or ' solutions. We cannot choose one option over another. We have to find a way of accommodating both. This requires imagination, innovation and determination."

ITC Group board member Nakul Anand, in a presentation peppered with figures on the state of the environment, said India lost about 2% of its GDP to environment damage.

Speakers at the gathering of industry honchos, activists and bureaucrats, emphasized unequivocally the urgent need for reforms if the earth was to be saved for the future generation. Minister for rural development, and water & sanitation Jairam Ramesh hailed The Times of India for being the first to make environment "news" .

"The Times of India has made environment front-page news, and it was the possibly the first newspaper to have a full page every Friday dedicated to green issues," he said.

Ramesh also brought up the issue of livelihood sustenance and environment. "We need not lifestyle environmentalism but livelihood environmentalism. What you see are protest movements because land, water and employment is involved. We should be sensitive to these issues," he said.

Elaborating on an inclusive approach, Rajendra Shinde from UNEP Paris, stressed the need for more programmes like the Earth Care Awards that would serve as an encouragement for industry to adopt cleaner practices. "We need millions of these. It's not just about annual events at Cancun and Durban," he said. Talking about the awards, Shinde said it was not just about measuring the carbon footprint or emission reduction. It was also about the process which the participants had gone through to build their own concepts and put them into practical reality.

JSW group chairperson, Sangita Jindal, while lauding the efforts of industry giants, also praised grassroots environmentalists who won the award. "We salute these silent crusaders working for the environment," she said. 

New proposal aims to put more green shackles on developing economies

The meeting was meant to review the work done two decades after the famed Rio summit or the UN meet on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. But the Rio+20 conference is turning into another global ground to put green fetters on developing economies.

A proposal floated in the run-up to the main meeting has suggested "sustainable development goals" along the lines of millennium development goals. But the goals could turn into green chains on growth in emerging economies with goals like carbon emissions and fixed renewable energy content in energy mix being forced down in the name of sustainable development.

The proposal mooted by Columbia in a recently concluded meeting in Brazil in the run-up to the big jamboree has stirred heated debate about new channels being found to break the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility" and imposing common standards and targets for greening the economy across developed and developing world.

While another meeting on the issue is slated to be held in China this month, a ministerial round to be hosted in Delhi will see the new "green" game play out more openly with India and other developing countries bringing forth counter proposals.

The proposal from Columbia, which is likely to slowly see support from European countries in the coming days, could also take forward the attempts of the developed countries at the UN climate change convention. At the climate convention too, the developed countries have been fighting hard to break or redefine the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to impose mandatory carbon cuts on emerging economies.

At the Brazil meeting, India did put up a preliminary counter proposal pointing that sustainable development and poverty eradication were at the heart of the Rio summit and that they should remain the goals and other elements a via media only.

India too had commissioned three studies from non-government agencies on the issue which are likely to be in soon. The government will have to take a call on these studies as well as green benchmarking or accounting of the economy which have raised some concerns. Any national level accounting of green parameters could lend itself to a global regime with standards and targets, they have warned even at the climate talks.

$40bn a year could halve deforestation worldwide

Investing just 0.034 per cent of global GDP could transform the world's forestry sector, halving deforestation rates, slashing carbon emissions and creating up to five million new jobs by the middle of the century.That is the conclusion of a major new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which argues that investing an average of $40bn a year in forest protection would allow forests to absorb 28 per cent more carbon from the atmosphere than they do now.

The report says extra finance can be raised from the public and private sectors using mechanisms that pay landowners for maintaining ecosystems such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Payment for Ecosystem Services.

The report says that starting with $15 billion of investment in 2011 and increasing to about $57 billion by 2050 could cut in half the speed at which the planet's forest are being felled over the next 20 years.The investment would also encourage a 140 per cent rise in the number of new trees being planted and swell employment in the forest sector from 25 million currently to 30 million by the middle of the century.

Annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from about eight million hectares – around four times the size of Wales – to about five million hectares, the report says, noting that international efforts mean that in some regions of Asia, the Caribbean and Europe the amount of forested area has actually increased over those 20 years.

The Republic of Congo has announced plans to plant one million hectares of trees by 2020 to restore degraded forest and provide wood for paper and fuel.Participants in a recent Three Forest Basins Summit in Brazzaville, which hosted 32 countries from the Amazon, Congo and Borneo-Mekong regions that make up 80 per cent of the world's equatorial forests, also said they would work together on scripting a forest protection agreement in time for next year's Rio+20 UN Conference in Brazil.

But despite recent successes, governments still need to support forest-based investments through policies such as credit, microfinance, leases and certification schemes, the UNEP report said.

"Supportive social, legal and institutional settings are key to the sustainable management of natural resources," said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, chairman of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. "Optimal land use, further life cycle analysis, ecosystem landscape management, and governance are all key themes that will help unlock the full potential of forests in creating green economies."

The report, entitled Forests in a Green Economy, also references the work of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity report, which sought to calculate the value of the natural world to nations' economies and was followed by a UK equivalent.

It found that natural capital such as forests can represent up to 90 per cent of the GDP generated by the rural poor, citing schemes that seek to put a value on natural capital, such as a project to restore natural mangrove forests in Vietnam, which cost $1.1 million but resulted in the avoidance of sea dyke maintenance costs worth $7.3 million.

A related report published in the online journal PLoS One identified that UN efforts to put a price on forests and issue tradable credits for slowing the rate of deforestation should take into account the size of trees in a forest and not just the area covered. The survey of 68 countries found the amount of carbon stored by forests in Europe and North America has increased from 2000 to 2010 despite no real change in forest area, while African and South American forests saw the total amount of carbon stored fall at a slower rate than deforestation. However, the study said there was not enough data to estimate an overall trend.

An analysis from an Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study has shown that the economic value of the services provided by the natural world, such as water purification, pollination of crops and climate regulation, currently amounts to between $2 trillion and $5 trillion a year.

The report, entitled Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature, focuses on potential solutions to the rapid rate of global biodiversity loss, which some scientists have characterised as equivalent to an extinction event.

It sets out a series of top tips for policymakers and businesses detailing how to better measure the true value of ecosystems to the economy; a value it claims is currently invisable.
That "invisibility" needs to change, Pavan Sukhdev, said TEEB study leader recently. 

"Unfortunately, the lack of an economic lens to reflect these realities, has meant we have treated these matters lightly that they are not centre-stage when it comes to policy discussions nor centre-stage when it comes to business discussions."

The report drew on the example of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, urging businesses to take steps to avoid similar disasters happening to them.Brazil and India have already endorsed the report's conclusions, stating that they would use the TEEB findings as a guide, while the European Union, which part funded TEEB, also agreed to incorporate recommendations in its policy decisions. 

Will Nichols