Sustainable Landscapes Drive Indonesia to Achieve its FOLU Net Zero Goals

Recognizing the pressing need to counteract climate change, Indonesia has taken a decisive step with its Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (Enhanced NDC). This renewed commitment aligns the country with the global aspirations outlined in the Paris Agreement.


In 2022, Indonesia bolstered its climate targets, escalating its emission reduction from an initial 29% to a commendable 31.89% unconditionally. With international support, this ambition stretches from 41% to 43.20%. Particularly in the Forestry and Other Land Uses (FOLU) sector, Indonesia pledges reductions of 17.4% unconditionally and an impressive 25.4% with conditional support.


In the forestry sector, by 2030, the country aims to restore 2 million hectares of peatlands and rehabilitate another 12 million hectares of land that has been degraded over time. These efforts are crucial because healthy forests and lands absorb carbon dioxide, helping reduce the effects of climate change, which benefits both the environment and the people. This shows Indonesia’s leadership in promoting sustainable land use and climate action on the world stage. However, as with many nations, the challenge lies not just in setting ambitious targets but in the consistent execution and monitoring of initiatives to ensure the country stays on its climate course.


To achieve the FOLU Net Sink 2030, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) has outlined several strategies, including increasing reforestation and forest rehabilitation, reducing deforestation, and promoting sustainable peatland management. For the last 10 years, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) has supported the commitment to aligning land-use sector policies with climate change targets. Among the contributions are supporting the development of the Integration System of Spatially Based Program Planning at the site level and the FOLU Net Sink 2030 document. Furthermore, in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, GGGI supported the development of the NDC Mitigation Roadmap.


“MoEF has collaborated with GGGI in (green growth program) GGP Phase 3 in preparing the NDC Mitigation Roadmap that is still being used as the point of reference for related ministries in their implementation of climate mitigation actions, both in terms of policy and program development,” says Yulia Suryati, S.Si., M.Sc., Climate Change Mitigation Director of MoEF


Yulia also added that through the project, the coordination between related ministries for climate change mitigation initiatives is improving. “GGGI’s Sustainable Landscape project has enabled us to enhance coordination between ministries for climate change mitigation initiatives, which has resulted in better synergy during cross-ministerial policy and program activities,” said Yulia.


The journey of the Government of Indonesia (GoI) towards sustainable land management is both inspiring and ambitious. At the heart of this effort is the Sustainable Landscapes (SL) Project, a collaborative initiative involving many key national players, including the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), and the Indonesian Environment Fund (IEF). The government’s dedication shines brightly through its social forestry programs. According to Bappenas, from 500,000 hectares for social forestry in 2014, Indonesia has expanded it to a staggering 5 million hectares by 2023. The 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) sets an even more ambitious target of over 12 million hectares, showing that Indonesia is genuinely committed to a greener, more sustainable future.


“Bappenas worked together with GGGI in formulating the background study for the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) for 2020-2024 to enhance the optimal utilization of forest areas to promote greener economic growth. This initiative involves assessing the existing conditions within forest areas and improving their contributions to the economy, greenhouse gas emission reduction, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainability of forest resources for the future,” said Nur Hygiawati Rahayu, Director of Forestry and Water Resources Conservation at Bappenas.


Furthermore, Nur explained how the background study for the forestry sector contributed insights that enabled the national government to formulate a more structured RPJMN with targets and indicators aligned with contributions to the economy, society, and the environment. “This way, we can assess the contributions of the forestry sector to economic growth while safeguarding environmental quality, biodiversity, and emission reduction efforts,” Nur added.


For a lasting impact on green growth, it’s essential to hone the expertise of civil servants (ASN) in green economy development concepts. Moreover, it is crucial to guide them to prioritize low-carbon development policies, sustainable development plans, and green investments. Knowledge sharing and capacity development lie at the core of this green transformation. In line with this vision, NIPA partnered with GGGI to develop the ProHijau e-learning modules. These online learning materials, centered on green growth principles, have been shared with government officials across Indonesia.


“Collaboration between NIPA and GGGI has been ongoing since 2016, proceeding through 2022 and even extending into 2023. The impacts we have experienced from this program have been significant and well- implemented, as evidenced by several accomplishments and programs that have been successfully executed. This includes the development of competencies among civil servants in both technical and managerial areas. Additionally, several strategic policies that have been formulated contributed immensely in raising awareness among civil servants throughout all levels of government about the importance of the green economy movement.” Said Sherwin Mikhael Soantahon, Policy Analyst and Sub Coordinator for the Academic Section at NIPA.


To ensure a sustainable environment, it is necessary to obtain a flow of funding from multiple sources.

The Indonesian government had established IEF (BPDLH) in 2019 as the state agency responsible for managing environmental funds in a professional, credible, and trusted manner. IEF and GGGI have collaborated in strengthening the development of TERRA funds distribution guidelines and facilitating capacity building for intermediary organizations. IEF and GGGI have also cooperated through the Revolving Fund Facility program by strengthening policy strategies, developing revolving fund distribution guidelines, assessment instruments, and revolving fund facility performance indicators.


“One of the main objectives from our collaboration is to prepare the necessary instruments for channeling program funds to our recipients. The goal is to facilitate technical assistance to BPDLH personnel to enhance their competencies in implementing programs such as revolving funds at the grassroots level,” said Nining Ngudi Purnamaningtyas, Director of Fund Distribution at BPDLH.


In addition to the Revolving Fund Facility, BPDLH and GGGI also designed the Investment Framework/Plan for Indonesia FoLU Net Sink 2030, utilized as the guideline to mobilize investments of USD 56 million from the Norway-Indonesia Result-Based Contributions in 2016-2017 for incentive-based distribution in 2023- 2025.


To achieve sustainable develpment goals, particularly in the forestry and environmental sustainability, the RPJMN that has been designed by the central government needs to be implemented to sub-national development plans. Recently, local government officials underwent training activities on the strategic environmental assessment (SEA/KLHS).


“The East Kalimantan provincial government with GGGI prepared development plans for the region, such as revisions of the 2019-2023 mid-term regional development plan (RPJMD) and the evaluation process in the province’s attempt to achieve its SDG objectives. Also, in developing East Kalimantan’s KLHS plans,” claimed Yusliando, Head of the East Kalimantan Development Planning Board (Bappeda).


In addition to training activities related to KLHS, local governments also hosted training sessions on planning and budgeting for Low Carbon Development for the preparation of the Regional Development Plan (RDP) of East Kalimantan (2024-2026), which has enhanced the provincial government agencies’ capacity to calculate emission reduction and identify relevant activities for reduction purposes.


“What Indonesia has done when it comes to reducing deforestation is so impressive and very inspiring for the whole world. The rate of deforestation in Indonesia is at a record low and the lowest in 20 years. Norway is very proud to support Indonesia in fight or combating climate change and in particular reducing deforestation.,” said Gunhild Oland Santos-Nedrelid, Counselor Forest and Climate, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Indonesia.


Gunhild added that the SL Project has benefitted from the strong government leadership, both at national and subnational levels. The project has successfully mainstreamed and rolled out an array of green, sustainable, and inclusive development policies, programs, and initiatives.


The encouraging impacts from these intergovernmental partnerships, similar to the Government of Indonesia and GGGI’s collaboration, must be maintained in the long run. As one of the countries with the highest concentration of rainforests, Indonesia’s sustainable landscapes must be continuously well- managed and preserved. When substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions are attained in the country, these positive effects are also felt globally.