Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #16. NDC & Climate Resilience

Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #16. NDC & Climate Resilience

Indonesia - 29 April, 2021

The Indonesian government already has a national climate action plan that includes targets, policies, and various efforts in response to the issue of climate change, as well as contributing to achieving global targets according to the ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016. "The Ministry of Environment and Forestry ( KLHK) has already committed to do some efforts both in mitigation and adaptation," said Sri Tantri Arundhati, Director of Climate Change Adaptation, Directorate General of Climate Change Control (Ditjen PPI), KLHK in a webinar entitled "NDC & Climate Resilience" organized by Tropenbos Indonesia (TI) on Saturday 17 April 2021.

Initially, according to Tantri, who delivered presentation material entitled "NDC and Community Resilience", the developed countries wanted all countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the impact of climate change. Unfortunately, emissions (especially CO2) that have already accumulated in the atmosphere can last up to 100 years and cannot be reduced directly and drastically, so the impact will still be there. Therefore, according to Tantri, in addition to mitigating, in the nationally determined contribution (NDC), Indonesia is also committed to reduce 29% of emissions by 2030 with its own strength, or up to 41% with the help of development partners from other countries.

Indonesia needs to also be committed to reducing emissions to face climate change for several reasons, such as the position of Indonesia as an archipelago which is vulnerable to changes of wave height. Not to mention the signs of nature that have begun to appear, such as reduced snow at the top of Jayawijaya Mountain in Papua, which is even predicted to disappear in the next 10 to 20 years. "It's a shame if this happens because we have snow in this place although it’s a tropical country," said Tantri. The increase in air temperature has also other impacts on various things ranging from the food, water, and ecosystem sectors. Extreme weather conditions are becoming more frequent and there is a risk of sudden big changes such as flash floods in locations that are sensitive to climate change. "During the rainy season, we have experienced very heavy rainfall and in the dry season it is sometimes still rainy, so it is often called wet dry. Ocean temperature increases, salinity increases, wave height increases. This has an impact on all of our activities,” she said.

In Indonesia's adaptation NDC, according to Tantri, there are 3 resilience targets: economic, social and livelihood resilience, ecosystem and landscape resilience, each of which has programs that will continue to be intensified. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has also developed an adaptation strategy in the NDC road map, and developed “sidik”, a national vulnerability index data information system using BPS data. In addition, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry also has the Climate Village Program (ProKlim) which aims to encourage community groups to carry out climate change adaptation and mitigation activities, provide recognition of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions at the local level by community groups, and give recognition to Local Governments in strengthening implementation of ProKlim. "Community institutions must exist to drive these activities," said Tantri. In accordance with Law No.40/2007 which requires state-owned companies to carry out their social responsibility, the business world also participates in ProKlim's actions through their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. ProKlim's actions at the site level, for example, include reforestation, planting and waste management.

The second speaker in this webinar was Tropenbos Indonesia researcher, Atiek Widayati, who explained a series of activities that TI has carried out in promoting climate-smart landscapes. TI takes a landscape approach as an umbrella for climate smart activities because it is very relevant in today's conditions. The landscape context here includes the function of water management, biodiversity, production by communities and companies, and the various interconnections between elements that exist in the landscape. To achieve a climate-smart landscape, according to her, a number of improvements are needed, such as inclusive and participatory governance, improved land management, and the involvement of the private sector. "Before carrying out various interventions, there needs to be an understanding at the landscape level, the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the community in dealing with climate impacts through local wisdom," she said.

The climate adaptation and vulnerability studies that have been carried out by TI started from the elements in the landscape, such as water, forest resources, hunting animals, and climate experience including climate disasters. "Since this study is a perception study, we also find out people perception on climate components," explained Atiek about the study conducted by TI through FGDs in 4 landscapes: the Upstream Landscapes (Simpang Dua / SD), the Transitional Landscapes (Gunung Palung / GP), the Coastal Peat Landscape (Sungai Putri/SP), and Pelang Peat Landscape. Before the intervention, TI also finds out the perceptions of the parties. For example, there is an assumption that water availability in Ketapang is highly vulnerable because of the use of water by large-scale companies such as mining. Next is validation by the parties and consultation with the parties which is also carried out at the landscape level.

Based on the results of the study, TI has formulated a theory of change (ToC) and encourages changes in the behavior of the actors. In the Upstream Landscape, for example, where communities feel vulnerable in rubber production and forest functions that are no longer supporting, TI tries to improve local livelihoods based on forests and local gardens/agroforestry, non-timber forest products, human resource capacity through Field Schools, and takes several other approaches such as through social forestry or market approaches. In the Pelang Peat Landscape, in addition to various efforts to improve livelihoods, fire prevention efforts were also carried out that involved various stakeholders.

Niken Sakuntaladewi, Researcher in the Socio-Economic Sector at the Center for Research and Development of Socio-Economic Policy and Climate Change (P3SEKPI), Research and Development and Innovation Agency, KLHK, explained the various challenges faced by rural communities in facing climate change with an example of Tumbang Nusa Village, Pulang Pisau District, Central Kalimantan, which territory is mostly peatland. The biggest challenge faced by the community in this village is fire in the dry season and flood in the rainy season. In 2014-2015, the fires that occurred even hit more than 50% of the village area.

Initially, the villagers only settled along the mineral land at the banks of the Kahayan River, but later on they moved along the Trans Kalimantan Road, which was completed in 2013, although some residents chose to keep staying on the riverbanks. The people of this village have livelihoods as fishermen, farmers (rubber, oil palm, fruit), looking for purun (a kind of grass growing in peatland and swamp that often used to make woven hat, bowl, or mat), running nurseries, raising livestock, or cultivating kelulut honey. One family has an average of 2-4 seasonal livelihoods.

Initially they did not use peatlands for cultivation, but only for fishing. They interacted more with mineral lands and rivers. Only after moving near the road did they start working on peatlands, especially in their yards, and planted oil palm, cocoa, pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, various fruit and vegetable crops. There are also those who maintain timber plants in peatlands such as jelutung, gaharu, balangeran, and some others plant sengon. "There is a kind of trial and error by the community, trying to adapt plants from mineral lands to peatlands," said Niken. In contrast to ordinary land, planting on peatland requires more costly treatment and agricultural input. "They have a lot to prepare before planting crops in their garden," she said. They start to abandon the local wisdom that previously did not use peatlands. Despite technological efforts, the peatlands they cultivate are degraded and cause fires. The orchards damaged by the fire ended up wasting their hopes for profitable harvests and investments.

According to Niken, there are also cross-sectoral efforts from the village to prevent fires, such as preparing for fire-fighting, preparing hoses and water pumps so that when a fire occurs they are ready with the necessary equipment. The village has also conducted patrols, allocated budget for MPA (Masyarakat Peduli Api), prohibited outsiders from fishing because they often made fires to burn fish or repel mosquitoes, and carried out agricultural practices without burning. On the other hand, to deal with floods, residents did not do many activities to respond other than installing canal blocking. Some residents even feel happy when it floods, because the fish harvest will be abundant.

Apart from the three speakers above, another speaker was Dian Novarina, Deputy Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, APRIL Group who explained about APRIL's strategy in achieving climate resilience at the site level. Apart from conducting hydrological research on peatlands, APRIL has also carried out landscape scale hydrological modeling in Padang Island, Sumatra, which is still ongoing, and empowering communities through transformative initiatives. "Adaptation and mitigation efforts can only be successful if there is community involvement; one of the ambitious targets launched is zero extreme poverty around the APRIL area,” said Dian. She gave an example of the success of community empowerment in Siak through the "one village one commodity" program which succeeded in developing pineapple cultivation.

Even though it is oriented towards job creation, sustainable growth by developing business through product and raw material diversification, circularity and responsible production, Dian admitted, APRIL still has a number of challenges to consider. Despite planting 300 million trees annually on industrial crop areas, operating factories that adopt the 5R principles, producing biodegradable products, there are still gaps in the efforts to recycle the products produced and waste management. Dian closed her presentation by quoting the message from APRIL founder Soekanto Tanoto who said, "Good business is about what is good for community, country, climate, customer and company… only then will it be sustainable."

The 16th webinar series “Managing the Remaining Forests” was attended by around 500 participants from various backgrounds, including NGOs, universities, government agencies such as the Forestry Service and FMUs, and the private sector.

The presentations available for download HERE.

Check out more in-depth presentations and discussions in the webinar via the following link: