Indonesia Checkup

Indonesia—Moving Forward

Indonesia is moving in the right direction to meet its pledge under the Paris Agreement. The policy framework is in place to achieve its INDC. However, poor implementation policies, a low capacity for enforcement and monitoring, and poor institutional governance cast doubt on Indonesia’s ability to meet its pledge. If Indonesia improves implementation and monitoring of existing policies, it could become a major contributor to emissions reductions, especially those from forests and land. There is already evidence that Indonesia’s government agencies are beginning a new chapter in climate policy and forest governance.

Forsell et al. estimate that Indonesia will decrease “net land use emissions as of 2020 (comparison to 2010 levels) mainly related to a decrease in peat fire and oxidation emissions.” (Forsell et al., 7). They also conclude that Indonesia will provide, along with a few other countries, “the lion share of pledges to reduce net LULUCF emissions” (Forsell et al., 11). With the supporting documents available, Indonesia’s emissions projections are “consistent with its Paris Agreement INDC submission” (Forsell et al., 13). Implementation of Indonesia’s INDC is estimated to reduce emissions by “approximately 336 Mt CO2e year−1 in 2020 and 672 Mt CO2e year−1 in 2030, compared to the BAU scenario development” in agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) (Forsell et al., 14). Forsell et al. point out that peat oxidation and peat fires have significant impacts on emissions estimations. The ability of the government to manage forests, enforce laws, and monitor enforcement is therefore crucial to implement the pledge.

Since the REDD+ agreement in 2010 and the creation of the One Map Policy (OMP), Mulyani and Jepson argue that Indonesia’s government agencies, especially the Ministry of Forests (MoF), have undergone significant changes. These changes are seen in the move away from clientalism, poor law enforcement, weak governance and low transparency. Mulyani and Jepson interviewed members of ministries, reporting that the REDD+ agreement with Norway in 2010 provided the “external push for institutional change as initiated by domestic actors such as the KPK (the Corruption Eradication Comission)” (Mulyani and Jepson, 10). Since REDD+, there has been greater transparency and public participation in the MoF. With the merger of the Ministries of the Environment and Forestry (MoEF) and the absorption of the REDD+ agency into the new MoEF in 2015, many were concerned that the ministry would once again have too much power and continue poor forest governance and clientalism.
Under the Widodo administration’s MoEF minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, many companies have been brought to court for illegal land conversion and uncontrolled fires. President Widodo has established an agency (BRG, Badan Restorasi Gambut) to restore peatland. Recently, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources implemented a new feed-in tariff to encourage renewables. These examples demonstrate the will in the government to follow through on Indonesia’s NDC. Continuing to increase transparency in and improve implementation of its current policy framework will keep Indonesia on track to achieve its pledge.

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Forsell et al.:
Mulyani and Jepsen: