Indonesia Subsidies

Indonesia—8 billion USD in 2015/ 4 billion US in 2016

In 2015, $22.1 billion was initially allocated to fuel subsidies. In that year, major reforms in energy subsidies were implemented. Indonesia’s energy subsidies, especially for fossil fuel, have been a drain on the state budget. In 2013, 17% of government expenditure went to energy subsidies. Since becoming a net fossil fuel importing country in 2004, especially in oil, Indonesia’s energy subsides have become a burden on the country’s current account. In 2014 and 2015, major reforms were implemented to take advantage of lower gas prices. Domestic fuel prices were allowed to float according to global market prices. Indonesia phased out subsidies on gasoline and set a fixed diesel subsidy. From the 2015 reforms, the removal of major energy subsidies decreased subsidy spending to $8 billion (under RSB-2105) from the initial budget of $22.1 billion. In 2016, this number fell to $4 billion. Other electricity and petroleum fuel subsidies remain. Fossil fuel subsidies amounted to 3% of GDP in 2014. In 2016, this spending has fallen to 1% of GDP.

The government, however, shifted the cost of gasoline subsidies to the state-owned oil company Pertamina which now must pay for the difference between the subsidy price and the global price of gasoline. The reforms have simply moved the deficit the government was running onto Pertamina, which it must eventually refund. To more truly implement fossil fuel subsidy reform, price controls must be removed entirely. The government still offsets distribution costs for provinces outside Java-Madura-Bali. This subsidy is important to provide energy in less developed provinces. Much of the state budget savings that came out of energy reform went to building new infrastructure and to the budgets of the ministries to increase growth and fight poverty. Most of the fossil fuel subsidy reform has come from the president. Subsidies to fuel distributors are approved or removed by parliament. There is fear of public resistance to rising fuel costs that stalls government action to further reduce subsidies until fossil fuels have another period of low global prices.

The policy to reduce fossil fuel subsidies will encourage the development of and investment in renewables, decrease air pollution in urban areas, shift people away from cars towards public transportation and active transport, and reduce emissions from the extraction and importation of fossil fuels. Expenditures on subsidies can also be shifted to infrastructure that could decrease fossil fuel consumption, such as in transportation and more updated, more energy efficient infrastructure. The decrease in CO2 emissions from the end of fossil fuel subsidies was estimated at 5-7% for 2015. MARKAL projects that there will be a 9% reduction by 2030, driven mostly from a decline in energy consumption and growth in alternatives.

These fossil fuel subsidies will be easier to phase out when the price of alternative fuels drops. This will occur as investment in renewables increases, aided by government policies (such as a Feed-in-Tarrif–FiT). However, Indonesia remains the largest exporter of coal in the world and expects to see an increase in coal’s percent of the energy mix from 23% to 30% by 2025. Although this plan includes increases in renewable sources such as geothermal and biofuels, the increase in coal extraction and use is of concern. Currently, Indonesia does not subsidize coal. The shift to a decarbonized Indonesian economy will take more than the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, coal and other dirty fuels must be dis-incentivized. There needs to be a greater push for renewables.

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Indonesia Survey

Among those negative impacts of climate that respondents listed were respiratory problems and disruption to food production from the longer dry season, greater exposure to water-borne illness and increases in mosquitos carrying Dengue and Chikungunya from frequent heavy rain and flooding, and increased illness from sudden changes in weather.

In 2012, Climate Asia, a BBC Media Action project, conducted a survey of 4,985 Indonesian households on perceptions of climate change and environmental changes as well as changes to other aspects of life such as water and energy. The research sought to understand how people respond to these changes.

Many Indonesians recognize recent changes to rainfall and temperature. Kalimantan and Sulawesi are notable. In Kalimantan, 88% of respondents perceived increased temperature and 69% perceived decreased rainfall. In Sulawesi, 81% perceived increased rainfall and 49% perceived increased temperature.

Half of the total population of Indonesia recognized increased temperature, especially if they lived in urban areas. The differences in rainfall perception in the report demonstrate variability of climate across the archipelago. A large majority of respondents perceived greater unpredictability of temperature, rainfall, and extreme weather events Across the country, a large majority of people perceived decreases in trees; 68% in Northern Sumatra (notably, the province of the Leuser Ecosystem), 97% in Kalimantan, 70% of Southern, Sumatra, 67% in Western Java. Overall, 63% of Indonesians perceived deforestation. 48% perceived species loss.

56% of Indonesians have heard of the term climate change. 24% have heard of it but do not know what it means. 17% had not heard of it. 74% of Indonesians believe climate change is happening. Of that 74%, 72% perceived one of the major causes to be deforestation. 54% of the 74% also listed population growth.

90% of urban dwellers are aware of climate change. 95% of Kalimantan residents are aware of climate change due to interventions to curb deforestation in the province. Respondents listed the type of climate change information they wanted; 74% listed information of future impacts, 70% listed information on the causes of climate change, and 60% wanted greater education on how to respond to climate change. For example, citizens of Jakarta anticipate more severe flooding and therefore wanted more information on how to prepare for floods.

22% of people in Indonesia “felt that they were experiencing a high level of impact now from changes in climate and the lack of availability of key resources”. This percent increases to 34% among the very poor. In particular, people in large urban areas worry that the impact will worsen in the future. 85% of surveyed people stated that changes in weather negatively impact their health. Among those negative impacts that respondents listed were respiratory problems and disruption to food production from the longer dry season, greater exposure to water-borne illness and increases in mosquitos carrying Dengue and Chikungunya from frequent heavy rain and flooding, and increased illness from sudden changes in weather.

The strongest motivators for climate action among respondents was a desire to be healthy (79% strongly agreed this was a motivation for taking climate action, 18% agreed) and the desire for a better future for their children (74% strongly agreed, 46% agreed). 48% strongly agreed and 46% agreed that care for the natural environment was a motivation. 44% strongly agreed and 46% agreed that the need to survive motivated them to take prevention action. Indonesians had the highest confidence (88% had confidence and 9% did not) in their local neighborhood when it came to responding to changes in water, food, energy supplies and weather followed by the local government (75%), provincial government (65%) and the national government (63%). Indonesians have the greatest faith in their local communities to address climate change and its effects.

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Indonesia Strategies

Indonesia: (1) Concentrate on meeting its existing Paris Agreement pledge before considering an increase; (2) Encourage provincial and local governments to take a greater role in mitigation; (3) Work with corporations, companies, and smallholders to implement sustainable land management practices that reduce emissions from LULUCF and restore degraded land.

By 2020, Indonesia has committed to reduce its emissions by 26% and up to 41% conditional upon international support. Indonesia should concentrate on achieving its initial target rather than setting higher goals. A higher reductions commitment would not be reasonable because many of Indonesia’s mitigation strategies have only recently gotten off the ground. Indonesia should only increase its NDC pledge when these strategies have produced measurable and reliable results. Increasing the pledge before the current strategies have been proven could potentially harm Indonesia’s credibility in meeting its Paris Agreement commitments and erode public support for those efforts if they fall below targets. A strong, solid, steady start to climate change mitigation and adaptation policy will encourage the greatest support.

The government of Indonesia must also clarify what level of international support would be required to begin the conditional 41% reduction. The government of Indonesia has not explained, for example, how the $1 billion REDD+ agreement with Norway fits into the 41% conditional commitment. Based on Indonesia’s INDC, the REDD+ agreement could fall under two of the international supports; “payment for performance mechanisms” and “access to financial resources”.

The government of Indonesia must encourage regional efforts and provincial and local governments to take a greater role in mitigation. Democratization has changed the administration of the archipelago. The Suharto era development planning was very centralized, often at the expense of Indonesia’s diverse communities. Indonesian climate change policy remains highly centralized. One of the promises of Indonesia’s new democracy was decentralization. Although RAN-GRK, the national action plan on climate change, is an important national directive, the administering development ministry (BAPPENAS) cannot force the provincial and local governments to dutifully implement climate goals into all government planning. The government should encourage sub-national jurisdictions to adopt climate-focused policies. Indonesians must urge their governors and provincial governments to further develop and RAD-GRKs, the provincial climate action plans, and press their city governments to develop climate action plans. Citizens must also demand that the governments be transparent about RAD-GRK actions.

National development planning will not be sufficient to direct the provinces to achieve reductions. In the first and second communications to the UNFCCC, only the line ministries were involved, not the local governments. The inclusion of subnational leaders in climate talks and planning will improve provincial and local understanding of climate change and increase their stake in combatting it. This is crucial as subnational jurisdictions will ultimately operate and administer the government goals and directives.

The bulk of Indonesia’s emissions have come from forest and peatland fires as well as other land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities. The government has extended the moratorium on forest clearing for another two years into 2019. The minister of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Siti Nurbaya Bakar, wants to make the 66 million hectare moratorium permanent. Bakar has emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s biodiverse ecosystems; “our primary forests cannot be cleared out”. The peatland clearing moratorium should also be expanded and in particular seek to protect high carbon stock peat domes. Given the already growing threat of this year’s summer fires, a permanent moratorium on deforestation is vital to ensure a high quality of life and success in Indonesia’s reduction commitment.

The government must work with corporations, companies, and smallholders to implement sustainable land management practices that reduce emissions from LULUCF and restore degraded land, especially once One Map has delineated land tenure. Without cooperation between government officials planning land use and those using the land, efforts to reduce emissions will not be effective. Corporations should be encouraged and pushed to contribute their own versions of NDCs. Some companies have adopted No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments. The Central Kalimantan Jurisdictional Commitment to Sustainable Palm Oil is an example of a corporate commitment. More corporations should adopt these commitments. These corporate commitments to sustainable production must also be verifiable and their practices must be transparent. Agricultural producers, palm oil and pulp and paper, should adopt technologies and techniques that intensify yields from already cleared land rather than grow their concessions.

Indonesia Renewable Energy

Indonesia—No 100% commitment by 2050
Benchmark: 31% renewable target by 2050

Indonesia has not committed to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050. By 2025, Indonesia plans to raise renewable energies from the current 7% to 23% share in the national energy mix. By 2050, Indonesia seeks to raise renewables to 31% of the mix.

Indonesia has significant endowments of renewable energy resources; solar, wind, marine and an estimated 40% of global geothermal reserves. It is important to note, however, that 80% of Indonesia’s potential for geothermal energy is located in conservation forests. If geothermal is to be developed, it must limit its environmental impact. At the very least, peat domes should not be developed for any projects, even renewable energy plants. Indonesia’s extensive coastline allows it to have a 75 GW hydro and marine potential capacity. Indonesia’s coast also opens up opportunities for offshore wind energy development.

The state electricity agency, PLN, released the RUPTL (Rencana Umum Penyediaan Tenaga Listrik) 2016-2025 plan for Indonesia’s electrification. Of the 80.5 GW of new capacity to be installed in the next decade, 22 GW will be in renewable energy (6,150 MW of geothermal, 13,100 MW of large hydropower, 1,365 MW of small hydropower, 444 MW of solar, 640 MW of wind, and 488 of biomass). There are still 20 GW left to be allocated. Although hydro has the greatest potential, the focus of PLN remains on thermally generated sources (coal at 20 GW and gas at 13 GW). To reduce GHG emissions, PLN should concentrate the unallocated energy sources in renewables, especially ecologically sounder options such as hydro and offshore wind.

Technological and financial barriers prevent Indonesia from tapping its significant endowment of renewables. Capacity building, technology information sharing, and better market coordinations are some ways to reduce the barriers to adopting renewable energy technology. Land rights also need to be clarified. Limiting subsidies on other forms of energy would also help the development of renewables.

However, removing subsidies on gas and fuel to make renewables more competitive is very unpopular among Indonesian consumers. Barriers to foreign investment and foreign IPPs must be reduced to increase renewable development given Indonesia’s current electrification targets and plans. PLN allocations to independent power plants (IPPs) to meet its electrification targets will not be possible without bringing in investment from abroad; 57% of the government’s fast track plan to install 35 GW by 2019 is slated to come from private entities that will produce 45.7 GW of PLN’s 80.5 GW target by 2025. This kind of development requires outside funding sources. The skills and technology of foreign firms are also necessary to develop Indonesia’s energy sector.

Indonesia must be sure to put in environmental and social safeguards before it reduces foreign investment barriers. Fortunately, most of the foreign investment has its eyes set on renewables. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources intends to establish a government enterprise similar to PLN that will concentrate on renewables. This will allow for greater flexibility in renewable energy development and reduce the monopolistic power of PLN.

Presidential Decree No. 12/2017 places a cap on renewable energy costs to 85% of local energy costs if those costs exceed the national average. This feed-in tariff (FiT) applies to all renewables except geothermal and waste-to-energy plants. It subsidies the heavy start-up costs of renewables and decreases PLN’s financial burden in regions with high local production costs.

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RUPTL 2016-2025 plan:

Indonesia Success Project

Indonesia—Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG)-The Peatland Restoration Agency

The president formed the Peatland Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut) to restore 2.4 million hectares of degraded peatland by 2020. Last year’s fires released 1.2 billion tons of CO2. The target for 2017 is to restore 400,000 hectares of fire-vulnerable land. Half of this destroyed land is in concessions. Nazir Foed, president of BRG, stated that about 10% of that work has been completed. This slow start is largely due to BRG’s current focus to map Indonesia’s peatlands to improve management and planning as well as the logistical difficulties of working during the wet season, due to flooding and challenges in moving equipment. The seven priority provinces of the BRG are Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua. BRG is also carrying out peatland inventory and hydrological mapping in these provinces. BRG’s mission statement also includes reviewing permits and licensing on peatland management or on concessions built on peatlands which do not properly control peatland degradation and/or fire. The Indonesian government is also pushing concession owners to contribute to peatland restoration by implementing BRG’s practices in their concessions.

BRG uses canals and water blocking to control water flow to restore the waterlogged conditions of peatlands so their carbon-rich soil is not vulnerable to burning. The waterlogged condition is also necessary to allow the land to continue to accumulate peat when the forest is restored, preventing decomposition of plant litter to be released as GHGs. These canals keep water levels stable, preventing fires. BRG plans to build 20,000 blocking canals, working with communities and local governments. In 2016, 16,000 canal-blockings were built. Preventing peat degradation and oxidation will significantly curb Indonesia’s emissions. If BRG concentrates efforts on reforestation of mangroves, these peatland ecosystems can begin to recover. The recovery of mangrove forests on peatlands will ensure the land remains waterlogged, preventing oxidation. Mangroves also provide the forest litter necessary for peat buildup. Forestation projects to develop mangroves will sequester carbon and help Indonesia reach its pledge.

The Pastaza-Maranon swamp in Peru is among the largest peatlands in the world. There are also significant peatlands in Colombia and Brazil. There is an estimated 30 billion tons of carbon in Cuvette Centrale peatland in between the DPRC and the Republic of the Congo. This is the world’s largest tropical peatland. There are also significant African peatlands in Niger inland delta, Okavango and Sudd. Many of these tropical peatlands, which have the highest rates of peat build up, are threatened by degradation from land use change. BRG’s restoration efforts could be applied in many of these countries. Even countries with a non-tropical climate could learn from the BRG; Finland has drained half of all of its peat bogs. Many countries could adopt BRG’s practices to restore their degraded peatlands. BRG’s efforts focus on dam and canal construction.

Indonesia’s INDC pledge includes a unilateral reduction target of 29% below BAU emissions of GHG, including LULUCF, by 2030, plus a conditional 41% reduction target with sufficient international support. The LULUCF sector has contributed an average of 60% of total emissions over the last ten years, based on national data. By 2030, under the Indonesian Government’s official BAU, emissions from LULUCF would be about one-third of GHG emissions.

The BRG could be significantly scaled up to help Indonesia reach its INDC pledge. It addresses the greatest barrier reducing GHGs in Indonesia; preventing the destruction of carbon stocks. Substantial funding should be awarded to BRG as it proves its ability to restore peatlands and mangroves.

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:

Indonesia Emission Reduction Policy

One Map Policy

Previous Climate Scorecard posts have referenced the One Map Policy (OMP) in Indonesia. It appears in several of our thematic reports because it relates to many aspects of Indonesia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Indonesia’s current land tenure system is fraught with inconsistencies and overlapping claims. The lack of clear land ownership makes implementation of REDD+ projects and government policies to manage land and forests next to impossible. Management of forests is consequential in reducing GHG emissions as 80% of Indonesia’s carbon emissions come from forest destruction and clearing. Clear demarcation of land tenure, claims, and responsibilities is a prerequisite for effective land and forest governance. This demarcation can be achieved through mapping land claims.

OMP began out of the 2011 Law no. 4 regarding spatial information when President Yudhoyono was presented with the highly conflicting sectoral maps of the Ministry of Environmental and Ministry of Forestry. The law states that only the government of Indonesia shall have authority to create a national base map. The Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) is responsible for creating the base map. OMP’s purpose is to pull together the sectoral maps of many government agencies into a uniform base map. The sectoral maps of government agencies have a lot of overlap as each was designed without a reference base map. There are also overlapping maps between concessions for different production activities, and between state forest areas, and customary and districts lands. OMP seeks to reconcile these conflicts.

The development of the state map can be accessed by the public through a ‘one geo portal’, which accepts public and participatory mappings This transparency and public participation in map-making is a new development in Indonesian mapping. In the past, government agencies’ ability to issue permits and rights to land often resulted in favoritism and patronage. The Ministry of Forestry was especially notorious for its opaque forest data, forest maps, and license issuing. OMP was developed in the context of Yudhoyono’s 26% GHG emissions reduction promise after COP-13 that led to the $1 billion Norway-Indonesia REDD+ partnership. The partnership required suspensions of licensing new concessions in primary forests and peatlands. This moratorium would only be achieved if the Forestry Ministry underwent major reform. In 2010, the government led a corruption investigation of the ministry that concluded that it needed institutional change. The ministry was tasked with producing an Indicative Moratorium Map (IMM), which improved the transparency of forestry maps and increased communication between government agencies and the public. The moratorium map covers 65 million hectares of land. President Widodo has extended the moratorium into 2017. The REDD+’s push for public participation and transparency led to the beginning of the OMP.

When One Map is completed, land claims and government responsibilities should be resolved. Clear land data is a prerequisite in moratorium enforcement, peatland restoration, assigning of responsibility to sustainably manage land, and other efforts aimed to reduce emissions. The public participation in One Map allows masayarakat adat (indigenous Indonesians), forest-dependent people, and communities to submit maps. These community-made maps often more sustainably manage forests and land than under government agencies or concessions. If these submissions to One Map are prioritized, emissions reductions will be more achievable.

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Indonesia Extreme Weather Event

Widespread Fires

Between June and October of 2015, 127,000 fires engulfed 2.6 million hectares of land in Indonesia, tripling its carbon emissions. Draining peatlands and mangroves for agricultural production was the main driver of Indonesia’s summer fires. These fires would not occur without human intervention. 40% of the fires in 2015 occurred on peatland. Peatland, as one of the densest carbon stores on the planet, releases huge amounts of CO2 and the 21 times more powerful greenhouse gas, methane. Peat fires release ten times more methane than other land fires. Once peat catches on fire, it can continue to burn for months. This sustained burning and haze production leads to a “volcano effect” in which a decrease in plant productivity (as a result of the haze blocking out sunlight and polluting the air) leads to falling biodiversity. The fall in plant productivity and biodiversity reduces the ability of ecosystems to recover after shocks. With enough repeated stress, ecosystems can reach a tipping point of being unable to recover.

Indonesia’s air quality during the fires exceeded the maximum level on the international pollutant standards index (PSI); three times the level of hazardous. This incredibly poor air quality is reflected in the health consequences of the haze. The fires released fine particulate matter (PM2.5) causing 500,000 cases of acute respiratory infection in Southeast Asia and exposing 43 million Indonesians to smog. In a recent study from the journal Environmental Research Letters, the 2015 haze resulted in an estimated 100,000 deaths. The economic impacts of the haze have been great as well, estimated to be between 50-60 billion USD. The government’s disaster agency put the costs of the fire and haze at 35 billion USD, cancelling out all of Indonesia’s economic growth for that year.

Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management (BNBP) is responsible for handling fires. BNBP has established provincial, municipal, and district level agencies charged with disaster management. BNBP seeks to enhance the capacities of communities and government to reduce risk of disasters, mitigation, and emergency response. Capacity building includes early warning systems, a disaster information database (DiBi), a standard for risk assessment, education and training, and the establishment of emergency operation centers. Indonesia’s Balai Besar Pengujian Perangkat Telekomunikasi is doing important work to expand technological capacities in disaster warning. SRC-PB/INDRRA is Indonesia’s stand-by force for emergency response that BNBP deploys during disasters. Further, President Widodo has instituted moratoriums on deforestation. Creating a single national map of land tenure is underway to enforce these moratoriums and assign responsibility for fire monitoring and reporting to owners. This policy, called One Map, pools together land and satellite data to help identify hotspots—areas in which fires are likely to occur. Conservation International’s Firecast Initiative as well as WRI’s GIS program (GFW) are contributing to the monitoring of hotspots. The Peatland Restoration Agency, created under the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, builds canals to restore drained and degraded peatlands. Indonesia has a significant policy and regulatory framework to prevent future fires. Enforcement of these laws and reducing corruption is necessary for success.

Indonesia Media Organizations

Broadcast Media

Ruai TV is a lesser known television station, but its engagement with local communities in reporting on issues affecting their control of land makes the station unique. Locals, communities, and indigenous people will text the station –as well as government officials and the police– when, for example, companies violate legal obligations and exploit land to which they have no right. Up until 2010, some 200 conflicts between communities and palm oil producers were reported across Indonesia. RuaiSMS, developed by Knight Internationalism Journalism in a partnership between Riau TV and Internews, is a form of participatory monitoring that Ruai TV uses to empower grass roots organizing and bring those often left out of the media into public discourse and discussing issues that are often overlooked or underreported. For indigenous Indonesians, RuaiSMS in South Kalimantan has allowed for communication of customary territory control violations. In many of these areas, communication infrastructure is underdeveloped or nonexistent. However, mobile phone penetration is quite high –68% in 2009– making RuaiSMS an effective communication and engagement strategy. Ruai TV’s RuaiSMS is improving government and company accountability.

Content Samples:

Ruai TV has reported on climate and pollution, especially when the environmental problems cause direct damage to the public. It has reported on the extreme forest and peatland fires that often occur during Indonesia’s dry season. Riau TV reported on the difficulties putting out the blaze due to a lack of water sources. The reporting has also highlighted the deleterious effects of the smoke on public health. In one report, Ruai TV with its partners provided the SMS frontline program that allowed a civilian to communicate to the public and the police that the Kapuas Hulu District government ordered PT RAP (Riau Agrotama Plantation), a palm oil company, to stop illegal forest clearing outside their concession. By drawing attention to the district order, the police moved to take action. Riau TV, Internews and Knight International helped the civilian install the SMS system and trained other civilian journalists in how to monitor the palm oil company. Ruai TV is an excellent news station for primary source material relating to environmental and climate issues, especially from the local level.
Website link: and link to citizen journalism program:

Contact: Office address: Jalan 28 Oktober No 25-26 Siantan Hulu, Pontianak Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia
Office Tel: (+62 561) 88 1983 / 88 4524

Online Media was founded in California in 2012 as a nonprofit organization by Rhett Ayers Butler, a conservation journalist. It operates extensively in Indonesia, publishing in both Indonesian and English. It employs Indonesian journalists who work on the ground and recruits volunteers as well. Most of its funding comes from grants and donations.’s first project was Mongabay – Indonesia. It has a network of correspondents in 30 cities across Indonesia. Mongabay’s focus is on environment and especially tropical rainforests and so often discusses the Paris Agreement in its articles. Mongabay is a very responsive news source to current events, often being the primary source for current environmental issues. It has been a great resource for Climate Scorecard research. As a definitively conservationist news source, it supports the Paris Agreement and strongly backs government climate change policies, even blowing whistles when those policies are poorly implemented or infringed upon.

Content Samples:

Mongabay has recently published articles on illegal forest burning that benefits local elites seeking to collect rents or derive benefits from palm oil enterprises seeking cleared. This particular article drew upon academic writing. Mongabay also draws on Indonesian NGOs, research organizations, and locals who provide Mongabay with primary source information on the climate. In another article, Mongabay reported on the amount of carbon that would be protected from a government peatland development moratorium at 5.5-7.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide through 2030, but also raises issues with the regulation’s failure to protect peat domes; making the moratorium potentially futile. Mongabay provides important, up-to-date and very in-depth information on climate related issues.

Website link:
Article on illegal burning:
Article on effects of GHG emissions from fires, the public health effects, and the effectiveness of the government moratorium:

Contact: Program Editor: Ridzki R. Sigit (
Editor and writer on climate: Rahmadi Rahmat (

Print Media

Media Indonesia is the third largest newspaper in Indonesia. Kompas Daily is the highest circulated newspaper. Media Indonesia is headquartered in Jakarta, owned by the Media Group. Its director is Lestari Moerdijat. In a study from 2016, Media Indonesia provided substantially different climate change reporting than Kompas. Kompas’s discussion of climate change is largely focused on international news; only 25% focused on the Indonesian context. Media Indonesia’s coverage of climate change in the Indonesian context was 81% of climate change articles. Media Indonesia also focuses on climate change more often than does Kompas.

Media Indonesia is probably the best high-circulation Indonesian-language newspaper source for climate change articles.

Content Samples:

Media Indonesia has reported in depth on the government moratorium on peatland development. In one article, Media Indonesia reported on the secretary general of the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry enforcing the moratorium. The Secretary General halted the opening of a canal in PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP)’s concession. Media Indonesia also discussed how the company would be involved in restoring drained peatland with the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) and the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry. Media Indonesia also recently released an article on how peatland destruction by foreign companies greatly increases the haze over the country and contributes to global warming. The article quoted the vice president calling on foreign actors to contribute to the restoration of peat, given the lack of incentives for foreign companies to follow regulations and the importance of Indonesia’s forests as the “lungs of the world”.

Website link:
Article on moratorium enforcement with RAPP:
Article on foreign companies contributing to illegal logging and the responsibility of
the international community in restoring and protecting Indonesia’s forests and peatlands:
Study on Media Indonesia and other newspapers in Indonesia:

Contact: Office address: PT. Citra Media Nusa Purnama Jl. Pilar Mas Raya Kav A-D Kedoya Selatan, Kebon Jeruk Jakarta Barat, DKI Jakarta 11520, Indonesia
Office Tel: +62 21 5821303, Email:


Submitted by Indonesia Country Manager Tristan Grupp

Indonesia Subnational Best Practices


Jakarta—Jakarta has committed to reduce its emissions by 30% in the community and by 30% in the government based on 2005 levels, and to shift its energy use to 30% renewables by 2030. Jakarta has already taken several mitigation and adaptation actions. The city has installed a solar power plant in Kepulauan Seribu with a capacity up to 50 KwP. Bantar Gebang Landfill’s composting center contributes up to 3.867 tons of CO2eq emissions reductions and is capable of processing 60 tons of organic waste daily. Bantar Genbang Landfill is well known as a massive and overwhelmed dump. These initiatives are promising and necessary. Jakarta’s streetlights are powered through solar energy. The production capacity from this project, 36.4 kwp, reduces emissions by 6.8 tons of CO2eq. Jakarta has also finished its master plan for wastewater management to create sustainable water cycling. Its current projects include expanding urban forests, installing flood control measures, and developing solar energy installations to power all of Jakarta’s schools and government buildings. Jakarta is also expanding another recycling and composting center (Cakung) to take the burden off of Bantar Gebang. In addition, between 2012 and 2023, Jakarta plans to develop three waste-to-energy plants. The proposed plants will have the capacity to process 5,000 tons of waste per day. Jakarta is also developing a Green Building Implementation policy to ensure that new construction reduces the use of natural resources, sources local building materials, and reduces its carbon footprint. Jakarta is part of the Compact of Mayors, the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, and the C40 Cities Clean Bus Initiative.

BPLHD Jakarta (Environmental Management Agency – Jakarta)
Address: Jl. Casablanca Kav. 1 Kuningan Jakarta Selatan
Telephone: 62-21-5209651, 62-21-5209653, 62-21-5209645
Email: ;
Website: and

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On Jakarta’s actions to reduce its emissions:[uid]=743 and
On problems associated with the Bantar Gebang Landfill:
On the three new waste-to-energy plants:

Bandung—Bandung seeks to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to a 2013 business-as-usual scenario. It is currently performing an energy audit to determine energy use between residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. Bandung facilities make up 37% of government emissions. They are working on an Eco Office project to reduce emissions from buildings that make up 63% of emissions. They are installing 2,000 biodigester facilities by 2018 that can each process two tons of trash per day. Bandung is currently implementing a tax incentive for those who allocate land for water reservoirs. The city has developed and implemented many emissions reductions initiatives and plans. These include: Bandung Low Carbon Society, Bandung City’s Climate Change Action Plan, Environmental Management and Protection Plan, Bandung City Transport Master Plan and Bandung Urban Mobility Project to develop the transportation system, and others.

Chandra Budi Hertyasning, Green Building Council Indonesia – Bandung
Address: Setrasari Plaza Blok C-1 No 45, Jl Ters.  Jl Ter. Dr. Sutami-Bandung, Jawa Barat
Telephone: 62-81-22053668

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On Bandung’s actions to reduce its emissions:
On Bandung’s different plans and strategies:

Bogor—Bogor plans to reduce CO2e emissions from government operations by 33% by 2020 compared to 2010 business-as-usual levels. It has adopted a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for its transportation system, which includes a bus fleet, increased public transportation corridors, and pedestrian infrastructure. This initiative is seeking funding. They are currently working on Trans Pakuan; a rapid bus transportation system. Bogor has completed a project to make commuting 20% by pedestrians and cyclists. Further, Bogor is targeting 22 kilometers of pedestrian paths which will be built through 19-stages from 2012 – 2020. Bogor is in the process of developing a smart street lighting system, replacing all lighting with LEDs by 2019. It is developing a system of integrated community sanitation facilities that recovers methane for biodigesting and energy production. 43 of these facilities have been built so far. Many new construction projects after 2015 in Bogor must meet their Green Building Concept. Bogor has integrated its Low Emission Development Strategy deeply into its 5-year Mid-Term Development Plan (also known as RPJMD).

BPLHD Bogor (Environmental Management Agency – Bogor)
Mail: Jl. Senam No. 1 Bogor
Telephone: 02518340057

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On Bogor’s actions to reduce its emissions:[uid]=582
On Bogor’s Low Emission Development strategy in its RPJMD:


The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) is a network of ten cities in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. They are developing “a range of activities that improve the ability of the cities to withstand, to prepare for, and to recover from the projected impacts of climate change.” The needs and priorities of each city determine the approaches. The 10 core cities have been expanded to 50 across the network with their own resilience strategies. Two of the core cities—Bandar Lampung and Semarang—are located in Indonesia. Other cities in Indonesia that have been involved with the network include: Blitar, Cirebon, Palembang, Pekalongan, Probolinggo and Tarakan.

Compact of Mayors—There are eighteen cities in Indonesia that have signed the Compact of Mayors: Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Bandung, Banjarmasin, Bogor, Bontang, Jakarta, Jambi, Kendari, Kupang, Malang, Mataram, Padang, Probolinngo, Sukabumi, Surabaya, Tanjungpinang, and Tarakan City.

Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (CGF)—There are seven provinces (Aceh, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Papua, West Kalimantan, and West Papua) in Indonesia that are part of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) which is a collaboration between multiple countries to reduce emissions from rural development, promote low emission rural development, and reduce emissions from deforestation and land-use (REDD+). This network encompasses 25% of the world forests. This 25% includes half of Indonesia’s forests. Papua alone has 1.2% of the world forest area.

Learn More and to see Papua’s REDD+ implementation:

Every province in Indonesia has adopted a RAD-GRK. They can be compared and assessed here:


Submitted by Indonesia Country Manager Tristan Grupp