Norwegian Minister of Environment Visits Indonesia

Minister of Environment Solheim met with Vice President and Provincial Governors of Indonesia to advance Indonesia-Norway climate and forest partnership on 25-26 October. Read the full press release from the Government of Indonesia below.

Indonesia and Norway advanced their climate and forest partnership further on 25-26 October with the visit of Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development Erik Solheim to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to meet with high ranking officials in the government. 

In a follow up to meetings between Minister Solheim and the Government of Indonesia (GoI) during the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September 2010, Minister Solheim met with Vice President of Indonesia Boediono, governors and representatives from eight provinces in Indonesia, and members of a newly formed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Task Force to reaffirm his support for the bi-lateral partnership and acknowledge the significant progress Indonesia has made in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.   

During these meetings, the Indonesian government introduced the REDD+ Task Force that has been fully operational for several weeks. “With the establishment of the REDD+ Task Force we are seeing good progress on other important pillars of the preparation phase and are hopeful that they will be achieved”, said Minister Solheim. 

Norway and Indonesia have agreed to use United Nations Development Programme (UNDP as the interim financing mechanism for the channeling of first USD 30 million for the preparation phase. The REDD+ Task Force will direct the use of funds and authorize all disbursement requests while UNDP will provide financial controls and international environmental, social, governance and fiduciary safeguards.  Subsequent phases of funding will be channeled though a yet to be designed longer term financing instrument that will catalyze REDD programs and climate compatible development across Indonesia. 

Minister Solheim also met with governors and representatives from eight provinces in Indonesia to share the benefits of the climate change partnership and to communicate the economic and social impact the partnership will have at the provincial level.  Minister Solheim stressed that each province will have a significant part to play in the national agenda, as the partnership is structured to benefit all, not just the pilot provinces. The meeting was also an opportunity for the provincial governments to highlight the work that has been done at the provincial level to develop and implement low carbon growth strategy and initiatives.  

A separate session between the Indonesia and Norway delegations also took place whereby the terms of reference for a Joint Consultation Group (JCG) were agreed. The JCG will be comprised of high-level representatives from both the Indonesian and Norwegian governments and will be responsible for oversight and setting direction for the Indonesian – Norwegian partnership.  The JCG will maintain the spirit of partnership and ensure alignment between the two governments in their joint effort to reduce emissions.  The scope of work will be confined to matters pertaining to the development of a national REDD+ program in Indonesia, with the aim to implement the program in an effective, efficient and timely manner. 

Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Head of the President’s Delivery Unit on Development Monitoring and Oversight and Chairman of the REDD+ Task Force stated, “The targets set by the LoI are aggressive and will require a major shift in how we manage our forests.  While the JCG and Task Force works to consolidate, coordinate and resolve the outstanding issues to lay the institutional foundation on the national level, we need the commitment of the provinces to make emissions reduction an overall success.” 

REDD+ aims at creating a financing scheme for forest emissions reductions in developing countries for global benefit. The Indonesia-Norway REDD+ partnership presents a new opportunity for donor government and agencies to coordinate their multilateral support to combat deforestation and forest degradation at the country level. This collaboration is based on a new model for international support, one that includes incentives for systemic change, and host government ownership and strategic leadership. 

In May of this year, Indonesia and Norway signed a Letter of Intent in Oslo outlining the framework for a USD 1 billion partnership to combat deforestation and forest degradation.  Implementation of Phase I of the partnership will this year include the establishment of an Indonesian REDD+ agency, development of a comprehensive national REDD+ strategy, creation of financing instrument, development of a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework, selection of a pilot province project and the implementation of a two–year suspension for new concessions on forests and peat lands, commencing in 2011. 

The Government of Indonesia (GoI) announced the establishment of a REDD+ Task Force (Presidential Decree No. 19/2010) in September 2010. This entity has oversight over the preparation of the national REDD+ strategy and is responsible for designing the REDD+ Special Agency and the funding instrument for REDD+ activities. The formation of the Task Force is expected to largely drive Indonesia’s efforts in putting in place the infrastructure to reduce emissions through breakthrough REDD+ transformation while improving economic prospects of their people and ensuring sustainability of its economy through a low carbon growth strategy. The REDD+ Task Force reports directly to the President of Indonesia. 

The next bi-lateral meeting will be held in December 2010 at the Climate-Change Summit in Cancun, Mexico.


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