President SBY established REDD+ Agency

Media Information

President SBY established REDD+ Agency  

Jakarta, 6 September 2013

President Yudhoyono signed a Presidential decree No 62/2013 to establish a new agency that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and peatland conversion, to be known as “the REDD+ Agency”.

The decree is part of Indonesia’s commitment to reduce emissions by 26%  from business as usual level in 2020 or up to 41% with international assistance as pledged by President Yudhoyono in 2009.  The establishment of this ministerial level agency is a major milestone in the REDD+ partnership between Indonesia and Norway.   Norway has committed a billion US$ grant for several deliverables including “payment upon performance” in reducing GHG emissions from forest and peatland areas.

The objective of REDD+ agency is to achieve emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation and peatland and to ensure that these efforts are managed in an effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable manner.

“The process to establish this agency has been long and thorough. The establishment of the REDD+ Agency is proof of Indonesia’s commitment to contribute to the global effort in reducing carbon emissions, to preserve Indonesia's mega-biodiversity forests, and ultimately to increase the welfare of local and customary people who dependent upon forest resources” says AgusPurnomo, President Yudhoyono special assistant on climate change issues.

This agency will not only deliver REDD+ commitments as agreed in the partnership with Norway, but will also create confidence within the international community to invest in Indonesia’s unique forest ecosystems and globally important climate services.

“Through the REDD+ Task Force, operational since September 2010, we have elaborated various REDD+ plans and engaged in extensive consultations with national and local stakeholders. We now have the REDD+ National Strategy, REDD+ Financing Instrument design, MRV design including the One Map program that will serve as the basis to measure achievements in maintaining our forests and peatlands. We have established a platform for REDD+ activities in several provinces, focusing in the pilot province of Central Kalimantan involving the community and the local government. We have started a review of mining and plantation licenses and expediting the forest gazettement process in Central Kalimantan. But more importantly, we have established transparency, non-bureaucratic approach, multi-stakeholder participation and a focus on governance improvement as a working principle for the agency” say Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesia REDD+ Task Force which have just ended its mandated term. Kuntoro add that the REDD+ Agency can immediately start implementing those plans and principles, and endeavor to deliver measurable results.

“As the ministry in charge of forests management over an area of more than 100 million hectares across the archipelago, we welcome the REDD+ Agency and look forward for a productive partnership in the years to come. For the first time in Indonesia's modern history, effort to conserve forests and peatlands can add local government revenues and directly benefitting the local and customary people" say Zulkifli Hassan, Minister of Forestry.

The staffing of REDD+ agency will be decided in a couple of weeks. Full decree can be down load from Secretariat Cabinet website

Indigenous communities set to mark out their territory

Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Mon, June 24 2013, 8:38 AM

Paper Edition | Page: 1

Indigenous communities will be erecting placards in their customary forests, stating that they do not belong to the state, following the Constitutional Court ruling that annulled state ownership of the areas. 

During a consolidation workshop in Jakarta last month following the court ruling on customary forests, members from the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) and other NGOs working on land reform and the 
environment agreed that indigenous communities should put up signs as a first step toward reclaiming their land. 

The activists agreed that the move, which was cheekily dubbed “plangisasi”, a made-up word that sounds like the word “rainbow” in Indonesian (pelangi) by combining plang (placard) and sasi (process), would only be carried out if all the communities agreed and if they were supported by NGOs in their areas. 

Nur Amalia, from the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (APIK) who was present at the meeting, said that other civil society organizations agreed that support was a precondition for putting up the placards, so as to avoid conflict. 

Some customary leaders, however, are reluctant to put placards up out of fear of triggering conflict in their area. Yohanes, 35, a village leader in Sekatak district, Bulungan regency, East Kalimantan, said he had heard about the placard suggestion but added that each village had their own considerations. 

In Yohanes’ village, areas of customary forest belonging to the Punan, Kenyah, Tidung, Belusu and Bulungan tribes were handed out as concessions during the Soeharto era to Intraca Wood Manufacturing, a timber producer owned by Hartati Murdaya. 

Yohannes said he did not want to create conflict in his area. More than 30 people from his village have been criminalized for taking wood out of the forest. 

Meanwhile, Masrani, a former village leader of Muara Tae in Jempang, West Kutai, said they had erected placards even before the Constitutional Court ruling. 

Masrani said he welcomed the court ruling but that the implementation of the ruling faced many obstacles. 

The Indonesian Community Mapping Network (JKPP) has mapped 3.9 million hectares of customary land, of which 3.1 million lie within forest areas. According to AMAN’s secretary-general, Abdon Nababan, there were an estimated 40 million hectares of customary forest in Indonesia.

Other related news:

  1.  NGO maps out indigenous community territories
  2. Recognition of indigenous peoples stuck in red tape

Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia Court Ruling Boosts Indigenous Land Rights

May 17, 2013

An Indonesian court has ruled indigenous people have the right to manage forests where they live, a move which supporters said prevents the government from handing over community-run land to businesses.

Disputes between indigenous groups and companies have become increasingly tense in recent years, as soaring global demand for commodities like palm oil has seen plantations encroach on forests.

In Thursday’s ruling, Constitutional Court judges said that a 1999 law should be changed so it no longer defines forest that has been inhabited by indigenous groups for generations as “state forest,” according to court documents.

“Indigenous Indonesians have the right to log their forests and cultivate the land for their personal needs, and the needs of their families,” judge Muhammad Alim said as he handed down the ruling, state news agency Antara reported.

While environmentalists welcomed the ruling, they warned it could unintentionally lead to an upsurge in disputes between authorities and communities over the classification of indigenous land.

In March, seven villagers were shot and at least 15 police officers were injured in North Sumatra, where a dispute over a forest claimed by both the community and government has been simmering since 1998.

The National People’s Indigenous Organization filed the challenge to the 1999 law, which they say has let officials sell permits allowing palm oil, paper, mining and timber companies to exploit their land.

The group said Friday’s ruling affected 40 million hectare of forest — slightly larger than Japan, and 30 percent of Indonesia’s forest coverage.

They said this area was legally classified as “customary forest,” the term that describes forests that have been inhabited by indigenous people for a long time.

“About 40 million indigenous people are now the rightful owners of our customary forests,” said the group’s chief Abdon Nababan.

However, a senior forestry minister official said he believed the total amount of “customary forest” was far lower, and stressed it could take time to implement the changes as local governments would all need to issue a decree.

Stepi Hakim, Indonesia director of the Clinton Climate Initiative, said the ruling would give legal grounds for indigenous communities to challenge businesses operating in their forests, but this could lead to a string of new disputes.

“As soon as this policy is delivered, local governments have to be ready to mitigate conflicts,” he said.

Indigenous groups are commonly defined as those that retain economic, social and cultural characteristics that are different from those of the wider societies in which they live.

Source: Agence France-Presse


We welcome the Decision of the Constitutional Court Number 35/PUU-X/2012 that has partially accepted the Appeal for Judicial Review on the Forestry Law No. 41 of 1999

The Decision of the Constitutional Court states that “Customary Forests are forests that are located in the territories of indigenous peoples.” The Decision confirms the rights of indigenous peoples to more than 40 million hectares of customary forests.

Therefore, we, the civil society who have been actively involved in fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples to customary forests, land, territories and natural resources, declare the following:

1. We urge the Indonesian Government to immediately implement the Decision of the Constitutional Court, including the settlement of conflicts related to customary forests and natural resources in the territories of indigenous peoples.

2. We urge the President to grant amnesty to indigenous peoples who are engaged in a legal processes or who have been convicted and jailed pursuant to the Forestry Law Number 41/1999.

3. We urge the adoption of Laws concerning The Recognition and Protection of  the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PPHMA).

We, the civil society, will collaborate with AMAN and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to ensure fulfillment of rights of indigenous peoples to customary forests in Indonesia.

Jakarta, 27 May 2013

Indonesian Civil Society for Customary Forests

Source: AMAN

In landmark ruling, Indonesia's indigenous people win right to millions of hectares of forest

Rhett A. Butler,

May 17, 2013

Court ruling invalidates Indonesian govt's claim to customary forest areas


In a landmark ruling, Indonesia's Constitutional Court has invalidated the Indonesian government's claim to millions of hectares of forest land, potentially giving indigenous and local communities the right to manage their customary forests, reports Mongabay-Indonesia.

In a review of a 1999 forestry law, Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled [PDF - Indonesian] that customary forests should not be classified as "State Forest Areas". The move is significant because Indonesia's central government has control over the country's vast forest estate, effectively enabling agencies like the Ministry of Forestry to grant large concessions to companies for logging and plantations even if the area has been managed for generations by local people. In practice that meant ago-forestry plots, community gardens, and small-holder selective logging concessions could be bulldozed for industrial logging, pulp and paper production, and oil palm plantations. In many cases, industrial conversion sparked violent opposition from local communities, which often saw few, if any, benefits from the land seizures.

The move was prompted by a request for review by National People's Indigenous Organization (AMAN), which represents indigenous people across the sprawling archipelago. AMAN estimates that the ruling affects 30 percent of Indonesia's forest estate or 40 million hectares (154,000 square miles).

"About 40 million indigenous people are now the rightful owners of our customary forests," said Abdon Nababanm, AMAN's Secretary-General, in a statement.

The ruling is a potential blow to the Ministry of Forestry, which has used its massive land bank to accumulate substantial revenue and political power in recent decades.

However the full implications of the ruling are still unknown. A senior Ministry of Forestry official told AFP that the area of "customary forest" was far smaller than 40 million hectares and that implementation could take years to move through the various levels of government.

Martua Sirait, a researcher from the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), agreed that the next steps will be complex.

"It is still unclear yet how conflict between customary communities and private sector [companies] that received permits from the Ministry of Forestry or local government will be resolved," Martua told "But the court decision strengthened the customary community in mediation and in front of court, if a case brought to the court. It will prevent customary communities from being criminalized for entering their forest."


"In the future the Ministry of Forestry or the local government cannot release a permit in an area that is classified as privately-owned forest and customary forest without a Free, Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process," Martua continued. "For conservation areas, I believe this will open the window for customary community-based conservation management systems and close collaboration between the Ministry of Forestry and customary communities."

Martua added that the decision could eventually reduce
social conflict over forestry permits in Indonesia. According to the National Forestry Council, conflicts over forest management currently involve nearly 20,000 villages in 33 provinces throughout Indonesia. The rights to more than 1.2 million hectares is in dispute.

The court decision was cheered by environmentalists and indigenous rights groups.

“For more than 40 years, indigenous peoples of Indonesia have been marginalized, impoverished and criminalized due to lack of recognition of indigenous rights that led to lasting tenurial conflicts," said Mardi Minangsari, a forest campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). "The judicial review filed by AMAN (Indigenous Peoples' Alliance of the Archipelago) is one effort to reclaim the rights of indigenous peoples in Indonesia."


"This is an important change for indigenous peoples in the republic," AMAN's Abdon told Mongabay-Indonesia. "It is a decision that restores a sense of nationhood for indigenous peoples who have been close to despair."

"The court has found the forestry laws provisions unconstitutional," Abdon continued. "The state cannot expel us from our customary forests that have been our source of livelihoods for generations."

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of forest loss in the world. Industrial activities — notably logging, conversion for timber and oil palm plantations, and mining — are a major driver of deforestation, especially in
Indonesian Borneo(Kalimantan),Sumatra, and Indonesian New Guinea(Papua and West Papua). However forest recovery has been observed some areas where communities have been granted land tenure. For example, the island of Java — where community forests are rapidly expanding — now has more forest than it had a decade ago.


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