Indonesia’s contributions to the environment: global, regional and intra-regional mechanisms – an update

Updated On: Mar 10, 2009

Indonesia is gearing up for its fight against environmental degradation.

Currently Indonesia has the highest rate of deforestation in Asia and second only to Brazil globally.

The nation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas from deforestation and land use change due to the destruction of its particularly carbon-rich forests and peatlands.

This steady deforestation has made Indonesia third in rank of greenhouse gas emissions following industrial behemoths like China and the United States.

To get help in the fight to ward off environmental problems, Indonesia has applied to join the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, becoming the largest developing country to apply to the program.  

It submitted an application to join the partnership, which has raised $350 million to support projects under the United Nations' Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) mechanism.

Besides funding and multilateral support, Indonesia’s concerned quarters see REDD as an opportunity to engage developing countries in climate negotiations set to resume in Copenhagen December 2009.

But environmental issues also penetrate the local communities in Indonesia.

For example, WWF has attributed six recent killings of villagers by tigers to deforestation in Sumatra. Habitat loss — together with prey depletion by hunting — is believed to be driving tiger-human conflict on the Indonesia island.

Such local manifestations of environmental issues have prompted regional areas within Indonesia to develop their own strategies for coping with deforestation.

Some regions within Indonesia have come up with unique coping mechanisms for managing environmental concerns at the grassroots level. For e.g., an Indonesian district in West Java Garut started a unique program to support reforestation.

Any couple planning to get married must give ten trees to local authorities for reforestation efforts before marriage will be legally sanctioned while couples filing for divorce must provide at least one tree.


Hance, Jeremy, "In exchange for marriage certificate Indonesians must donate trees" dated 5 March 2009 in the Mongabay website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available at http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0305-hance_treesmarriage.html

Mongabay.com, "Deforestation blamed for tiger maulings in Sumatra" dated 27 February 2009 in the Mongabay website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available at http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0227-tigers.html

Mongabay, "Indonesia applies for REDD partnership to protect forests" dated 4 March 2009 in the Mongabay website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available athttp://news.mongabay.com/2009/0304-indonesia_fcpf.html

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