Helen Clark: REDD+ in Indonesia: Greening Human Development

Sep 21, 2011

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark signs a REDD+ partnership on protecting forests with Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of Indonesia's REDD+ taskforce. (Photo: Paulo Filgueiras)

Statement by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
REDD+ in Indonesia: Greening Human Development
Event at the 2011 UN General Assembly

I am delighted to be here to discuss REDD+ in Indonesia with so many representatives of Member States, colleagues and valued partners from the private sector, civil society, and media. The participation and interest in this event reflects the importance of this REDD+ initiative.

I express my appreciation, on behalf of the UN, to the Governments of Indonesia and Norway for their path-breaking partnership. Its sheer scale gives it the potential to accelerate sustainable human development in Indonesia, conserve large tracts of forest, and establish useful models for other such efforts around the world. In so doing, it will support Indonesia to overcome the challenges of environmental degradation and deforestation, and to generate low-carbon growth.

Maintaining the world’s forests is essential for people’s livelihoods, for curbing climate change, and for achieving the MDGs. It contributes to strengthening all three pillars of sustainable development, and is thus a central issue in the lead up to next year’s Rio+20 Conference.

With careful planning and appropriate incentives in Indonesia, REDD+ financing can be catalyzed to help Indonesia meet its targets for seven per cent annual GDP growth, food security, and the sustainable use of forest resources. REDD+ payments can be used to generate new investments in areas like renewable energy which help create economic opportunity and reduce poverty.

During my visit to Indonesia earlier this year, I visited Central Kalimantan, which has extensive forest cover and peat land.  It is the pilot province selected by the Indonesian Government for the REDD+ programme.

The readiness and commitment of the provincial government in Central Kalimantan is critical for improving forest governance. Anti-corruption measures need to be well established, along with social and environmental standards, and engagement with indigenous people and other stakeholders.

Under the leadership of President Yudhoyono, Indonesia has been at the forefront of global efforts to establish REDD+. At the national level, the President’s recent reconstitution of the National REDD+ Task Force was an important step forward. The Task Force, led by Pak Kuntoro, can take a whole-of-government view of the issues as Indonesia incorporates multiple benefits into its land-use planning.

The UN is pleased to be supporting the work of the National REDD+ Task Force, and attaches great importance to the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Government of Indonesia to establish the United Nations Office for REDD+ Co-ordination in Indonesia.

The MoU builds on the support already provided through the UN-REDD Programme - a partnership between FAO, UNDP and UNEP.  Indonesia was one of the first UN-REDD pilot countries. Within that programme, UNEP is currently supporting Central Kalimantan to develop a roadmap for green growth, based on innovative management of forest lands and natural resources. This work has the potential to demonstrate how REDD+ financing can be used to advance sustainable development in Indonesia.

Three out of every five Indonesians live in rural communities and have a significant level of dependence on natural resources. By preserving ecosystems, REDD+ will benefit them directly.

Implementation of social and environmental standards through the full and fair involvement of local communities will be critical to the success of REDD+. UNDP can help by drawing on its broad experience in designing safeguards and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of local communities.

To fully implement the Indonesian National REDD+ strategy, local level partnerships and initiatives need to be complemented and scaled up through the concerted action of national actors including key ministries, the private sector, and non-governmental stakeholders. Steps to this end are being supported by the UN-REDD Programme

With the experience of local level pilots, an effective enabling policy environment, and with innovative financing, the REDD+ programme can help Indonesia reach its development goals in ways which are both sustainable and inclusive. Forests can be saved and both greenhouse gas emissions and poverty can be reduced.

I thank all those who have worked tirelessly to drive the global REDD+ agenda forward. The UN supports your efforts and believes that they will help accelerate sustainable human development.

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