FOLUR Comes to Indonesia

The global Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program (FOLUR) is now starting work in Indonesia following a successful Inception Workshop in Jakarta.

September 30, 2022

FOLUR launch event in Indonesia

UNDP Indonesia

Funded by the Global Environment Facility and led by the World Bank, FOLUR seeks to transform the global food system by promoting sustainable, integrated landscapes and efficient commodity value chains, characterised by improved social benefits and profits at every stage of production from the field through to the consumer with a positive – or neutral – impact on the environment.

For Indonesia, the world’s top producer of palm oil and a top ten producer of cocoa, coffee and rice, the project aims to ensure sustainable value chains in all four commodities. The project title sets the ambition: “Strengthening sustainability in commodity and food systems, land restoration and land use governance through integrated landscape management for multiple benefits.” Including co-financing, the Indonesia project benefits from $148.7 million funding. It runs until February 2028 and in that time is expected to bring improved practices to 1.474 million hectares of land – an area the size of New Zealand – mitigating 41.49 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, restoring 20,000 hectares of land and avoiding 46,900 hectares of High Carbon Value forest loss. Some 103,000 Indonesians will be direct beneficiaries of this work, 53,800 of them women.

Applying a comprehensive land use approach linking biodiversity conservation, restoration, and production at scale, FOLUR in Indonesia is led by the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

"In the development of a food security system, it is necessary to apply sustainable principles in land, water and ecosystem management and be supported by landscape management… FOLUR will become the main pillar for the realization of sustainable food security."
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartato: Keynote Speech

The program targets commodity production in key areas of five provinces of Indonesia, Aceh (Central Aceh), North Sumatra (Mandailing Natal), West Kalimantan (Sanggau), South Sulawesi (Luwu) and West Papua (Sorong).

The Inception Workshop was given a masterclass in food system transformation by leading UNDP, World Bank and FAO representatives. UNDP’s Pascale Bonzom, Global Project Manager for the Good Growth Partnership (GGP), shared the five core transformational practices that underpinned GGP’s success in Indonesia between 2017 and 2022. These were establishing inclusive and collaborative spaces; ensuring consistent, quality participation by partners; embracing systemic thinking; being agile and adaptive in the face of change; and using innovative tools and measures of progress. All these interlink and multiply with each other to create the conditions for success, she said.

From the World Bank, Chris Brett introduced the FOLUR Global Platform which will support the work in Indonesia and 26 other countries. He explained how countries will be connected through knowledge and learning via the commodities their respective projects are focused on. For example, Indonesia is investing in improving environmental management in four commodities, including cocoa. To illustrate his point, Brett demonstrated how Indonesia was connected to cocoa projects in West Africa and Latin America.    

FAO’s Adrian Barrance took delegates through a detailed account of the many elements of a food system, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all the components and the need to address all of them simultaneously to avoid wasted effort and stalled initiatives.

Nicolas Petit, Senior Advisor for Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems at UNDP, closed the afternoon session by showing how system leadership was relevant to FOLUR. Building system leadership capacity amongst landscape “champions” and connecting them across regions and countries through the FOLUR Global Learning Platform would increase the speed and impact of progress, he said. He noted that human factors have the greatest potential to create success or derail a project, and a system leadership foundation would help ensure successful outcomes.

Stakeholders ended the Inception Workshop with a much-enhanced understanding of FOLUR’s work and the potential it has for Indonesia.

The Workshop benefited from the participation of a high-level group of attendees including the Deputy of Food and Agribusiness of the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs (CMEA), the Deputy Assistant of Horticulture Agribusiness Development of the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs (CMEA), the Director of Food and Agriculture of the Ministry of National Development Planning/BAPPENAS, the Director of Ecosystem Management and Restoration at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Acting Resident Representative of UNDP Indonesia, and the Representative/Country Director of FAO for Indonesia and Timor Leste.

Addressing the group, Coordinating Minister Airlangga said working together will greatly increase the impact of individual stakeholder efforts:

"I invite all stakeholders in related Ministries/Institutions, Regional Government, private sector, universities, non-governmental organizations and farmers, to unite, synergize, build, and manage food systems in a sustainable manner to support our economic recovery efforts."
Airlangga Hartato