Kutai Barat and Mahakam Ulu incorporated into Indonesia’s developing REDD+ Pilot
The Upper Mahakam REDD+ program, encompassing the districts of Kutai Barat and Mahakam Ulu, will be integrated into the East Kalimantan provincial REDD+ program, which was chosen by FCPF-CF to develop the subnational jurisdictional model for REDD+ implementation. The FCPF-CF Committee endorsed Indonesia’s Emissions Reduction Program Idea Note in June 2016, resulting in national recognition of the efforts of WWF and its partners at the district level and the identification of East Kalimantan as the pilot model.
East Kalimantan is Indonesia’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the provincial government estimates that 88% of their emissions stem from land use. Successful implementation of REDD+ could therefore have a sizeable impact on the country’s emissions overall, leaving an estimated net emissions reductions of 15.5 million tCO2e available for sale to the Carbon Fund between 2018 and 2024.
Zulfira Warta, of WWF-Indonesia, praised the move, stating, “FCPF support of the REDD+ program is a great opportunity to support its implementation and speed up the delivery of emissions reductions.”
In addition to monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV), the program will also focus on the improvement and expansion of sustainable and community forest management, maintenance of high conservation value forests within oil palm and coal mining concessions, and improved peat and fire management, which are all drivers of deforestation in East Kalimantan.
While there is still work to be done clarifying community tenure rights, recent forest reforms have established legally recognized categories for community-based forest management and sustainable use, known as Hutan Desa and Hutan Tanaman Rakyat.
These legal frameworks allow communities to document the areas they conserve through customary institutions or regulations, gaining formal recognition of those processes by their districts or villages. WWF has been working with local governments to build their capacity to support these new categories, and supporting local communities in participatory land use mapping and planning in order to secure land titles and legal recognition of their traditional territories.
As Indonesia moves into implementation, WWF will continue to provide support as communities establish safeguards and Community Conserved Areas, timber companies transition to sustainable forest management strategies, and governments at all levels include REDD+ in their strategic action plans.
With pilots launching in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru, the goal of the project is to strengthen governance in indigenous territories, increase administrative capacities of Amazonian indigenous organizations, and influence international climate funding organizations to better direct REDD+ funds to indigenous communities.
Each project partner will play a different role in implementation. WWF will be taking the lead on building administrative capacities and management skills with COICA and the affiliated organizations in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. As the project’s Technical Secretariat, WWF and Forest Trends will oversee the implementation of the educational programme on indigenous territorial governance in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Maria Fernanda Jaramillo, WWF Forest and Climate’s Knowledge Sharing and Learning Manager, introduced the educational programme to the project partners at the workshop in Quito, as the leader of its participatory design since June 2015. The programme will benefit 140 indigenous leaders, both men and women, strengthening their capacities to overcome governance challenges in their territories. As part of the programme, participants will develop a project with their communities to apply the tools that have been discussed during the educational meetings.
“A special emphasis on systematization and learning will contribute to the long life of this programme,” she states, “Learning is a very important tool we have to build capacities and make our programmes more responsive to real needs.”
Additional programme partners will include the COICA affiliated national organizations, local indigenous organizations, and universities. This diversity of partners and participants only increases the need for a comprehensive learning programme, to ensure that the efforts of all actors are channelled most effectively towards the common goal of building indigenous territorial governance and administrative capacities.
Indigenous peoples are crucial stewards of the world’s forests. Just over 20% of the carbon stored aboveground in tropical forests is found in indigenous territories, and their potential impact on carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is illustrated by the pledge to protect 400 million hectares of forests made by a coalition of indigenous peoples as a part of the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests.
Building indigenous governance and capacities is one way WWF works against deforestation and forest degradation, because we recognize the value of indigenous peoples’ stewardship of many of our planet’s vital ecosystems. We partner with indigenous communities around the world to improve and achieve our conservation goals and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.