Kutai Barat: between low carbon development and demand for 7% of economic growth
REL (Reference Emission Level) development is the first important step in REDD+ scheme. You need to know reference level from which you would start to count emission reduction you have achieved. REL determines level of emission happened in the absence of REDD+ activities. REL is used to measure the effectiveness of an REDD+ project, it estimates carbon stock in the forests and level of emission reduction should be achieved in order to maintain the stock.
In February 2013, WWF-Indonesia in collaboration with ICRAF and government of Kutai Barat organized a workshop for government staff on how to determine REL using spatial approach and analysis (Maxent and Luwes) and further discussion on Kutai Barat sustainable development scenario.
Workshop is a continuation of the MRV training which was previously conducted in Balikpapan, December 2012. Participants of workshop are technical staff from the local Planning Office (Bappeda), Forestry Office, Agriculture Plantation Crop and Animal Husbandry Office, Public Works Agency, and the Mining and Energy Office. The series of workshop is necessary knowledge and skills to carry out technical works for sustainable development local scenario in Kutai Barat.
Both workshops are in line with the Regional Action Plan for Greenhouse Gases (Rencana Aksi Daerah dalam Penurunan Gas Rumah Kaca/RAD-GRK), both at the national level and at the level of East Kalimantan Province in low carbon development scenarios that support the Government of Indonesia's commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
Each district in East Kalimantan, including Kutai Barat District should prepare implementation strategy for low carbon development commitment while supporting the demand for 7% economic growth in the district development. With the RAD-GRK, each district will have a plan of joint efforts on environmental-friendly development activities, using resources efficiently, and simultaneously reduce emissions.
Dr. Stephanus Madang, the government representative when opening the workshop mentioned that to realize the sustainable development in Kutai Barat, it will be needed scenario/plan sustainable development involving the cooperation and commitment of all the parties in the implementation and achievement of sustainable development programs in line with Kutai Barat's vision and mission.
Moreover, Kutai Barat still has fairly extensive forests and other natural resources that are still not well-managed and organized in order to improve the local economy and public welfare by taking into account environmental aspect and in line with the principles of sustainable development.
WWF-Indonesia appreciated the government full participation in the workshop as it is helpful to support a success Kutai Barat as REDD+ pilot project in Indonesia, particularly in the Heart of Borneo area.
Capacity building on REL and sustainable development scenario will be organised into 3 phases of activities, which are on 19-20 February, 24-28 February, and 5-7 March. The activities are carried out separately in Kutai Barat and Bogor. The improved capacity will provide a big impact on environmental conservation and protection of biodiversity and climate change mitigation in Indonesia.