Indonesia is home to the third largest area of tropical forests in the world after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its forests contain some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems and provide livelihoods for a third of its population.
There has been good progress in reducing deforestation in Indonesia, with the rate of primary forest loss declining from 2015 to 2018. Yet Indonesia still has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. In 2016 alone, Indonesia lost more than one million hectares of natural forest – a third of the area of Belgium – following a year of major fires in 2015. This makes Indonesia a major greenhouse gas emitter. Significant amounts of deforestation and accompanying emissions are due to illegal conversion to industrial forestry and agriculture, small-scale farming, and human-induced disasters, including wildfires aggravated by climatic conditions.
Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Indonesia aims to limit annual deforestation to 325 000 hectares between 2020 and 2030. In recent years, Indonesia has strengthened law enforcement to prevent land clearing and forest fire, while working to restore degraded peatlands to reduce fire and emissions. It is the first country to implement a nationwide system for verifying the legality of timber products through a partnership with the European Union (EU). Since 2016, Indonesia has exported only verified legal timber products under its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). In 2019, Indonesia also made permanent a moratorium banning the clearing of primary forests and peatlands.
EU REDD Facility work in Indonesia
We work with Indonesian partners to raise understanding of how improving land-use governance and addressing illegal forest conversion can help achieve climate change targets, while advancing economic and social development goals.
Our focus is on:
- Clarifying and strengthening legal frameworks in forest and land-use governance.
- Enabling sustainable land management and investments that benefit smallholders and indigenous communities.
- Increasing supply chain transparency and removing deforestation from forest-risk commodities, such as palm oil and timber.
Peat swamp in the Pelalawan District, Riau, Indonesia by Satrio Adi Wicaksono, EU REDD Facility
Improving legal frameworks
Backing Indonesia’s efforts to reduce deforestation and achieve its climate objectives, we are identifying and addressing gaps in legal frameworks for conversion of natural forest to other uses, such as agriculture. We are also supporting efforts to strengthen the implementation of these legal frameworks. Further, we support efforts to clarify land tenure and establish regulations so that customary communities can manage forests sustainably. We collaborate closely with the EU FLEGT Facility to improve the legality and sustainability of timber production and trade in Indonesia.
Sustainable land management
We are supporting sustainable development and improved forest management through integration of customary forestry into Indonesia’s national timber legality assurance system under the EU-Indonesian FLEGT VPA. We have worked to support West Papua’s conservation ambition by developing a system for monitoring sustainability across the province. We have also assessed the feasibility of linking information on licences for mining, plantations and forestry with data on revenues in the Indonesian Government’s licensing information system.
by Robertus Pudyanto, EU REDD Facility
Transparency in deforestation-free production and trade
With government, civil society and private sector partners, we are designing a system called Terpercaya to track and assess ways for districts to show that agricultural commodities such as palm oil are produced sustainably and in compliance with national regulations. We are also working to include Indonesian palm oil in Trase, an online platform that improves the transparency, clarity and accessibility of information on the commodity supply chains that drive tropical deforestation. Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil, and the palm oil sector is a significant driver of deforestation. Through the Terpercaya and Trase initiatives, we hope to enhance collaborative efforts involving Indonesia, the EU, and beyond to reduce the risks of deforestation in palm oil and other value chains.
Indonesia’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement
The EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is the EU’s response to the problem of illegal logging. Fifteen tropical timber-exporting countries are negotiating or implementing FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU. Indonesia ratified its VPA with the EU in 2014 and began issuing FLEGT licences in 2016, the first country in the world to do so. For more information, see the Indonesia page on the EU FLEGT Facility's website.