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Reducing Emission from Deforestation

Case Studies

Despite the rampant illegal logging in Indonesia, deforestation is largely planned with policies that are directly and indirectly affecting the rates and extent. A great deal of policy analysis is, therefore needed to understand the root causes of deforestation. This way, the exercise can be linked to the international agreement and the future climate regimes where land-use, land-use change and forestry play significant roles.

At national level, there are huge challenges related to the institutional arrangement and regulatory framework associated with forest management. The decentralized authority offers both challenge and opportunity in managing forest in different ways. Enabling environment associated with policies and governance that support the implementation of RED need to be assessed across administrative and/or ecosystem domains to identify potential “champions” that demonstrate the additionality. Property rights for the forests and other lands will be one of the key issues to address responsibility and to determine the distribution of benefits.

Indonesia should be able to explore and carefully evaluate a full range of positive incentives to engage such activities, including the possibility of engaging private sector through emerging market-based mechanisms. Emissions from deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia alone are equivalent to the entire reduction commitments of the Annex 1 countries during the first commitment period. Based on the Stern Review this source is greater than the global emission from transportation, mainly in industrialized countries. Ignoring these emissions is no longer an option if the global community wants to deal with climate change.

How do we do it?

Methodological issues related to the development of baseline or reference level and monitoring strategies should be part of the capacity building exercises to be held with the host. This may be reconstructed at national level and implemented at sub national level.

Historical deforestation is one of the possible approaches leading to the projection of future deforestation (see Figure 1). Another possibility is to adopt the forest transition theory which treats each domain differently in terms of rates and trends of deforestation (see Figure 2). It is important to note that setting high reference level will create “hot air”, and violate the principle of additionality, while too low reference will make participation unattractive. Case studies are needed to evaluate the barriers and opportunity of getting significant carbon credits.

In addressing the issues, a working group of researchers from CIFOR, ICRAF, Indonesian Soil Research Institute, Brawijaya University and Forest Research and Development Agency under the Alternative to Slash and Burn (ASB) partnerships are conducting case studies in three provinces: East Kalimantan, Jambi and Lampung. These three provinces represent different stages in the forest transition in Indonesia.

This study will take advantages of the rich database and knowledge accumulated in the institutions involved during ASB projects and other projects over more than 10 years. The period of this study is from April 2007 to December 2007. The deliverables would be categorized in the following areas: (i). Carbon stock accounting, (ii). Trade-offs in abatement cost, and (iii). Policy dialogue on RED mechanisms

Figure 1. The use of historical deforestation rate to project national reference scenario

Figure 2. Hypothetical forest transition in Indonesia’s main islands