The Forest Scribe

Activists Want Role of Civil Communities in Allocation of GCF Fund

Civil communities must the involved in determining the allocation of fund from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) so that they can be effectively used to curb deforestation and degradation, especially by strengthening Social Forestry and Forest Management Units (KPHs), an environmental watchdog said.

In a statement dated August 30, 2020, the Madani Berkelanjutan Foundation expressed its appreciation that the Indonesian government managed to gets it proposal to the Green Climate Fund (CGF) approved in the framework of the payment for performance in reducing emission by curbing deforestation and degradation (REDD+.)

“This fund from the GCF can provide the opportunity to encourage the recognition and strengthening of the rights of indigenous and local communities in attaining Indonesia’s climate commitments. This fund from the GCF should really be prioritize to curb deforestation and degradation at the site level through the strengthening of Social Forests and Forest Management Units,” the statement said.

These two initiatives, could strengthen the tenurial rights of indigenous and local communities and contribute to the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation if implemented well and base on the active participation of all stakeholders. 

Muhammad Teguh Surya, Executive Director of The Madani Berkelanjutan foundation said that the fund that amount to $103.8 million was a payment for Indonesia’s success in reducing emission by some 20.3 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“We welcome that the fund received by the Indonesian government will be used in line with the instruction of the President to restore the environment based on communities. For this, the implementation of the program and the channeling of the fund should be really transparent and the priority programs to be executed should be widely consulted with elements of indigenous and local communities and civil organizations,” Teguh said.

He added that so that the allocation of the funds really is well targeted, there was a need for a multi-stakeholder organ to be set up within the Environmental Fund Management Agency (BPDLH) that includes representation of indigenous and local communities and civil organizations, and there also needs to be clarity in the role and responsibilities of the program’s institution that would managed the fund received.

Meanwhile, Anggalia Putri Permatasari, Knowledge Management manager of Madani Berkelanjutan foundation, said that the priority programs funded from under the GCF should really be community-based programs which will restore the environment, including to accelerate and strengthen social forestry and the recognition of indigenous territories.

“The social forestry program and the strengthening of KPH should also be synergized with the programs to adapt to or mitigate climate change, to restore peat, to rehabilitate critical land and the reduction of deforestation and degradation which are the main mitigation in the NDC for the forestry sector,” Anggalia said.

KPH is a site-level forest management unit under the responsibility of the state at various levels – central, provincial, district/municipal – aimed at a clear economic, social and ecological management determined through a long-term management plan, an annual work plan and a business plan related to the forest’s main function.

Anggalia said that the government should therefore strengthen the role of KPH at site level by providing a mandate and the resources to settle tenurial conflicts and facilitate prevention and settlement of violations of the rights of indigenous communities and also to enforce the law regarding forestry permits.

 “To accelerate the attainment of social forestry and the recognition of indigenous territories, the government should also conduct a harmonization of the Indicative Map for Social Forestry Areas and the Map of Indigenous Community Territories with the various development-related land usage or exploitation permits,” she added.

The government, she said, should also be more active in pushing for the passage of the draft Law on Indigenous Communities, that would provide a formal recognition of indigenous communities and their rights, including on forest resources.

Besides of being a constitutional obligation, strengthening the rights on land and the tenurial resilience of indigenous and local communities was a condition that needed to be realized in order to help Indonesia to become successful in reducing deforestation and forest degradation and reach its climate commitments.

More from Bhimanto Suwastoyo. 
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