Envıronmental Issues

Envıronmental Issues

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by coronavirus pandemic

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by coronavirus pandemic

6/8/2020 12:42:00 PM

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by coronavirus pandemic

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half - an area twice the size of Los Angeles - because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Mr Bambang Supriyanto, the ministry's director-general of social forestry and environmental partnership, said social distancing measures from March to June had halted the technical work needed on the ground to certify the handover of land.The pandemic will see this year's target of 500,000ha reduced by 50 per cent, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ion Orchard, Lucky Plaza and Paragon among places visited by Covid-19 cases while infectious Iconic Indian singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam dies after two months of treatment for Covid-19 Coal miner's daughter comes top in Afghan university entrance exam

In 2014, President Joko Widodo pledged to hand over 12.7 million hectares of state forests to rural communities within five years, an ambitious bid to resolve intractable land conflicts while helping curb planet-warming emissions.Although the 2019 deadline was missed, the government is working to speed things up, but the pandemic has hampered efforts this year.

The social forestry programme is also intended to tackle rural poverty by establishing thousands of forest enterprises, ranging from eco-tourism ventures to sustainable management of forest products such as bamboo and rattan.Agriculture and forestry accounted for more than a third of national income in 2014, but poverty among those living in or near forests exceeded the national average.

Meeting the target would see community management of forests rise from about 1 per cent of Indonesia's forest estate to more than 10 per cent."Whether it was only a leap of faith, Jokowi's decision was remarkable," said Ms Delia Catacutan, South-east Asia coordinator at the World Agroforestry Centre."Critics and spectators were sceptical the government would be able to do it in the first place."

New rules to speed up implementation were introduced in 2016, cutting out local governments and enabling communities to apply directly to the central government to manage land.A working group established in 2017 brought academia, non-profit groups and government offices together to support communities in the application process.

Transferring land to communities progressed slowly at first, with just over 1 million hectares authorised for community management by 2017.However, the ministry accelerated the community forestry programme in 2018 with higher funding and trimmed red tape.

The latest government data show the transfer of 4.2 million hectares had been authorised by late June this year, almost a third of the original target."In the bigger scheme of things, the 4.2 million hectares of licensed land presents significant progress given the tumultuous land conflict in Indonesia," noted Ms Catacutan.

Man allegedly takes upskirt photo of woman in Hougang, punches her when confronted Thai activists protest in front of King's villa in Germany Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes first woman to lie in state at US Capitol

CUTTING EMISSIONSThis May, the ministry authorised a 9,480ha area of customary land for the Dayak Iban indigenous group in Borneo.That was the largest-ever recognition of an indigenous community's customary land, according to Mr Yuli Prasetyo Nugroho, head of the ministry's indigenous forest and customary knowledge section.

In mid-July, as coronavirus restrictions eased, some forestry staff returned to work in the field in rural areas with low virus transmission rates, said Mr Supriyanto.Total land authorised under Indonesia's social forestry programme could reach close to 5 million hectares by the end of 2021, according to the ministry's updated plans.

By giving local communities a direct stake in the landscape, the programme aims to soothe conflict, cut carbon emissions by slowing deforestation, nurture biodiversity and boost incomes.Conversion of forest land for agriculture and other economic purposes, which fuels peatland fires and destroys mangroves, accounts for about two-thirds of Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia's national climate action plan, submitted to the United Nations, pledges to reduce emissions by 29-41 per cent from business-as-usual levels by 2030.But the contribution social forestry could make to meeting that target needs to be studied further, said Mr Arief Wijaya, senior manager of climate, forests and oceans at the World Resources Institute in Indonesia.

"Our recent analysis over social forestry areas in Indonesia shows that partly there is reduced deforestation in (those) areas," he said.Nonetheless, some forestry scientists are concerned that not all communities will have the capacity to implement the land management plan agreed with the government.

Community forestry programmes in the Philippines, for example, have lacked the technical support services needed to make them successful in the long term.Some Indonesian communities may also struggle to manage their land as a sustainable enterprise, experts fear.

COVID-19 death toll could double to two million before vaccine in wide use: WHO Two charged in deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Massachusetts veterans' home Badminton- World Tour's Asian leg moved to January 2021

Management plans often require communities to work with the ministries for small business and trade, which adds complexity. Read more: The Straits Times »

Sexual offences, quotas and serving NS: K Shanmugam speaks frankly about women’s issues

After launching a series of public engagements on women’s issues in a move towards greater gender equality on Sunday (Sep 20), Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam sits down with Lin Suling to talk about gender relations, the law and sexual offences, and women in the workplace. He also gives his take on whether quotas would work and responds to comments about women serving National Service.

Indonesia economy contracts for first time in 21 years due to coronavirus pandemicJAKARTA - Indonesia's economy contracted by 5.32 per cent in the second quarter compared to a year ago, its first negative growth in 21 years.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

BMW plunges to second-quarter EBIT loss as coronavirus pandemic hits car salesBMW said it expected an operating profit for the full year even as coronavirus lockdowns pushed the carmaker to a second-quarter operating loss ...

Embraer's commercial aviation revenue plummets by 82per cent on coronavirus pandemicBrazil's Embraer said on Wednesday that revenue at its commercial aviation segment, usually its largest and most profitable, had tumbled 82per ...

Golf: John Daly cites health concerns amid coronavirus pandemic for skipping PGA Championship(REUTERS) - Two-time Major winner John Daly said on Monday (Aug 3) that concerns about his health amid the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted his decision to withdraw from this week's PGA Championship.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Australia's Victoria reports deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemicMELBOURNE: Australia's worst-hit state of Victoria reported 15 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday (Aug 5), including a man in his 30s, making it the ...

Malaysia pushes tech hub to help economy ride out coronavirus pandemicKUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia's technology cluster in Penang is helping drive an economic recovery that could see the country bounce back faster than any of its peers in South-east Asia.. Read more at straitstimes.com.