Yesterday in Jakarta, a coalition of NGOs held a press conference to demand that the Indonesian government takes meaningful action to protect Indonesia’s remaining forests. Among their demands is that the two-year moratorium on new forest concessions should be extended beyond May 2013.

In that, they have the support of the head of Indonesia’s REDD+ Task Force, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who recently told Reuters that, “From my perspective, I’ve proposed to the president to extend. It is good that we can extend for another year, maybe two.”

The Ministry of Forestry also supports extending the moratorium. Hadi Daryanto, secretary general at the forestry ministry, told Reuters that, “The ministry of forestry would like to continue the moratorium and provide degraded land for business.”

Kuntoro said he was, “happy with the results so far,” from the moratorium. “It is still not perfect but at least we are close.” And Daryanto said, “We have had success with the moratorium.” That’s where the NGOs disagree. In a press release they explain that,

“Indonesia’s forest area is shrinking fast each year while local governments are undermining the moratorium by redefining large areas of forest to non-forest so that they are not protected by the moratorium, as well as planning or permitting huge food and agriculture developments.”

On 22 January 2012, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a Presidential Decision (pdf file, 832.9 kB) extending the life of the REDD+ Task Force until 30 June 2013. The Task Force was supposed to complete its work by the end of 2012, when it was to have been replaced by a REDD+ Agency.

Last year, REDD-Monitor interviewed Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and Heru Prasetyo of the REDD+ Task Force. I asked about the REDD+ Agency, and whether it would exist before the end of 2012. Kuntoro said that he hoped the REDD+ Agency would be formed by the end of the year, and Heru added that on 13 July 2012, the Task Force had issued its report on the REDD+ Agency to the President.

Clearly, the REDD+ Agency will have an important role to play. During the interview, Kuntoro pointed out that issues such as regulation, policy review and legal enforcement will have to wait until the REDD+ Agency is formed. Equally clearly, this is an serious delay to the implementation of REDD in Indonesia. The reasons behind the delay are far less clear.

Below is yesterday’s press release from The Coalition for Saving Indonesian Forests and Global Climate, in English and Bahasa Indonesia:

“Saving Indonesia’s Remaining Forests Can No Longer be Delayed”

-The Coalition for Saving Indonesian Forests and Global Climate-

28 January 2013. The Coalition for Saving Indonesian Forests and Global Climate questions the government’s pro-poor and pro-environment commitment. Implementation of measures to save Indonesia’s remaining forests contained in the REDD+ National Strategy is threatened as a REDD+ institution mandated therein has not been established while the operational term of the REDD+ Task Force has already expired.

Adding to this critical situation, unless the moratorium is extended, it could expire on 20 May 2013 before it has delivered on its objectives. Indonesia’s forest area is shrinking fast each year while local governments are undermining the moratorium by redefining large areas of forest to non-forest so that they are not protected by the moratorium, as well as planning or permitting huge food and agriculture developments. The Province of Papua is a good example of this tragedy. The most recent indicative map of moratorium (PIPIB 3rd Revision) analyzed by Greenpeace shows that there has been an alteration of forest function from that of protected forest to production the size of 339,791 Ha.

The moratorium so far has also not been able to fundamentally improve Indonesian forest governance because its lifespan is limited to only two years. In Indonesia, the size of forest area that enjoys legality of status and has been properly gazetted is only 14%. Besides, until 2012, only 14 provinces have already had a Regional Regulation on Provincial Spatial Planning (RTRWP), which serves an important role to control and secure forest area from ‘license sale’ conducted by regional governments. Such poor forest governance has led to proliferation of forestry conflicts. The National Forestry Council (DKN) records ongoing forest management conflicts in 19,420 villages in 33 provinces throughout Indonesia, as shown in cases like Mesuji, Senyerang and Pulau Padang. The total area in dispute is the highest compared to other agrarian sectors, covering more than 1.2 million hectares (HuMa, 2012).

On the other hand, we have been witnessing massive disasters due to the shrinking of forest that serves as water catchment area and supports other ecological functions. Floods in Jambi, Central Kalimantan and the massive one in Wasior, Papua, should have been considered a wake-up call for forest governance sector. Recent floods in Jakarta, partially caused by deforestation to the mountain sources and banks of the 13 rivers that flow into Jakarta, provide a futher reminder to the government of the consequences of not following through on their commitment to save the remaining forests.

However, each measure to save forests continues being impeded. The existing moratorium was delayed and seriously weakened by heavy lobbying from industry and other government ministries. For example, the Presidential Instruction included exemptions for the exploitation of energy resources like coal. In addition to poor legal status and unclear task division, a mandate to review licenses is neither included nor regulated in the current Presidential Instruction. There is also no protection for the millions of hectares of peatland – crucial ecosystems for endangered species like Sumatran tigers and orangutans, and Bornean orangutans, as well as thousands of communities who depend on the peatlands for their livelihood, .

Meanwhile, the REDD+ National Strategy was prepared with an aim to improve Indonesian forest governance fundamentally and comprehensively. The preparation process was relatively transparent and has involved relevant stakeholders. It acknowledges that currently Indonesian forest governance is facing acute problems, which require extraordinary solutions, aside from ‘business as usual’ measures. However, this strand of effort is also under attack. The REDD+ National Strategy, which was to be issued in the form of presidential regulation, is now only decided by a Decree of the Head of Task Force for the Preparation of REDD+ Institution (SK No.02/SATGAS REDD+/09/2012), clearly weakening its legal status.

In light of such situations, the Coalition urges the government to immediately undertake measures to fundamentally and comprehensively improve forestry governance by strengthening and extending the moratorium policy in accordance with pre-defined performance standards (performance-based moratorium). The Government should also implement the REDD+ National Strategy comprehensively to respect the rights of indigenous people and local communities that has led to massive land conflicts and brought Indonesia’s forests, and the peoples and species that depend on them, to the brink of destruction.

Prepared by The Coalition for Saving Indonesian Forests and Global Climate

“Penyelamatan Hutan Tersisa Tidak Bisa Lagi Ditunda”
Koalisi Penyelamatan Hutan Indonesia dan Iklim Global

Jakarta, 28 Januari 2013. Koalisi Penyelamatan Hutan Indonesia dan Iklim Global mempertanyakan perwujudan komitemen pro-poor dan pro-green pemerintah. Langkah-langkah penyelamatan hutan yang tercantum di dalam Stratnas REDD+ terancam tidak bisa diimplementasikan karena kelembagaan REDD+ sebagaimana dimandatkan di dalamnya bahkan belum terbentuk. Padahal, Satgas REDD+ telah usai masa tugasnya.

Menambah kegentingan yang ada, Penundaan Pemberian Izin Baru dan Perbaikan Tata Kelola Kehutanan yang dituangkan melalui Inpres No.10 Tahun 2011 (baca: Inpres Moratorium) akan habis masa berlakunya pada Mei 2013 ini dan belum jelas langkah nyata selanjutnya. Hutan alam tersisa luasannya terus menyusut setiap tahunnya, sebagaimana yang terjadi di Propinsi Papua. Berdasarkan analisis PIPIB revisi 3, Greenpeace menemukan terjadi lagi perubahan fungsi kawasan dari hutan lindung menjadi hutan produksi seluas 339.791 Ha.

Regulasi ini pun belum mampu memperbaiki tata kelola kehutanan Indonesia secara mendasar karena pelaksanaannya dibatasi oleh waktu yang hanya 2 tahun. Hingga saat ini, kawasan hutan yang telah dikukuhkan dan memiliki legalitas status baru sekitar 14 persen. Selain itu, hingga 2012, hanya 14 propinsi yang telah memiliki Peraturan Daerah Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah Propinsi (RTRWP). Padahal, RTRWP berperan penting guna mengontrol sekaligus mengamankan luasan hutan dari sasaran obral perijinan Pemerintah Daerah. Tata kelola yang buruk ini menyebabkan konflik kehutanan terus berkembang. Dewan Kehutanan Nasional bahkan mencatat terjadinya konflik tenurial pengelolaan kawasan hutan pada 19.420 desa di 33 propinsi seantero Indonesia, seperti yang terjadi di Mesuji, Senyerang, dan Pulau Padang, sementara 31.957 desa di dalam dan di kawasan hutan belum jelas statusnya. Luasan konflik di sektor kehutanan ini paling tinggi dibandingkan sektor agraria lainnya, yakni mencapai lebih dari 1,2 juta hektar
(HuMa, 2012).

Di sisi lain, bencana yang telah terjadi akibat terus berkurangnya luasan hutan sebagai daerah tangkapan air (water catchment area) maupun sarana pendukung ekologis lain sudah masif terjadi. Banjir di Jambi, Kalimantan Tengah, dan yang tentu belum terlepas dari ingatan adalah banjir bandang di Wasior Papua seharusnya sudah bisa menjadi warning bagi pengelolaan hutan. Banjir Jakarta baru-baru ini harus menjadi pelajaran yang menggugah kesadaran untuk menyelamatkan hutan.

Namun, upaya demi upaya penyelamatan hutan selalu mendapatkan penjegalan. Moratorium penerbitan izin dijegal sedari proses penerbitannya dan substansinya lalu dikerdilkan. Pasal pengecualian yang termuat di dalam Inpres tersebut menyiratkan diakomodasinya kepentingan untuk terus merusak hutan. Selain dasar hukum yang lemah dan cakupan serta pembagian tugas yang sumir dan tidak jelas, kaji ulang atas perizinan yang pernah diterbitkan juga dibuang dari naskah Inpres tersebut.

Strategi Nasional REDD+ disusun sebagai upaya perbaikan tata kelola kehutanan Indonesia secara mendasar dan menyeluruh. Penyusunannya dilakukan secara terbuka dan mengikutsertakan para pihak terkait. Telah disadari bahwa saat ini tengah terdapat persoalan akut tata kelola kehutanan sehingga resolusinya pun harus luar biasa (extraordinary), bukan business as usual. Akan tetapi, upaya ini dilemahkan juga. Stranas yang tadinya diharapkan diterbitkan setidaknya oleh Peraturan Presiden ini pada akhirnya hanya ditetapkan dengan Surat Keputusan Kepala Satuan Tugas Persiapan Kelembagaan REDD+ (SK No.02/SATGAS REDD+/09/2012), proses pelemahan hukum yang sangat jelas.

Menyikapi situasi di atas, Koalisi mendesak pemerintah untuk sesegera mungkin melakukan perbaikan mendasar dan menyeluruh tata kelola sumber daya alam melalui perpanjangan pelaksanaan moratorium berbasis capaian dan implementasi Strategi Nasional REDD+ secara menyeluruh untuk menyelesaikan secara sistemik persoalan pengabaian hak masyarakat adat dan komunitas lokal yang selama ini memicu konflik tenurial dan mendorong hutan Indonesia ke jurang kehancuran.

Disampaikan oleh Koalisi Penyelamatan Hutan Indonesia dan Iklim Global