Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the U.S. The vast majority of Indonesia’s emissions do not come from fossil fuels – instead, they come from the clearing and burning of millions of hectares of forests and peatlands. The drainage and agricultural development of peatlands alone accounts for almost half of Indonesia’s total emissions, but provides only 1% of GDP.

Millions of Indonesians in over thirty thousand rural villages depend directly on the country’s forests for their livelihoods. The oil palm and pulp and paper industries that are the principal drivers of deforestation provide relatively little benefit to those people. Indeed, conflicts over land and resource rights are common because the industries generally pursue a resource-depleting business model, rather than investing in sustainability, intensification, capacity building, and technical assistance to smallholders.

However, there are some positive signs. The Government of Indonesia has committed to reducing deforestation, recognizing the collective lands right of rural villages, and pursuing low-carbon development strategies.


IN INDONESIA, we aim to support a shift to a low-emissions rural economy that enhances local livelihoods and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from forests and peatlands.

Where we focus


The Climate and Land Use Alliance is committed to assisting in this effort, working with the government, civil society, and the private sector.

The Indonesia Initiative focuses on:

  • Integrating the concept of a more balanced rural economy as the basis for implementing emission reductions into the development of the REDD+ agency and reporting and verification system, and other related government agencies
  • Extending and strengthening community rights over land and forest resources in order to contribute to a low-emissions rural economy
  • Ensuring that leading private sector actors adopt good practice based on mutually enforceable contracts with communities
  • Advancing a multi-stakeholder partnership for the palm oil sector to protect and restore forests and peatlands, improve productivity of small farmers, and benefit local and indigenous communities
  • Supporting Indonesia’s Peatlands Restoration Agency (BRG) efforts to protect and restore peatlands


Global Witness finds at least 185 environmental defenders murdered in 2015. LEARN MORE »
Asia Pulp & Paper is building one of world’s largest pulp mills without a sustainable wood supply. LEARN MORE »
Economist reports "until politicians call a halt, Indonesia’s forests will keep burning." LEARN MORE »