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:

  • Supporting the Indonesian government in delivering on land-based and peat-based emissions reductions through institutional, policy, and regulatory reform, and improved fiscal mechanisms that deliver on land-use commitments and achieve a low emissions rural economy
  • 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


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