WHY WE NEED TO ACT
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.