Forest and land management has been the government’s concern. This is indicated by various national policy, including the moratorium policy on the issuance of new permit in primary natural forests and peatlands through Presidential Instruction number 6/2017, peatland restoration in several priority areas, evaluation of IUPHHK-HTI and mining permits in forest areas through the KPK Coordination and Supervision, as well as Indonesia’s commitment through Nationally Determined Contribution in encouraging low carbon development and climate resilience.

Yet, several obstacles in forest management such as the prevention and control of forest fires, as well as deforestation and degradation caused by extractive industry through the issuance of a massive mining and plantation permits in recent years show that there are still challenges. Therefore, PWYP Indonesia held a discussion on “Extractive Industry Governance in Restrain Climate Change,” last Thursday (10/31).

As the last frontier, forest preservation efforts and restrain climate change in Indonesia cannot be separated from the context of forest preservation in Papua. This awareness became the basis of the West Papua Province government initiative which enacted West Papua as a Conservation Province, with the issuance of a Special Regional Regulation on Conservation and or Sustainable Development. The discussion was attended by representatives from the Ministry of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), civil society representatives from West Papua, and other civil society organizations.

Irfan Darliazi Yananto, Specialized Staff from the Ministry of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), in his presentation explained the concept of low carbon development. According to him, the ministry will use the Strategic Environmental Assessment (KLHS) as a tool to integrate environmental aspects into the National Medium-Term Development Plan 2020-2024 and the Regional Action Plan (RAD) for Low Carbon Development. So far, there are five (5) provinces that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on implementing low carbon development with Bappenas, namely Papua, West Papua, Central Java, West Java, and South Sulawesi.

“We try not only to see emissions reductions, but also the economic and social impacts,” said Irfan. In the future, Bappenas will conduct the low-carbo development mainstreaming through 2 phases. The first phase, introducing a dynamic system planning tool that enables analysis of social, environmental, and economic trade-off in various development scenarios. The second phase, namely strengthening the low carbon development policy; national monitoring, evaluation and reporting related to low carbon development; innovative financing mechanisms for business people; and increasing communication to enhance the awareness of the importance of sustainable development.

Responding to this, Piet Yan Wamaer the Director of Mnukwar, reminded that conservation initiatives and low carbon development need to be ensured carried out by not discrediting the indigenous peoples who have been heavily dependent on forests. According to him, currently, there are 90 villages that the government wants to expel from the forest area. Even though the people there have been living in the forest for a long time and are dependent on the natural resources around them.

On the other hand, loss of tree cover is also affected by concessions operating in forest areas. Mining activities are one of the causes of deforestation. Tiyas Nur Cahyani, Head of Environmental Protection Section of the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in a discussion session, explained how to manage mining in forest areas.

According to Tiyas, the total area of mining permits/contracts in the forest area is 2,3 million hectares (38%) in production forests, 1.65 million hectares (28%) in limited production forests, 1.17 million hectares (20%) in protected forests, 757 thousand hectares (13%) in production forests can be converted, and 64 thousand hectares (1%) are in conservation forests.

To ensure that there is no deforestation and forest degradation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources requires each mining company to have a reclamation plan for the ongoing mining activities and to ensure the fulfillment of reclamation and post-mining guarantee funds. The government also imposes administrative sanctions, e-PNBP (Electronic-Non Tax Revenue) blocking, or delaying the licensing services, for companies that do not fulfill reclamation and post-mining obligations. On the other hand, the monitoring function has been carried out using remote sensing and Spatial GIS. Specifically, in West Papua Province, Tiyas said, there are 1 Contract of Work, 1 Community Mining Permit, and 13 mining permits, with a total area of 215.978 hectares. Regarding forest conservation efforts in West Papua, the civil society plans to encourage participatory forest monitoring using the Global Forest Watch platform. Therefore, the community can jointly monitor the forest near them.

According to Asri Nuraeni, Program Manager of EI Forest Governance, the use of Global Forest Watch as a supporting tool for forest monitoring, is expected to facilitate the community in forest conservation efforts. Data findings from participatory monitoring also can be used as basic data in policy dialogues with relevant stakeholders.