Jokowi in COP26: The Importance of Sustainable Forest Management Through Certification and Incentives

Jokowi stated that sustainable forest management can be achieved if there is market incentives for certification and product standard.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed his views regarding forests as part of the global climate at the World Leaders Summit on Forest and Land Use as part of the COP26 which was held at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday (02/11/2021). 

“Sustainable forest management policies must combine environmental with economic and social considerations. Partnerships with the community are also prioritized," President Jokowi said in his speech.

The President explained that the social forestry program was created so that forest conservation is accompanied by the creation of livelihoods for the surrounding community. This is important, because 34 percent of all villages in Indonesia are located on the border or within forest areas. 

“Millions of Indonesian people depend on the forestry sector for their livelihood. Denying this is not only unrealistic, but also unsustainable," Jokowi said. 

President Jokowi said that 90 percent of the world's population who live in extreme poverty depend on forests. Misusing the issue of climate change as a trade barrier is a big mistake. 

"This will erode trust in international cooperation to overcome climate change, and even hinder sustainable development which is really needed," he added. Therefore, President Jokowi considers that forest management within the framework of sustainable development is the only option.

President Joko Widodo as a speaker at the World Leaders Summit on Forest and Land Use, at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday (02/11/2021). (Photo: BPMI Setpres/Laily Rachev)
President Joko Widodo as a speaker at the World Leaders Summit on Forest and Land Use, at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday (02/11/2021). (Photo: BPMI Setpres/Laily Rachev)

"First, our attention must cover all types of forest ecosystems. Not only tropical forests, but also temperate and boreal climate forests," said the President.

Forest fires, for example, have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity regardless of the type of ecosystem. The devastating fires in the Americas, Europe and Australia become a common concern

"Indonesia is ready to share its experiences about its success in dealing with forest and land fires with these countries," he added.

Furthermore, the President explained that regarding forest management, Indonesia has also changed its paradigm, from product management to forest landscape management. This makes forest area management more comprehensive. 

In addition, Indonesia is also carrying out restoration of mangrove ecosystems which play a significant role in absorbing and storing carbon. 

Indonesia has more than 20 percent of the world's total mangrove area, the largest in the world. Indonesia will also establish a World Mangrove Center in Indonesia, he continued. 

Second, President Jokowi considers that an incentive mechanism must be provided for sustainable forest management. 

Certification and production standards must be accompanied by market incentives, so as to encourage sustainable forest management, not become a trade barrier.

The President also emphasized that these certifications, methodologies and standards must be based on parameters that are recognized multilaterally, not imposed unilaterally and fluctuate. Certification must also be fair so that it has an impact on welfare, especially for small farmers.

"Certification must also consider all aspects of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) so that it is useful for clarifying and empowering the community," he said. 

Third, President Jokowi sees the need to mobilize financial and technological support for developing countries. According to him, commitments must be made through concrete actions, not rhetoric. 

The President emphasized that providing assistance does not mean being able to dictate, let alone violating the sovereignty of a country over its territory. Support should be state driven, based on the real needs of developing country as the forest owners. 

“For Indonesia, with or without support, we will keep moving forward. We develop innovative investment sources, including the establishment of an Environmental Fund Management Agency, issuance of green bonds and green sukuk, as well as developing a Carbon Economic Value mechanism as an incentive for the private sector to achieve emission reductions," he explained.