Community Leaders Attend RECOFTC’s Silver Jubilee in Indonesia

RECOFC’s Silver Jubilee celebration in Indonesia was organized on 20 September 2012 in Jakarta. The event was attended by 30 participants representing government officials from the Ministry of Forestry, donor agencies, NGO partners, and community leader representatives.

Guests participated in the celebration of RECOFTC’s Silver Jubilee.

Indonesia is a key country for RECOFTC given the wealth of its forest resources and the millions of local people who depend on them for their subsistence. Despite the commitment of the central government to boost community forest development, lack of capacity at provincial and district levels has hampered progress to date. The process of acquiring official permits for community forests remain slow due to complicated procedures and bureaucracy, not to mention the lack of support provided to community forest proponents. Reversing this power equation and “Putting the Last First,” as recommended by Robert Chambers in his publication of that name, should be the norm for local government units.

These were some of the candid reflections at a panel discussion held in Jakarta on 20 September, 2012, to mark the 25th Silver Jubilee of RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests. The panelists were Mr. Subhan, a prominent community leader from Labbo Forest Village, Bantaeng district, South Sulawesi, and one of the first officially recognized village forests in Indonesia; representing the government was Mr. Haryadi Himawan, Director of Land Rehabilitation and Social Forestry at the Ministry of Forestry; and Mr. Kusworo, from Flora and Fauna International, who was the civil society representative.

The participants credited the strong commitment and collaboration amongst the villagers of Labbo, RECOFTC, the district government, and the University of Hasannuddin, as key to the successful realization of the first Village Forest. Legal recognition and the ensuing security have already resulted in better management of forest resources and improved livelihoods – in one study, the income from coffee has increased some 50%.

However, the slow follow up in recognizing other Forest Villages has caused concern. RECOFTC’s field and capacity building work, particularly with the Center for Forestry Education and Training (CFET), Bogor, Indonesia was seen as both relevant and warmly appreciated in this context by Dr. Agus Justianto, head of the organization. Indeed, RECOFTC has had an active training program in Indonesia for over 14 years and recently renewed its MoU with the Government to widen and deepen its support for the community forestry movement.

The event was attended by 30 participants representing government officials from Ministry of Forestry, donor agencies, NGO partners and representatives from communities. The informal gathering provided a good opportunity for networking and a better understanding of RECOFTC’s activities in Indonesia with the scope for widening collaborations in the near future.

Please click here for more information on our Silver Jubilee.

Please click here to be directed to our Indonesia country program page.

In the news – government efforts to curb illegal logging

A weekly news roundup by Lena Buell, RECOFTC Assistant Communications Officer. RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests does not necessarily endorse the content of the news, nor is it our official position.

This week, we’ve seen a number of encouraging examples of governments working harder to crack down on illegal logging. While much is still to be done, it’s heartening to see officials enforcing stricter regulations.


Daily News Digest – 18 December 2009

With the arrival of heads of state in Copenhagen, many of the final discussions are happening behind closed doors and the news wires are falling silent. The Guardian’s Copenhagen Sketch captures the mood at the talks, from rumors and in-party arguments to the roller coaster of optimism and pessimism pervading the atmosphere. Other recent developments are captured in the listed articles below.

New York Times – U.S. offer of aid pushes climate talks further
Heeding the call of developing countries for monetary aid for adaptation needs, the U.S. backed a proposal to create an international fund worth $100 billion a year.
Full article in the New York Times

Al Jazeera – Clock ticking on climate deal
An internal UN document finds that the emissions cuts offered so far at the summit will lead to a 3C degree rise in global temperatures. Full article in Al Jazeera.

Times of India – G-77 forces West to put Kyoto on top
Developing countries took a unified stand against a move to further marginalize the Kyoto Protocol, and put it back into discussions. Full article in India Times.

Jakarta Post – Indonesian President busy lobbying counterparts in climate talks
BBC News – Climate deal cannot ignore rainforests
Mongabay – Half world’s science academies support call to save rainforests


The very latest REDD draft has been released, where heads of government will make the final decisions about the fate of the remaining bracketed text.

More details to follow. Click the link below to read.


Daily News Digest – 17 December 2009

An eruption of protests in Copenhagen may have overwhelmed the news cycle covering the happenings in Copenhagen, but the past 24 hours has yielded other major breakthroughs: new REDD text, a $3.5 billion pledge to fund REDD, and the arrival of world leaders to drive progress forward.

Reuters – Developed countries pledge US$3.5 billion to fight deforestation
The United States, Australia, France, Japan, Norway and Britain have joined together in pledging billions towards funding immediate steps for starting REDD efforts from 2010 to 2012. Full article on Reuters.
Press release from US Department of Agriculture

The Guardian – Final reckoning: what the leaders must do to thrash out a deal
As the talks reach their final days, several issues will be high on the agenda for the world leaders now descending upon Copenhagen: the fate of the Kyoto Protocol, promises for climate finance, and a setting a deadline for a treaty. Full article in the Guardian.

The Jakarta Post – Climate talks deadlocked as clashes erupt outside
VOV News – Vietnam joins efforts to combat climate change
India Times – India fears Copenhagen climate talks may collapse
Irish Times – Chinese Ambassador statement on climate change conference

Daily News Digest – 14 December 2009

Reuters – Forest communities said key to climate fight

Reporting from CIFOR’s Forest Day 3, officials and academics agree that safeguards to protect and compensate local communities are key for halting deforestation. Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom also spoke at the event:

“If local people and indigenous people in the developing world are not recognised and assigned clear rights, we could end up with more deforestation,” – Elinor Ostrom, 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics.

Full article on Reuters

Bangkok Post – Firms seek tough stand on climate deal

Local business leaders in Thailand have called on the government not to ratify any new climate change deal if developed countries do not commit to funding and technology transfers. Full article in the Bangkok Post.

Thanh Nien News – Vietnam third most disaster-ravaged nation in 2008

A recently released report named Vietnam as one of the countries hit the hardest by natural disasters, reaffirming the need for COP15 and a climate change treaty to enable transfer of funds and technology to developing countries for adaptation. Full article in Thanh Nien News. – UN Climate Wall brings climate change testimonies to COP 15

The UN Climate Wall is a touch screen display embedded with real-life stories, where people from Cambodia, Bangladesh, and other countries describe how climate change is impacting people their lives. Full article on

Mongabay – New REDD text is weak, say activists
Associated Press – Lack of money could hurt forest deal
IPS News – Asian delegates want ‘political accord’ for now
The Guardian – Poor countries threaten climate deal showdown at summit

Daily News Digest – 11 December 2009

Phnom Penh PostCambodia expected to seek funding at climate summit

Cambodia’s delegation will soon touch down in Copenhagen, where it is expected to press for adaptation funding to help Cambodia meet climate related challenges.
Full article in the Phnom Penh Post

Bangkok PostBattle of the texts looms at UN climate talks

China accused developed nations of failing to live up to their promises, and the Pacific-island state of Tuvalu called for a legally binding amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that would require large developing economies set targets for emissions cuts. Full article in the Bangkok Post

ReutersTiny Tuvalu in spotlight at climate talks

Key facts about Tuvalu and the climate-related challenges it faces as a Pacific island nation. Full article on Reuters

Mysinchew.comJapan, Indonesia call for Copenhagen deal

Japan recently offered a 425 million dollar loan to Indonesia for climate change mitigation, as the two countries jointly set a standard for cooperation in order to involve other major emitters. Full article

Channel News Asia – China and India at forefront of Copenhagen discussions
Brunei FM – China willing to work with ASEAN to tackle climate change
The Standard – Asia particularly at risk to climate change

Introducing the Daily News Digest

We know there’s no shortage to the amount of news covering the events in Copenhagen. To give you the Asia-Pacific perspective, Covering Copenhagen will post regular news digests of the most informative articles for Asia-Pacific readers.

Mongabay.comLeaked document seen as sidelining poor countries

A leaked document, outlining a potential climate change treaty, threatens to further divide developing nations from wealthy countries. Full article on Mongabay

New York Times – Small nations weigh the power of the walkout

Following the leaked text of a controversial outline for a climate change treaty, many developing nations have begun considering a walkout to call attention to their plight. Full article in the New York Times

Jakarta Post – Gap widens between G77 member states

Indonesia proposed an “umbrella decision” of reaching a legally binding treaty by next June at the latest, in the hopes of preventing deadlock in Copenhagen. Full article in the Jakarta Post

Reuters – Bangladesh to seek 15% of any climate fund

Bangladesh’s Minister of the Environment says that Bangladesh is entitled to ask for at least 15% of any climate change adaptation fund pledged by developed countries in Copenhagen. Bangladesh is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, and faces massive population displacement due to rising sea levels and melting glaciers in the Himalayas. Full article on Reuters

More News

Jakarta Post – Understanding Indonesia’s Emission Cuts Inside Out

Bangkok Post – World’s hottest decade adds pressure for climate accord

Associated Press – Forest-saving deal could lift climate summit hopes

LA Times – Interview with Korean green-growth advocate on Copenhagen priorities

Asia Times – India displays multi-vector diplomacy

“We can, and we will reach a deal in Copenhagen”

“You can see the political momentum building almost daily, ” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a recent statement expressing his optimism for reaching a successful outcome in Copenhagen. He cited many positive steps that individual countries have taken over the past few weeks, such as Japan and Norway’s pledges to cut emissions and Brazil’s commitment to reduce deforestation by 72% by 2017.

In short, we can, and we will…

… reach a deal in Copenhagen that sets the state for a binding treaty

… lay a solid foundation for moving ahead

… reach a full and legally binding climate change treaty as soon as possible in 2010

Read the statement here

High Cost of Climate Delays

UNEP Chief Achim Steiner warned that delaying a global climate deal would have high costs – in increasing risks to the planet and financial costs of dealing with them. He cited the greatest cost as the loss of momentum in reaching agreement, which has been building up for years.

Read the full article from the Guardian.

In contrast, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has put dollars signs ($) onto the delay — estimating that every year of delay will cost $500 billion in measures to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius.

Read the full article on CarbonPositive

We’d like to ask this question of our readers – it is now widely accepted that a global agreement on climate change will be delayed for at least one year.
What is this delay costing you?

Asia-Pacific leaders back off on emissions cuts target-draft

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) recently met in Singapore, and dropped a target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from their summit’s statement. They cited that such a promise would disrupt the global climate change negotiations, and instead promished to ‘substantially’ slash emissions by 2050.

Read the full article on Reuters

Ban Ki Moon Expresses Pessimism for COP 15

Tough Deal on Climate Change Unlikely

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said many countries are simply not in a position to sign up to legally-binding targets. He said the best the world can hope for is a “political commitment” to work towards targets.

Is he being realistic, or pessimistic?

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