Presidential Decree No. 16, 2015 (pdf file 108 kB, in Bahasa Indonesia), which came into effect on 23 January 2015, revokes and declares invalid Presidential Decree No. 62, 2013, which created the REDD+ Agency as the world’s first Cabinet level REDD institution. The REDD+ Agency was created as part of the US$1 billion REDD deal with Norway.
Indonesia’s National Council on Climate Change will also be closed down and absorbed by the Ministry for Environment and Forestry. Both the REDD+ Agency and the NCCC will become part of a Directorate General of Climate Change.
(For some background on the REDD+ Agency and the decision to merge with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, see this post on REDD-Monitor: Indonesia’s REDD+ Agency to be swallowed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.)
Under the new arrangement, the REDD+ Agency will report to the Minister for Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya. Previously it had reported to the President, as agreed in the Letter of Intent signed by Norway and Indonesia in May 2010, which states that Indonesia should, as a preparatory step for implementing REDD:
Establish a special agency reporting directly to the President to coordinate the efforts pertaining to the development and implementation of REDD+.
Heru Prasetyu was the head of REDD+ agency until this re-structuring. He described the new Presidential Decree as “sudden death” for REDD+ Agency. He told journalist Fidelis E. Satriastanti that the new arrangement is in breach of the Letter of Intent with Norway:
“This is not in accordance with the LoI which stated that the [REDD+] agency must report directly to the president and not the minister.”
William Sabandar, former deputy of operations at BP REDD+, made the same point to the Jakarta Globe:
“This is how I see it as a former deputy of BP REDD+. What’s certain is that the presidential decree violates the agreement between the Indonesian government with the Norwegian government which is stated in the Letter of Intent in 2010.”
Norway’s ambassador to Indonesia Stig Traavik doesn’t seem unduly concerned. He told the Jakarta Globe that “Norway was open to some changes”.
“We have heard about the decision but not in detail. The main thing now is how to reach the goal together.”
A good start would involve putting a stop the ongoing legal and illegal logging in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia’s REDD pilot province. The photographs in this post are from a recent report by the Environmental Investigation Agency investigating the link between the expansion of oil palm plantations and illegal logging.
As EIA notes, almost five years after Indonesia and Norway signed the US$1 billion REDD deal, forests in Indonesia are “still wide open for conversion”.