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Belantara Foundation Hosted a Forest Landscape Restoration Panel at the COP23 UNFCCC 2017

Belantara foundation, an Indonesian grants-making institution had the opportunity to host two panels at the Indonesia pavilion during the Conference of the Parties (COP) -23 United Nation Framework Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC) Fiji-Bonn that was held on 6-17 November 2017. This international conference was held in the heart of Bonn, one of the cities in West Germany where UN Campus is located. Approximately 300 – 400 hundred Indonesian delegations acted as the negotiators, panelists, observers, and committees were led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Government of Indonesia in attended the conference.

Indonesia is of the countries that participated in the country pavilion at the Bonn zone. The theme shows the power of “gotong-royong” to tackle climate change “A Smarter World: Collective Actions for A Changing”. In total, there were approximately 50 panels conducted by the Indonesia Pavilion, which involved inspirational national and international panelists. Moreover, on November 9th 2017, the first panel that Belantara hosted brought into the light the topic of the Public-Private Partnership in Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Six highly credible panelists were gathered to share their experience and knowledge about the topic. The session itself was moderated by Dr. Kartini Sjahrir.

Prof. Jatna SupriImage 1atna, Belantara Foundation’s Vice Chair of Board of Trustees, is the first panelist. He presented the foundation’s progress of public-private partnership initiatives in Forest Landscape Restoration program across Sumatra and Kalimantan. He also highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder approach, which reflected by the foundation support in forming Multi-stakeholder forums involving actors such as, the government, NGOs, communities, as well as private sector in 5 provinces in Indonesia. The foundation has been supporting and agreeing to support 32 local NGOs (some formed in consortiums), several case studies of collaboration programs contributing to green growth agenda and local livelihoods improvements, ecosystem restoration, and protection.

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Tony Juniper and Walter Vergara are two international speakers were also shared their experience with regards to Public-private collaboration to conserve and restore the forest. Tony Juniper from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership provided an example from the Ivory Coast, where its potential in agriculture is threatened by unsustainable practices in the ecosystem. He further expressed the critical driver of change is to integrate and collaborative action at the level of landscapes. While, Walter Vergara, forests and climate specialist focused on the Global Restoration Initiative in Latin America discussed the Initiative of 20×20, a country-led effort to change the dynamics of land degradation in Latin America short-term goal to initiate restoration of 20 M ha by 2020.

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Furthermore, Dharsono Hartono, the CEO from PT. Rimba Makmur Utama shared about the Katingan-Mentaya Project, which is claimed as the world’s most massive REDD+ project that also protects fragile ecosystems and provides livelihood improvement. He highlighted the importance of building the initiative from the ground-up to ensure the effort providing demonstrable and memorable benefits to the communities while contributing to all 17 UN SDGs.

Lastly, a presentation by Hashim Djohohadikusumo & Dr. Willie Smits from Arsari Enviro titled Large Scale Agroforestry Approaches for Profitable Reforestation. They highlighted an innovative model of practical and scalable agroforestry based reforestation. The approach creates massive amounts of new, well-paid, permanent jobs, food security, environmental protection, rehabilitate degraded forests to multipurpose forests that have a higher biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and through cleverly designed logistical approaches creates a highly profitable scheme to tackle the world’s climate issues in tropical regions.

The Belantara’s panel received high appreciation from the audiences as they were very keen to know more about the topics. Numerous questions directed to the panelists for further detailed explanations of the showcases and initiatives and to what extent the cases could be implemented in other areas, and so forth. The response of this panel truly reflects the high anticipation and spirit of the broader community at a larger scale to contribute in climate change adaptation and mitigation actions through forest and land restoration initiatives in a manner that is economically benefitting and empowering the community. A multi-stakeholder approach in synergizing efforts for a sustainable green economic development.

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