The Palm Scribe

Environment Group Lauds Establishment of Government’s Environmental Fund

Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, or the Sustainable Civil Foundation is welcoming the launch of the government’s Environmental Fund, which it said provided new hopes for the lowering of emissions from deforestation and forest degradations, sustainable forest management, conservation and boosting carbon stocks or REDD+.

“Today, Indonesia took a new step towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement in a concrete manner so that it presents climate commitments could be met and to formulate higher climate ambitions for the future,” said Muhammad Teguh Surya, Executive Director of Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan.

On October 9 this year, the government officially established the Environment Fund Management Agency (BPDLH, or better known as “LH-Fund”) that is placed under the finance ministry and provides a financing mechanism for environmental protection and management that can be utilized by many sides.

In a release obtained by The Palm Scribe during the weekend, Teguh said that “The new weapon in our hand” should be used as best as one could but focusing it on programs that carry real impacts on the climate and people’s prosperity.

Teguh cited as examples of priority programs for the LH Fund the acceleration of the restoration of peat ecosystems and also guidance for social forests after concessions were revoked.

“The launch of this LH-Fund had been long-awaited because it is hoped to become a catalyst for the accelerations of environmental protection and restoration programs so that Indonesia does not continuously become hit by disasters caused by the increasingly massive climate crisis,” the foundation said in its release.

As examples of disaster, he cited the forest and ground fires and the ensuing smoke haze that have already claimed a lot of victims and caused substantial economic, health and reputational losses.

The acceleration and expansion of peat soil restoration, including in burned-out concession areas, was key to preventing forest and ground fires in the area in the future, while social forests besides providing a strategy to spread economic balance also has the potential to contribute to the attainment of Indonesia’s climate commitment if there were strong assistance from the government and other sectors.

Madani also expressed its appreciation to the Minister of Environment and Forestry Affairs for stressing the need to facilitate and ease access to environmental funding for local and customary powers and wisdom.

“Besides easy access to funding, we also hope that there will be a mechanism for an institutionalized public participation in the operations of this LH Fund so that the people and the civilian communities have enough room to determine the priority of usage and to file complaints if their rights are violated in the implementation of the various mitigative actions funded by the LH Fund,” said Anggalia Putri, Madani’s Manager for knowledge management.

Institutionalized participation, she said, was important because as one of the instruments available to control climate change, the LH Fund should be able to operationalize the principles contained in the Introduction of the Paris Agreement – respect of human rights and the rights of local and customary societies, gender equality and food resilience.

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