Thursday, May 11, 2017


Jakarta, May 11, 2017 (Antara) - Forests are essential to life on Earth, as they are a valuable natural resource that house various flora and fauna, provide wood, and also help to conserve soil and water and fight climate change.
          As forests transcend borders, their protection not only becomes the responsibility of one country but also the entire world.
          Efforts to protect, preserve, and restore forests were discussed by delegates from 27 countries during the First Asia Bonn Challenge High-Level Round-table Meeting held in Palembang, South Sumatra, on May 9-10.  
     The delegates also identified ways to collaborate to undertake forest landscape restoration (FLR) efforts to support the Bonn Challenge.
          The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land areas by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
          Underlying the Bonn Challenge is the FLR approach, which aims to restore ecological integrity at the same time as improving human well-being through multifunctional landscapes.
          It is overseen by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its Secretariat.

          Led by Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the government of South Sumatra, in cooperation with the IUCN, the meeting is instrumental in intensifying regional momentum on the Bonn Challenge. 
     For Indonesia, the Bonn Challenge has strengthened its commitment to preserving forests, in general and peatland areas, in particular.
          According to Nazir Foead, head of the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG), several countries have lauded the Indonesian government for its program to restore peatland areas spread across two million hectares.
         Hence, countries, such as Norway, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea, have provided financial assistance for the program.
         "Restoration of peatland areas has gained global attention, apart from reforestation. So far, the world's response is very positive toward Indonesia," he informed the press following the opening ceremony of the Bonn Challenge meeting.
         Permanent State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety of Germany Jochen Flashbarth, in his keynote speech during the opening ceremony, lauded Indonesia's efforts in protecting its forests.
         Flashbarth particularly praised the government's decision to impose a moratorium on the issuance of new licenses in primary natural forests and peatland areas and to launch a massive peatland restoration program.
        Environmental preservation is not a problem of one country but the entire world, he noted.
        "We have been successful in boosting global economic growth, lest we lose in saving the Earth," he remarked.
        The Bonn Challenge is not a new global commitment but rather a practical means of realizing several existing international commitments, including the CBD Aichi Target 15, the UNFCCC REDD+ goal, and the Rio+20 land degradation neutrality goal.
        It is an implementation vehicle for national priorities, such as water and food security and rural development, while contributing to the achievement of international commitments to fight climate change and land degradation as well as to conserve biodiversity.
        Until now, 40 governments, alliances, and private sector organizations have committed over 148 million hectares to the Bonn Challenge.
        Pledges from Asia include 21 million hectares from India, one million hectares from Asia Pulp and Paper, and 384 thousand hectares from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.
        The restoration of 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands in biomes around the world -- in line with the FLR approach -- will generate approximately US$84 billion per year in net benefits that could bring direct additional income opportunities for rural communities.
        About 90 percent of this value is potentially tradable, meaning that it encompasses market-related benefits, according to information on the official website of Bonn Challenge (http://
        Achieving the 350 million-hectare goal will generate about $170 billion per year in net benefits from watershed protection, improved crop yields and forest products, and could sequester up to 1.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
        Alex Noerdin, the governor of South Sumatra, expressed belief that South Sumatra was entrusted to host the meeting, as the province has been prioritizing the implementation of forest preservation efforts.
        He explained that South Sumatra has involved various stakeholders in protecting forests and preventing forest fires.
        On May 9, the delegates from 40 governments, alliances, and private sector organizations participating in the Bonn Challenge meeting undertook a field visit to Sepucuk, Ogan Komering Ilir District, South Sumatra, to observe a peatland restoration project under which at least 25 local trees have been planted in the area.  

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 11-05-2017

No comments:

Post a Comment