Indonesia is the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world (after the USA and China) and about 85% of the country’s emissions are related to land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF), making it the source of one-third of global LULUCF emissions. The main proximate causes of deforestation and land use change in Indonesia are logging (both legal and illegal), land conversion for agriculture and particularly for oil palm plantations, and forest fires.
Despite existing forest management policies, various political and institutional factors make it difficult to prevent deforestation and forest degradation. Based on the limited literature searches conducted for this report, the most significant of these factors are:
- Weak capacity on the part of government to enforce existing laws and implement existing policies, particularly with respect to illegal logging
- Unclear land tenure arrangements resulting in weak incentives for sustainable forest management and limited ability for local people to resist external actors
- Lack of coordination, and at times outright conflict, between central government and provincial and district governments
- Weak mechanisms for promoting and upholding local communities’ interests, involving them in land-use planning, and balancing their interests against more powerful government and corporate actors
- Inconsistent and contradictory legal frameworks governing forestry and land use
- Financial incentives for land conversion, most notably for oil palm plantations, without strong counter-incentives or restraining policies.