The Hidden Driver of Deforestation: Why Effecting Reform of Indonesia's Legal Framework is Critical to the Long-term Success of REDD+

CILIS Policy Paper_Dibley_Khatarina

In 2015, the state parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed a mechanism that could be deployed by developing country governments to create economic, social and environmental incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through avoiding deforestation and forest degradation, called REDD+. Countries around the globe have commenced the process of implementing REDD+, including Indonesia. Indonesia introduced a dedicated REDD+ Agency, regulations on the topic, and made policy progress in key areas of REDD+. The legal and policy framework supporting REDD+ is, however, in a state of flux, after the legal and bureaucratic infrastructure put in place to support it was recalibrated following the election of President Joko Widodo in 2014. Given this uncertainty, this paper assess Indonesia’s existing legal framework for REDD+ and outlines some legal strategies that could be implemented to revive the REDD+ policy process in Indonesia.

Arjuna Dibley is a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie where he specialises in Indonesian and international climate change law. His practice focuses on providing advice to a wide range of clients (including governments, multilateral organisations, development banks, global and domestic not-for-profits, and Global Fortune 500 companies) related to projects and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Arjuna is also a regular contributor to academic and public discussions on Indonesian law and policy, climate change law and policy, and Australia’s relationships with Asia. He is the co-founder, and now an Advisory Board member, of the Australia Indonesia Youth Association. He is also an Associate at CILIS.

Josi Khatarina is a PhD student at University of Melbourne. Her area of interest is environmental law and governance. Josi also serves as senior researcher at her home organisation, the Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law (ICEL). Previously Josi worked as senior legal specialist at REDD+ Agency, where she developed, supervised and was involved in various law reform initiatives, including license review, a multi-door approach to enforcement, indigenous communities, and development of a roadmap for legal reform on natural resources and environmental management. Before working for REDD+ Agency, Josi was an assistant to Satuan Tugas Pemberantasan Mafia Hukum (the Presidential Task Force to Eradicate Corruption in Judiciary Sector). Josi also initiated and headed a national Coalition on Access to Information Law that campaigned for such a Law until it was enacted in 2008. She was the first program coordinator of Indonesian National Assessment Team on Three Pillars of Governance under Global Coalition on Access Initiative and a member of expert team of the UNDP’s Participatory Governance Assessment of REDD+ (PGA) in Indonesia.