As part of its role as a technical partner on the EU funded SE Asia Forest Policy project, CIDT is now leading the preparation of a regional forest and climate change policy forum. This Forest Governance Forum (FGF) will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in February 2020. CIDT is building on similar regional Forest Governance Forums that it has successfully implemented in Central and West Africa since 2011.
In SE Asia, CIDT is working with respected conservation NGO, Birdlife International who are based in Cambridge. The project operates in 4 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea and in each country, a leading national conservation NGO is responsible for the implementation of project activities. CIDT is very excited to lead on this initiative as this will be the first regional forum to be organised in SE Asia and the Pacific. Such forums are critical in creating the necessary links between policy, practice and key stakeholders in the regional working on forest governance, conservation and climate change. The tropical forests of SE Asia and the Pacific (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Papua New Guinea) are some of the most important forests in the world for economic, social and environmental reasons. These forests cover a total area of more 170 million hectares, support extraordinary species diversity and provide livelihoods for millions of people.
From 9-16 August 2019 CIDT’s Cristina Jara and Richard Nyirenda visited Bogor and Jakarta in Indonesia to meet with project partners, senior Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry officials, key forestry and climate change stakeholders that included CIFOR, UK Department for International Development experts, regional forestry training organisation RECOFTC, representatives of international NGOs and think tanks (e.g. the World Resources Institute) and academia. This visit formed the initial and critical part of the preparations for the regional forum. Time was also spent working on detailed plans with project partner Burung Indonesia (a member of Birdlife International).
One of the key outcomes of the visit was the setting up of a National Advisory Group that will advise the forum organising and technical committee on issues relating to the relevance and overall scope of the forum. The National Advisory Group is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, national NGOs, the private sector and other local stakeholders engaged in Forestry projects and programmes in Indonesia. CIDT also participated in a National Stakeholders Meeting (NSC) with the significant participation of Ministry of Environment and Forestry. During this high-level meeting CIDT representatives presented our work on forest governance. Richard Nyirenda noted:
“This is the first event in this category in South East Pacific Asia, which will be an opportunity for international and national organisations, researchers, academics and private sector to discuss forestry issues, opportunities and current projects.“
The aim of this meeting was also to engage the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry as a key actor for this event.
In Jakarta, CIDT, BirdLife International and Burung Indonesia visited RECOFT, CIFOR, MFP4 and WRI-Indonesia headquarters to share information about the forum and encourage active participation in the event. Cristina Jara remarked:
“This first visit was very positive. The organisations we met are keen on participating and supporting the Forest Governance Forum by inviting their local and regional partners, funding participants, leading and presenting sessions, and suggesting relevant topics.”
CIDT will be working closely with BirdLife International, Burung Indonesia, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, CIFOR and other key organisations during the following months to make this forum possible.
More information, including information for applicants, can be found at the Forest Governance Forum web page. Richard and Cristina were accompanied by Birdlife’s Kuala Lumpur based regional Project Manager, Hum Gurung.