- Indonesia has enormous forest potential with 95.1 million hectares of forest in 2020
- Green economy forest management is a solution to Indonesia based on the results of the Forest Ecosystem Valuation Study (FEVS)
- Green economy forest management can increase positive impacts on environmental, social and economic factors
Indonesia is one of the countries with 95.1 million hectares of forest in 2020. Forest area in Indonesia has increased since 2018 with a forest area of 93.5 million hectares. However, the forest area in Indonesia has been decreasing steadily since 2011. The decrease in forest area occurs due to deforestation of forests to meet human needs. The bar chart below shows the development of forest land area in Indonesia. In the graph, the decline in forest area occurred continuously from 2011 to 2019 due to deforestation. The increase in forest area indicates an increase in awareness of the services provided by forests.
The Roles of Forest Services in Achieving a Green Economy
Firstly, the existence of forests in Indonesia is often not considered in decision-making. Forest Ecosystem Valuation Study (FEVS) is a study conducted to emphasize the importance and the services of the forest. The study was conducted by the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID). FEVS seeks to increase investment in forest ecosystems and encourage sustainable management of natural resources. The results of the study provide an overview of the contribution of forests to Indonesia’s socio-economy.
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An understanding of forest services can be used by decision-makers by considering the dependence between socioeconomic development and forest conservation. The right decision-making can effect the growth of green industries, new jobs in sustainable sectors, and sustainable prioritization and policymaking. While socio-economic approaches implemented based on natural resources can generate economic opportunities and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, engaging local participation in forest management can increase public participation in supporting forest protection and diversity more effectively. Forests also have several roles in creating a green economy as follows:
- Biodiversity, forests are home to most animals and plants. In other words, forests provide suitable habitats for animal and plant life and are one of the largest habitats on land
- Water source, the ability of plants to absorb and retain water can increase water sources. Forests have a great contribution in storing and retaining water in the soil
- Climate change, Forests can help significantly reduce climate change, especially through reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere
- Employment, The forestry sector can increase the range of sustainable and environmentally friendly jobs. Forests are making a major contribution to the transformation of the green economy and industries
- Inclusive socioeconomic growth, Forests have great potential to support socio-economic growth. There are many opportunities provided by forests when utilized properly
Impact of Green Economy Forestry Approach
In fact, forest management with a Green Economy (GE) approach is considered better when compared to normal forest management or Business as Usual (BAU). A simulation was carried out on the green economy approach and business as usual to determine the impact of forest management with a green economy approach. A green economy approach can increase production and income in timber production, increase forest area, reduce cumulative annual CO2 emissions, and increase employment in forestry. Business as usual forest management shows historical trends, while management with a green economy approach shows forest deforestation that can be offset by afforestation and secondary forest reforestation. The table below shows a comparison of forest management using the BAU and GE methods.
Results of Forest Management with Green Economy Approach in Indonesia
In fact, forests can make a major socio-economic contribution in Indonesia. In 2012, the legal upstream timber industry contributed more than US$14 billion to the Indonesian economy, or around 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Forest degradation leads to a decrease in revenue and tax sources from this sector and the loss of jobs. In fact, the value of taxes given by the upstream timber industry sector to the government in 2010 reached 2.7 trillion rupiah. Sustainable forest management can reduce various administrative and fiscal costs at the provincial level. This is in line with the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMD) which aims to increase economic growth through pro-poor schemes by utilizing existing natural and agricultural resources.
In addition, forest management with a green economy approach can retain rainwater and prevent soil erosion up to 6538 kg/ha/year. The contribution of forests in resisting erosion can save the government budget of 30 US dollars/ha/year by preventing soil nutrient loss. Forests as rainwater retainers and prevent excessive water flow can increase groundwater discharge with an economic value of 2-81 million US dollars in a year. Forests can also absorb and store carbon in the air as a prevention of climate change with an economic value of 1.2-19 billion US dollars in a year.
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In conclusion, forest management with a green economy approach is a solution to Indonesia based on the results of the Forest Ecosystem Valuation Study (FEVS) by the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID). This approach can increase environmental, social, and economic benefits and can accelerate the fulfillment of several points in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Green economy in forest management is also following the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMD) to support economic growth. So, do you agree with this solution? Please write in the comments below!
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Editor: Bellinda Putri Hidayat