September 2, 2019

CIFOR applauds President Jokowi’s moves

JAKARTA ( - Robert Nasi, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), has expressed his admiration for the efforts undertaken by Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo aimed at protecting and preserving the country’s vast forests and peatlands.

Nasi declared that “tremendous progress has been made with regard to forest governance and policies in Indonesia under the administration of President Jokowi. The president and his government should be congratulated (for this).”

“One can only conclude that during the five years of the Joko Widodo administration, and under Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, more has been achieved for the future of Indonesian forests than in all the previous administrations since the country became independent on 17 August 1945,” he emphasized.

He referred specifically to a list of outstanding achievements made over the past five years (see here) for which President Jokowi and his government deserve huge congratulations.

This high praise was conveyed in writing by the CIFOR director general (Aug 31) in response to several questions put to him by during a forestry policy discussion hosted by the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry in Bogor (Aug 30).

This discussion was chaired by Agus Justianto, Head of the Ministry’s Research, Development and Innovation Agency, who explained that, in addition to reducing deforestation and forest degradation, Indonesia remains focused on implementing social forestry and land reform programs for local communities. 

Belinda Arunawati Margono, Director of Forest Resources Inventory and Monitoring at the Ministry, delivered a presentation at the event which was also attended by Vanda Mutia Dewi, Executive Director of Jakarta-based forestry research group Greenomics Indonesia.

In her presentation, Belinda pointed out that President Jokowi’s order for a permanent primary forest and peatlands moratorium covering an area larger than France was more than worthwhile given that it has been proven to significantly reduce deforestation.

Further efforts required

The CIFOR director general said that despite the great significance of what has already been achieved, the situation is not perfect and there is still a lot of work to do in terms of mapping, monitoring, transparency and implementation on the ground.

“Indonesia is a wide, decentralized archipelago where presidential decrees or decisions taken in Jakarta take time to percolate down to the remote regions,” Nasi explained. 

“But we should not let perfection be the enemy of the good. Significant progress has been achieved,” he added. 

The CIFOR director general concluded by stating, “with the recent re-election of President Jokowi, we can only hope that the current direction will be maintained and focused on Indonesia keeping its precious forest ecosystems to deliver biodiversity and climate benefits for the world and improved livelihoods for its citizens."