The Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated that the latest IOJI study was relevant to the development of the FOLU Net Sink 2030 agenda. The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono agreed, saying the IOJI study was in line with the Blue Economy policy in Indonesia. In the blue economy, protecting blue carbon ecosystems is an important aspect of expanding marine conservation, as well as sustainable management of coasts and small islands.
The government has submitted Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) twice to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC. NDC is a commitment document to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a country.
In the second NDC document, “the government is targeting inclusion in the marine sector and implementing blue carbon economic value calculations, especially seagrass beds,” tweeted the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono through his Twitter account on January 30, 2023.
The government’s target through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) is in line with IOJI recommendations through the study “Blue Carbon Ecosystems as Critical Natural Capital: Blue Carbon Ecosystem Governance in Indonesia”.
Relevant to the National Carbon Agenda
The latest IOJI study was launched in the Ballroom of the Manggala Wanabakti Building KLHK, Jakarta on January 30 2023. Working for 1.5 years, IOJI researchers have also conducted field studies in three provinces: Bangka-Belitung, Riau Islands and East Kalimantan.
The study focuses on examining the six elements of blue carbon governance. Each is:
Forestry and Other Land Uses (FOLU) Net Sink 2030 is a mitigation action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This national agenda also involves community participation in customary and coastal forests. According to Siti, “the IOJI study can be a direction for carbon ecosystem-based governance which includes aspects of regulation, financing systems, databases and community participation.”
Meanwhile, in his speech, Trenggono stated that the EKB program in Indonesia “tends to focus only on one type of ecosystem, namely mangroves.” He encourages interested parties to also take into account seagrass ecosystems. Moreover, the two ecosystems are part of the national marine conservation area expansion agenda.
The government has announced that the area of the national marine conservation area will increase by 30 percent by 2030. “With this expansion, seagrass and mangrove ecosystems in conservation areas have the potential to absorb around 188 million tCO2eq*,” said Trenggono.
Critical Natural Capital
Responding to the remarks of the two ministers, IOJI Chief Executive Officer Mas Achmad Santosa added, “Even though EKB has great potential in overcoming climate change and improving the welfare of coastal communities, its condition has long been threatened by anthropogenic pressures.”
When degraded, ECF will switch from a carbon sink to a significant emitter of carbon. Degradation also damages the protection of coastal ecosystems and threatens the livelihoods of people who depend on EKB. That is why IOJI encourages the government to include EKB into categoriesCritical Natural Capital (CNC).”
CNC is an important element of the concept of strong sustainability as its development is possible based on Article 33 paragraph (4) of the 1945 Constitution. The paragraph states that the national economy is organized based on economic democracy with the principles of togetherness, fair efficiency, sustainability, environmental insight, independence, and by maintaining a balance between progress and national economic unity.
When designated as a CNC, it means that EKB is entitled, appropriate and must be guaranteed with a strong protection instrument and cannot be converted for other economic activities.”
*Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) is a unit of measurement for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.