Jakarta April 2016 - In an effort to better define a nationally accepted definition of 'high conservation value areas' and to streamline nationally accepted regulations related to HCVs, InPOP has been facilitating a series of technical discussions between key government departments.
The concept of High Conservation Value areas or HCV is a highly regarded criterion for environmental conservation within the international commodity sector. When it comes to palm oil HCV is recognised internationally via RSPO’s principles and criteria and in Indonesia it was previously considered in the Ministry of Agriculture’s ISPO standard and criteria. However the internationally developed HCV approach, which is used to identify and manage biological, ecological, social or cultural features of outstanding significance or critical importance, is not formally recognized by Indonesian law.
Throughout 2015, InPOP’s working group on environmental monitoring discussed and debated the issue of implementing HCV regulation and has identified relevant Indonesian laws and regulations related to HCV principles. InPOP’s goal is to assist the strengthening of the identified existing legal framework to accommodate international expectations for environmental conservation.
Suratno Warsito, leader of a smallholder oil palm cooperative in West Kalimantan, looks for fruit in a community forest as local children play around him. The trailblazing oil palm cooperative known as Rimba Harapan (Hope for the Forest) takes forest conservation very seriously and hopes to obtain the permits required to protect the small areas of forest located amongst the communitiy's oil plam plantations. Photo:Nicholas Hurt/West Kalimantan/InPOP
Five Ministries within the government of Indonesia hold responsibilities related to the regulation and control of oil palm plantation development and conservation. These regulations include location permits, plantation permits, environmental impact assessments, and land acquisition.
The regulations discussed during April's meeting were: Essential Ecosystem Area (KEE) in the Government Regulation No. 28/2011 regarding Natural Reserve Area and Nature Conservation Areas Management; Internal Letter of the Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) No. 10/SE/VII/2015 regarding High Conservation Value Forest/Area (HCV) in the issuance of permits (HGU); and forestry ministerial decrees regarding the release of Production Forest Conversion.
Essential Ecosystem Areas (KEE) according to government regulation no. 28/2011, are karst and wetlands (lakes, rivers, marshes, brackish, and intertidal zones of no more than six meters), mangroves and peat land ecosystems which are outside of wildlife sanctuary and national park conservation areas.
The meeting participants agreed that the existing regulations, related to high conservation value areas, required revision. It was decided that the existing regulations, many of which currently overlap and cause conflict, must be improved, better defined and coordinated between ministries and provincial governments. A policy paper analysising the existing regulations related to conservation areas, which will reference and consider the HCV Consortium for Indonesia Guidelines, is currently being developed by the working group.
Aside from the analysis of existing laws and regulations, the meeting participants also debated the potential of additional Essential Ecosystem Areas (KEE), including some areas within existing oil palm concession zones. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, based on initial analyses, an additional 90 million hectares of land has been considered 'potentially as KEE' but it is currently not protected or is considered outside conservation areas.
However, the Ministry of Agriculture representatives present at the meeting emphasised the need to refine a conservation value system that also enables continued economic development and recognition of the impact to livelihoods. The participants raised concerns, explaining that mapping of any new KEE must be conducted carefully and consider the likelihood of overlap with areas of land reserved for agricultural productivity or land that is already occupied by smallholders.
Key Areas of Agreement and Committed Efforts Moving Forward
Conservation Legislations Taskforce Members Include:
Meeting facilitation was conducted by Aisyah Sileuw, the President Director of Daemeter Consulting who is credited in the revision of the High Conservation Value (HCV) Toolkit for Indonesia in 2008 and has been an FSC lead auditor and RSPO-approved HCV Assessor since 2009.
Native Dayak children of West Kalimantan Province eagerly run to a patch of forest in their village. Most of the children's parents own or work in nearby oil palm plantations however they recognise the need to maintain what's left of their forest. Photo:Nicholas Hurt/West Kalimantan/InPOP
For minutes of InPOP’s high-level meeting on HCV in Bahasa Indonesia please see the following: HCV Meeting Minutes
Access the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s presentation on Essential Ecosystem Areas (KEE) via: MoEF KEE Presentaiton
UNDP and InPOP Environment Advisor
UNDP and InPOP Communications Officer
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