Involving all levels of government in achieving environmental goals is key to creating green economies.
Editor’s Note: In the forthcoming book, Steps Toward Green: Policy Responses to the Environmental Footprint of Commodity Agriculture in East and Southeast Asia, the authors call for policymakers to formulate national strategies to upscale the work of innovative civic society and lower-level government bodies in agricultural development that aligns with environmental protection goals. But how can a national government administrate the applicable components of a national plan down the governing hierarchy? The World Agroforestry Centre is piloting a tool designed for empowering provinces to determine how best to implement national environmental goals within their jurisdiction and is harmonious with the uniqueness of their landscapes. Robert Finlayson of the World Agroforestry Centre explains how their newest method, Land-use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services (LUMENS) works.
A new participatory land-use planning method being trialled in Indonesia promises to deliver the groundwork for a ‘green’ economy
Indonesia has set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 41% by 2020, as stated in Presidential Regulation for a National Action Plan For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (known as the RAN-GRK). An 88% reduction is required from the land-based sector. To achieve this, all levels of government must identify the emissions in their jurisdictions and implement plans to reduce them. This isn’t easy in a nation with a population of 250 million growing at 1.2% a year that has the third-highest rate of emissions in the world, mainly from deforestation, which have helped fuel economic growth averaging more than 5% a year for the last decade.
To support the Government, a method called Land-use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services or LUMENS, has been developed by the World Agroforestry Centre, which has been mandated for use in all 34 provinces by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) in the RAN-GRK review in 2015. LUMENS is a refinement of an earlier method, Land-use Planning for Low-emissions Development Strategies or LUWES, which has already been used in the development of Local Action Plans for Emission Reduction (RAD-GRK) by all provinces.
Four linked projects aimed at establishing a ‘green’ economy through participatory land-use planning are testing LUMENS, led by the World Agroforestry Centre in partnership with Bappenas, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF), European Union (EU), Danish International Development Agency (Danida), German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.
The projects—Protecting Biodiversity through Improved Community Forest Management and Agroforestry (MACF); Participatory Monitoring by Civil Society of Land-use Planning for Low-emissions Development Strategies (EU); Locally-appropriate Mitigation Actions in Indonesia (Danida); and Green Economy and Locally Appropriate Mitigation in Indonesia (BMU), which are all supported by the CGIAR—run from 2013 to 2017 in 16 districts in five provinces: Jambi, South Sumatra, Central Java, East Kalimantan and Papua.
What is LUMENS?
LUMENS establishes planning groups that quantify the environmental services in landscapes, analyses the trade-offs between incomes from land uses and simulates scenarios of different land uses based on locally-specific drivers of changes. LUMENS’ modules consist of planning-unit reconciliation, quantification of environmental services, scenario development and trade-off analyses.
How do we create well-managed landscapes?
Managing landscapes sustainably needs a sound process—involving land-use planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation—that is inclusive, integrated, and well informed. But in many countries, land-use planning is often done ‘top-down’, is not well-informed about ecological, economic and social processes, and doesn’t take into account possible future changes.
Most planning problems stem from policies that don’t encourage the inclusion of different groups’ interests. Often, plans are even made without reference to current land use and do not learn from the past and from experience elsewhere. Furthermore, research findings are often not used or are hard to access.
How does LUMENS work?
LUMENS starts with bringing people who have a shared interest in a landscape together into working groups. The district planning office is usually the best starting point. The groups’ members—drawn from government, NGOs, the private sector and communities—are trained in analyzing land-use changes over time, greenhouse gases produced by past and future changes and strategies to reduce them. The capacity building includes classroom sessions, field trips, joint research, discussions, workshops and sharing knowledge with other districts.
Example of LUMENS at work
In three districts in Jambi Province—Batang Hari, Bungo and Merangin—LUMENS is deployed as part of the Protecting Biodiversity through Improved Community Forest Management and Agroforestry project. LUMENS has raised awareness, developed skills, created an improved database and stimulated interaction between working-group members and others.
The working groups found better scenarios than ‘business as usual’ and embedded the results into government policies and programs. They produced technical documents that inform the districts’ development, emission-reduction, budget and monitoring, and evaluation plans. The latter plan has only become feasible thanks to LUMENS, which created specific measures for specific problems.
Recently, the Merangin government was invited to submit a proposal for a REDD+ scheme through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The district also received recognition from the national and provincial governments, which encouraged all 11 districts in Jambi to want the same process.
Is LUMENS a good investment?
LUMENS allows those involved in a landscape to create a functional and effective group that finds solutions in accordance with the uniqueness of the landscape. The result is a functional plan for reducing emissions, improving livelihoods and enhancing multiple environmental services that not only, once implemented, benefits local people but also contributes to national plans to create a green economy.
Agroforestry World Blog: Southeast AsiaRobert Finlayson is a Communications Specialist for World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) who provides support for the Centre’s Southeast Asia region.
Greening Commodity Agriculture
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