Challenges and Opportunities in Climate Change

Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impact of climate change is global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Indonesia is no exception: the frequency of severe flooding in Papua and of critically low yields of crops in NTT are warning signs of the climate change threat in this country. Adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects will be more difficult and costly the longer this challenge is ignored.

While climate change affects everyone, its negative impacts are more severely felt by poor people. In Indonesia, landslides caused by rains in deforested lands affect mostly the rural poor. Restoring and maintaining key ecosystems can help communities in their adaptation efforts while also creating jobs.

Government Priorities in Climate Change

Government Priorities in Climate Change

Climate Change management is a top priority for the Government of Indonesia. The National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN 2010-2014) highlights the importance of conservation, and utilization of the natural environment to support sustainable economic growth and increased welfare of the people. To anticipate the impact of climate change the Government is working on pollution and emission controls, reducing deforestation, peat lands management improvements and environmental rehabilitation. In support of these efforts, the Government seeks to increase climate change funding sources and to improve the coordination among related ministries.

The Government and REDD+

The Government and REDD+

The Indonesian-Norwegian REDD+ initiative (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) constitutes an unparalleled opportunity for Indonesia to contribute to global solutions in combating climate change. The REDD+ initiative focuses on the reduction of emissions through incentives for keeping the forests standing tall and investing in low-carbon emission pathways to sustainable development. In addition to deforestation and forest degradation, REDD+ includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of carbon stocks.

The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has made a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26 percent by 2020, with additional 15 percent reduction contingent upon international support. Indonesia's commitment to this reduction of emissions was initially announced by the President in Pittsburgh in September 2009 during a meeting of G20 states, and reaffirmed in Copenhagen during the Summit on Climate Change in December 2009. This commitment was incorporated in the National Action Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions (RAN-GRK).

Climate Change and UN Support

Climate Change and UN Support

The UN in Indonesia is committed to help reverse the threat of climate change, by strengthening measures for environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation in targeted vulnerable provinces, sectors and communities. UN agencies are working closely with the Indonesian Government, and stand ready to support the implementation of climate change schemes through programmatic activities such as UN-REDD and institutional mechanisms such as the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF).

The UN and UNDP have been supporting the Indonesian-Norwegian REDD+ Initiative with activities in support of the establishment of the National REDD+ Agency, issuing the REDD+ National Strategy, and implementing/monitoring the 2-year moratorium of licenses on forest and peat lands.

As of September 2011, the UN system has entered into an agreement with the Government to support the National REDD+ programme through a one-door UN joint support mechanism (UNORCID) with the participation of FAO, UNDP, UNEP and other agencies.

Examples of the Work of UN Agencies

Examples of The Work of UN Agencies

Indonesia is home to the third largest tropical rainforest in the world, with forest land covering about 60 percent of the country. The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) provides support to the Government of Indonesia to access and implement its global commitments to reduce deforestation while upholding the rights of local and indigenous people's communities.

1FAO, UNDP and UNEP work together on this programme to support REDD activities in Central Sulawesi, the UN pilot province for the programme.

2UNESCO contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation by working on forest conservation, and carbon-financed forest management and ecosystem restoration. UNESCO also promotes environmental education and climate change awareness through its Green Schools programme, and its Biosphere Reserves for Environmental and Economic Security (BREES) Youth for Sustainable Development Award. UNESCO supports the revival local and indigenous knowledge to lessen the risk of climate related environmental disasters.

3UNIDO promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Examples include the Regional Plan for the introduction of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) for the elimination or reduction of unintentionally produced Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Industries through System Optimization and Energy Management Standards in Indonesia. This Energy Efficiency programme aims to build capacity on energy management standards and system optimization, to develop financial capacity to support energy efficient projects in industry, and to encourage energy efficiency investment projects.


While UN agencies work individually to support the efforts to combat climate change, the UN in Indonesia coordinates these programmes through a working group on Climate Change & Environmental Sustainability, led by UNESCO.

To learn more about programmes that support climate change efforts in Indonesia, visit our programme map

Challenges and Opportunities in Climate Change

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