2012 marks The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) 20th anniversary of conservation partnership in Indonesia. To commemorate two decades of working with a wide range of partners to protect ecosystems and support the sustainable use of Indonesia’s natural riches, TNC is very pleased to be hosting a celebratory event in Jakarta this evening.
After 20 years, we have a lot to share, including: a “Nature and People” photo exhibition documenting the places and people we have had the pleasure of working in and with, soft launch of new local bilingual website, and “Guardians of Nature” awards presentation by the Ministers of Forestry and Marine Affairs & Fisheries to individuals and communities who have shown leadership and dedication to conservation throughout the archipelago.
“When TNC started working in the country 20 years ago, collaborative management of natural resources seemed almost out of reach. Now elements of our plans are written into government policy and businesses practices.” said Arwandrija Rukma, TNC Indonesia Country Representative. “Of the many things we have learned along the way, the most valuable lesson of all is the critical importance of Gotong Royong,” added Arwan, referring to an ancient local wisdom held by many Indonesians about working collaboratively to attain a shared goal.
TNC began its partnership with the Government of Indonesia by introducing participatory management planning in Lore Lindu and Komodo National Parks in 1991 and 1995 respectively. The key challenges were illegal and unsustainable use of natural resources and a perception that conservation is in conflict with economic development.
In response, TNC worked with communities, government, universities and local NGOs to establish home-grown economies – like honeybee farming and ecotourism – that have increased household income, while protecting the terrestrial and marine ecosystems millions depend on for food, clean water and much more.
Today we seek to integrate what we’ve learned from these and other conservation successes into national and global policy processes, business models and financing mechanisms to underpin the kind large-scale and lasting change needed to leave a sustainable Indonesia for future generations.
“Over the last 20 years, the program has grown and evolved from our early site-based activities. Today, TNC programs seek not only to demonstrate solutions but also to use our experience and learning to shape policies and priorities that direct political and financial support to replicating conservation successes at nationally and globally significant scales,” said Charles Bedford, TNC Asia Pacific Regional Managing Director.
The Berau Forest Carbon Program, for example, combines on-the-ground activities with landscape-level planning, partnerships and global advocacy. This program is creating the necessary conditions for improving land management across one of Indonesia’s most densely forested districts while also providing a model for global efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).
The President’s pledge to reduce Indonesia’s carbon emissions by 26 percent while maintaining economic growth at 7 percent is a testament to Indonesia’s political commitment to balancing economic needs with the imperative of sustaining healthy ecosystems for future generations. “We appreciate what TNC has done in advancing the important issue of sustainable development in Indonesia, particularly the works with production forest and REDD program in East Kalimantan,” said Secretary General of Ministry of Forestry Hadi Daryanto in his speech.
Similarly, the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security brings together the resources of six nations in a far-reaching partnership to conserve the region’s extraordinary natural ecosystems and the marine life that sustains its coastal communities and economies.
“TNC and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries have a long history together. Over the years, our collaboration with TNC has become stronger than ever and I hope it will grow even stronger as we develop the Coral Triangle Initiative together, and take a leadership role amongst the Coral Triangle countries,” added Director General for Marine, Coastal Areas and Small Islands – Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sudirman Saad.
As we celebrate our 20th year of working in Indonesia, we look forward to broader and deeper involvement from the private sector and private citizens. This decade urgently requires a transformation of “business as usual” toward green, low-carbon growth and conservation leadership. We are already seeing positive changes in this direction, and will continue our efforts to take emerging sustainable business models to scale.
In particular, we need to grow our partnership circle even bigger and do a better job getting urban communities and the generation of consumers and decision-makers inspired and involved in maintaining all that Indonesia rich lands and water have to offer. Inspiring and supporting the next generation of conservation leaders is the key to building on the 20 years of experience gained by TNC in Indonesia.
In the Indonesia spirit of Gotong Royong, we look forward to another 20 years of conservation partnership and we hope you will join us!
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.