The Southeast Asian region is well known for its forest landscapes, which are rich in natural resources that can help to support the region and the world. Countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Regions (ASEAN), and have high population growth, need more resources to meet national demands. For economic activities to be fulfilled, illegal logging and deforestation is sometimes undertaken.
Deforestation is absolutely having an impact on climate change. We know that climate change has been discussed for a long time, but the topic is not over yet. Climate change is not only an environmental issue, but can also have political impacts, and it certainly affects economics.
As mentioned, ASEAN has very large forestry landscapes, so it is important to discuss climate change and how to resolve it in the Southeast Asian region. ASEAN has created a Regional Knowledge Network on Forests and Climate Change. The network has several goals, including that land issues should be responded to at a national level, developed from pilot projects at a provincial level with local governance and local communities.
Civil society participation and policy developments are vital for local people and climate change efforts. Local communities should be given the power to manage resources, especially in terms of natural resources. Comprehensive environmental policy frameworks that address indigenous people’s rights and contain laws and policy on forestry are required.
Specific laws and policies can impact not only on carbon use or landscape use but also on government strategies through REDD+. Greater awareness of climate change across borders is needed, as is the capacity to develop policies regionally. Mobilizing resources through bilateral and multilateral relations will help.
To express the interest that many states across the region have in working together, negotiations at an international level must be balanced with the local consensus. National interests vary, while engagement with social, economic, and environmental actors at a regional level is also unique.
Mechanisms can be developed from national to regional levels and from regional to organizational levels. The ASEAN Regional Knowledge Network on Forests and Climate Change demonstrates mutual respect, enabling an effective organizational response to resolve climate change issues.
Anesthesia Hajarul Novianda is a student of Paramadina University, Indonesia.