Forests Asia 2014 – Heru Prasetyo, Day 2 Closing Plenary

Watch Heru Prasetyo, Head of the Indonesian REDD+ Management Agency, speak on the second day of the Forests Asia Summit 2014.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014.

Forests Asia Summit, 5-6 May 2014, Jakarta, #ForestsAsia

Heru Prasetyo’s speech:

Some people say that life begins at forty, and I think we start the life again since forty years ago. In 1972, mark my words, 1972 is not forty years from now. In Stockholm people said that, in the confidence that was before the Earth Summit in Rio, if we continue this path of ignorance and negligence, very bad things are going to happen to this planet. That was 1972.

And then people talk about that. In 1992 we had the Earth Summit, and then after the Earth Summit we had the UNFCCC, UNCBD, UNCCB, as if the solutions of the planet problems, climate change, and other things can be solved with separate silos. It does, in terms of getting to the clarity of the matter, the scientific analysis of that, but it’s time now to converge again.

So we have been talking about forests since Montreal, Bali, Copenhagen, and others. We are now back to landscapes. Because when you are talking about negligence and ignorance, we are talking about landscapes. In 1972, landscape was the agenda, and now we are back to landscape as an agenda.

Why did I mention forty years? Because the idea of landscapes was brought to the front in the year 2012. That was in Doha. So we have had forty years, and now we are two years into the time when we are getting back to the roots of the issue and the roots of the solution. Finding the solution to the root of the issue. I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when the president mentioned about sustainable growth with equity, we were talking about several criteria and indicators that we need to address.

Emission is one of those criteria, emission is one of those indicators to address, but not only that. We also need to address the issue of growth. We need to address the issue of development. We need to address the issue of governance. We need to address the issue of equity and inclusiveness. Those are the things that, in my opinion, our president mentioned yesterday. And I think that has to come in a way that is properly done here.

The reflection of the two days that I have been around here listening, both the noise and the voice, both the sound and the concerns, the solutions, thoughts, as well as complaints and protests, was actually something that goes into the two areas. The substantive things, what needs to be done, and what can we do about it, and when do we start action on that. And the other side is talking about how we actually fund that. How can we actually channel the resources to make that happen?

We understand the discussion about the public fund, the private investment, the private fund, and all these things. Let me reflect on that, and discuss that in a metaphor of the flow of water.

At the top end you have the upstream. This is where the fund can come from. In the middle you have the dam, and then after the dam you have the downstream, where the money or whatever resources are going to be applied, such that the whole objective of achieving sustainable growth with equity is happening. Not only happening but also work.

What are those things that we consider to be flowing into the dam? And where are they in terms of things? Let us look into this. Where is the supply, and where is the demand? Because always you will have to have the flow. Talking about funds, you’re saying that the supply will come from the private sector, will come from the donor countries, the developed countries, and get into a mechanism that will now get into the forested countries for distribution and for development in the right way.

But let’s think about it on the reverse side. You have a painting of Escher, whereby the stairs go up and down at the same time. The carbon, the emissions that we reduce, the reduction of the impact to climate change, that will happen in this country and the forested countries, is actually a supply that can ask from the demand for the funds to pay for it.

So actually, you are talking about two kinds of flow. The flow of resources and the flow of results. These two flows need to be balanced. It is not proper to just discuss the flow of funds to finance, to develop the outcome which is the reduction of emissions and the development on an equitable basis. And then there is no demand. What is the point of having a certification if there is no differentiation in the price of your commodity? So you’re talking about the flow of the results to the demand as being the supply, and the supply of funds – I will say funds in general terms – to feed the development, so that it will create the product. That is the metaphor that you’re talking about, the flow. And the flow can only happen if there is a difference in height, if there is a difference in level, so that we can flow.

Which means what? The demand needs to be as high or higher than the supply to get this flow continuously moving. Look into that. We, the forested countries, will say when you are talking about REDD+, when you are talking about funds on a sustainable landscape for green growth – we are the supplier of the solution for the climate change. Where are the resources that will make us able to supply? That is the equation that needs to be addressed.

Alright, that is in terms of the flow. But when we are talking about funds here, I am not talking about money alone. I’m talking about funds – the skills, the capacity, and the expertise that is already being developed somewhere else, and also the time and attention. If this flow does not have all of these elements, if there is no expertise, no flow of resources, if there is no time and attention from the developing countries for producing those results, there is no flow again.

So this is a flow not only of money, but also of expertise, flow of technology, and flow of time and attention. I am just continuing this from my last landscape meeting. When landscape is only a landscape, and it is going to be silent, it is going to be quiet, if there is no flow considered that. The flow of money, the flow of goods, the flow of people, and the flow of technology and knowledge – they are integral parts of the analysis on landscapes.

And that is what I reflect, listening to the previous speakers during these two days. I think we have come full circle, and beyond. Why did I mention that beyond? Because in this conference, I will ask myself – if I do this conference in Accra, will we have the same agenda? If we have this conference in Lima, will we have the same agenda? And I think 85% of the agenda will be the same, and 15% will be specific to the locations, because this is a global problem that will call for a global solution.

But what is the plus? These conferences normally have a lot of aged people like me, but in this one we have youth with us. And that is so important to me, because I always say, in a meeting whereby youth is present, because they are very important, one day ladies and gentlemen I am going to knock on your gate and ask, dear leaders of the day – am I allowed to get in? Have I done good for your future, or have I done bad, so that you can refuse me to enter your world?

And I hope that when that time comes, the youth will say, oh yeah! You have been in that conference in Jakarta, right? And because of that I will welcome you all to be the citizen of the future, because that is what sustainable landscapes for green growth is all about. It’s about the future. It’s about the generation that is to come, and to come, and to come. Not only 25 years, not only 40 years, but forever. Thank you very much.

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