CIFOR talks landscape restoration and bioenergy at Indonesia’s House of Regional Representatives

What are the key crops suitable for Indonesia’s bioenergy needs? How could a bioenergy focus help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

These questions and more were explored at Indonesia’s House of Regional Representatives (DPD) in a presentation by CIFOR’s Himlal Baral and Yusuf Bahtimi.

In a discussion with three senators from Committee II on natural resources management, including chair Parlindungan Purba, SH., MM. of North Sumatra Province, support staff and CIFOR research partner Clean Power Indonesia, the “Integrating landscape restoration and bioenergy: A pathway to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” talk offered key data points on the growing interest in bioenergy throughout the world as sustainable energy needs increase with rising global energy demands.

Indonesia has a target to have 23 percent of its energy be renewable by 2025, and bioenergy could be a key element. Baral and Bahtimi discussed how biofuel feedstocks are produced; how best to integrate food, energy and environmental needs; and issues related to land access and tenure. They also described select key potential biofuel crops, including nyamplung (Calophyllum inophyllum), caliandra (Calliandra sp.), bamboo and malapari (Pongamia pinnata).

In Indonesia, there is great opportunity to use degraded lands to produce sustainable bioenergy, and this could offer livelihoods support, Baral said in the presentation. Jobs could be developed around production and processing while energy security is better ensured.

Moving forward, Baral offered suggestions on identifying degraded land to be used and which energy crops are suitable for different sites, engaging stakeholders from the beginning and developing the right research. Bioenergy crops should not be cultivated in food production areas and natural forests should not be converted, he emphasized.

After Baral’s presentation, the senators requested information on maps of degraded land by province and region, and suitable bioenergy species in the different provinces. A database for bioenergy crops and land suitability in accordance with degraded and marginal lands will be soon available publicly via CIFOR’s website.

Key for Indonesia is that there are vast amounts of deforested and degraded land, and that can be used to deliver energy benefits as the world works to a sustainable future.

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CIFOR’s bioenergy research is currently funded by the National Institute of Forest Sciences (NIFOS), Republic of Korea.