Governments, businesses and communities across Southeast Asia must find new ways of thinking and acting, participants at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta heard, with the world’s top climate scientist referring to climate change as an “opportunity”, and a leading financier pointing out that there is plenty of money to fund sustainable development.
The Summit, which was attended by about 2,200 people and watched online by another 6,000, came at a time when “the world is at a turning point,” in the words of CIFOR Director General Dr. Peter Holmgren.
“Decisions are to be made on the international arena over the next 18 months that may shape our common future for generations to come,” Holmgren said in his welcoming address. “Forests and landscapes in Asia are a critical part of that future.”

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged his successor to extend a ban on the issuance of new logging licenses. Arguing that “more remains to be done”, Yudhoyono called upon governments across Southeast Asia to steer clear of a “self-destructing path of development” and commit to sustainable land-use and investment practices.

Southeast Asian Ministers speak:

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru’s Minister of Environment and President of the UNFCCC COP20 in Lima, called for forestry to be at the core of any future climate change agreement. Highlighting the complementary position of Latin American and Southeast Asian countries in the lead-up to the next climate agreement, Pulgar-Vidal said “this agreement will be reached from the bottom up” and must be inclusive of indigenous people, the private sector, scientists and policymakers.

The Road to COP20 in Lima:

  • GLOBAL LANDSCAPES FORUM 2014: In a video message at the Forests Asia Summit, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, officially announced that the Global Landscapes Forum will take place in Lima, Peru, on 6-7 December. More than 1,500 policy leaders and experts from forestry, agriculture and other land-use sectors will come together to define the role of sustainable landscapes in climate and development agendas. Visit for more information.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), remarks on ”great opportunities” in forestry, agriculture to mitigate climate change.

More on Forests Climate Change:

Youth in Southeast Asia can act as a “bridge” between other youth, businesses, government and local communities, and should be given the skills and forums to do so, participants at the Special Youth Session of the Forests Asia Summit argued. About 150 of Southeast Asia’s best and brightest young minds came together to discuss pathways to a sustainable future, generating key recommendations for enhancing the role of youth in building that future.

Media highlights

From national parks and tea plantations in Indonesia to rivers and mountains in India — the winning images in the Forests Asia Summit photo competition capture the great diversity of forests, landscapes and what they mean to people across Asia. Here is the jury’s selection:

Morning Fogs at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Spider and Mushroom Selecting the finest tea

See you in a few years

Catch the life

Morning at Dramaga Research Forest

Forest-dependent people and non-timber forest products

Help our orangutans

Lahu Basket Weaver: Weaving the basket




Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Day 1 Opening Address

Peter Holmgren, Day 1 Opening Address

Vivian Balakrishnan, Day 1 Plenary Speech

U Win Tun, Day 1 Plenary Speech

Akhom Tounalom, Day 1 Opening Plenary Discussion Panel

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Day 2 Plenary Speech

Demetrio Ignacio, Day 2 Ministerial Address

Pehin Dato Yahya Bakar, Day 2 Ministerial Address

Pavan Sukhdev, Green Growth in Southeast Asia

Rajendra Pachauri, Day 2 Keynote Speech

Mark Burrows, Day 2 Keynote Speech

Interview: Manual Pulgar-Vidal on why COP20 matters

Interview: Rajendra Pachauri on opportunities for reducing emissions

Background Briefs on Summit Themes

Governance and legal frameworks to promote sustainable landscapes

Investing in landscapes for green returns

Climate change and low emissions development on the ground

Forest landscapes for food and biodiversity

Changing communities, sustainable landscapes and equitable development