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Book Launch: "Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change" Written By Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch

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The Center for Global Development has recently published a book entitled “Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change” co-authored by Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch. The book covers the science, economics, and politics of forest conservation and finance to underscore the urgency, affordability, and feasibility of scaling up funding for reducing deforestation, particularly through performance-based approaches. In the context of climate change mitigation in Indonesia, financing reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation holds great potential, particularly because land-use change and forestry is one the main sectors contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia.

In light of the new findings of the book and to commemorate the International Day of Forests, WRI Indonesia and the Center for Global Development will convene the book launch of Why Forests? Why Now? on March 21, 2017, at 10.00-12.00 at Hotel Borobudur, Timor Room, lobby level, Jalan Lapangan Banteng Selatan No.1, Jakarta 10710.

To discuss the book further, we will have a panel of distinguished experts consisting of:

  • Frances Seymour, author of Why Forests? Why Now?

  • Kindy Rinaldy Syahrir, Head of International Cooperation and Climate Change Finance, Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance

  • Laksmi Dhewanthi, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Forestry on Industry and International Trade, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (TBC)

  • Nirarta Samadhi, Director, WRI Indonesia

  • Sonny Mumbunan, Economist, Research Center for Climate Change, University of Indonesia

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Recap

WRI Indonesia and the Center for Global Development co-hosted a book launch of Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch’s book: Why Forests? Why Now? in Jakarta on the International Day of Forests.

Frances Seymour and Nirarta Samadhi spoke at the launch alongside Kindy Rinaldy Syahrir, Head of International Cooperation and Climate Change Finance, Ministry of Finance; Laksmi Dhewanthi, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Forestry on Industry and International Trade, and Sonny Mumbunan, an economist with the RCCC UI. The discussion, moderated by Wimar Witoelar, revolved around REDD+ finance, Indonesia’s fiscal policy in pursuing performance-based payment, and the country’s role in protecting forests.

Frances mentioned that REDD+ was a good start as the payment-for-performance scheme, but its funding was only limited to aid. The government of developed countries had to go extra miles in providing market-based mechanism and public policy tools to incentivize developing countries with abundant forests to keep them intact.

Laksmi further commented that the book was relevant to the context in Indonesia, especially in its relations to the draft regulation on environmental, economic instruments. She explained that market-based instrument to internalizing the externalities would be integral to the upcoming regulation. The instrument would also regulate the compensation for services between regions.

Kindy, as the representative from Ministry of Finance, was confident that Indonesia was on the right track by having the policy instruments, such as fiscal transfer and UU Desa that can regulate the disbursement of village fund for forest protection.

Nirarta from WRI Indonesia enriched the discussion from the perspective of technology. He aptly said that there had to be a bridge between advanced technology and people to use the data for a better forests management.

Lastly, Sonny, an economist from RCCC, told the audience that Indonesia’s national strategy for REDD+ could use the approach employed in Brazil. The government should set up the enabling condition regarding technology, policy, and political structure between ministries.

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