WRI Indonesia’s Emission Reduction and Sequestration Initiative supports individuals, groups and/or institutions to measure their controllable and uncontrollable carbon emissions, and then to reduce their own carbon footprint or to support carbon sequestration activities conducted by our partners. This initiative aims to directly reduce the impact of emissions on the climate crisis, by transforming personal and organizational behaviors and lifestyles, using approaches backed by science and technology.
Indonesia (national, jurisdictional and individual levels).
Global temperature has already reached 1⁰ Celsius above pre-industrial levels. A recent UN report showed that warming above 1.5⁰ Celsius would accelerate the rate of global extinction over a hundredfold, known as the climate crisis.
Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions in the sky is a critical factor behind global warming. In Indonesia, land use change such as deforestation and peatland degradation as well as energy sectors such as the use of coal and fossil fuel are the main source of emissions.
However, some human activities are unavoidable, and the production of emissions are inevitable. Therefore, to minimize the impact of carbon emissions, individual and collective efforts are necessary. The average Indonesian releases about 2.09 tons of carbon emissions annually. Hence, how we use daily transportation and how we manage our trees are, among others, two of the main ways to reduce emissions and sequester carbon, respectively, and it all starts with sufficient and easily digestible education.
At WRI Indonesia, we believe that mixing transparent science-based approach with personal appeal is a good formula for change. Our goal is to transform the behaviors of communities, businesses and governments to be more aware of their negative environmental impact from daily activities, directly participate in easy actions to help mitigate climate change, and could scale up their positive contribution for the sustainability of current and future societies.
WRI Indonesia is developing methods and tools personalized to Indonesia to measure and track the amount of carbon emissions produced by individuals, groups or institutions. Then, WRI Indonesia followed it up through a collaboration scheme with multiple partners to educate the public on how they can reduce emissions, and for carbon sequestration activities such as tree planting (including growth maintenance) and adoption of mature trees. In Indonesia’s context, reforestation and forest conservation are among the cheapest and easiest yet impactful “green” technology that is available.
WRI Indonesia collaborates with the following organizations to measure, reduce and sequester their stakeholders’ carbon emissions:
Question #1: How do you calculate and reduce emissions from urban land transport?
Answer: Emissions from urban land transport are calculated using the “bottom-up” approach, which estimates emissions from activity data and country-specific emission factors. Greenhouse gas (CO2) emission calculations use the fuel-based method, while pollutant (CO, SO2, NOx and PM2.5) emission calculations use the distance-based method. The calculator attempts to use the best available local data and Indonesian context (demographical, economic, infrastructure, etc.). We will soon be releasing a full publication document on this method for public reference.
Question #2: Why does this initiative currently focus on emissions from urban land transport only?
Answer: This initiative currently focuses on emissions from the urban land transport of passengers because the transport sector is one of the biggest contributors to emissions. ICEL’s study found that transport accounts for more than 46% of emissions in the capital city of Jakarta. We hope to expand our scope to include not only other modes of transport (e.g. air, sea, and water) as well as freight activity, but also other lifestyle aspects (e.g. electricity use, fashion and food consumption, and waste) in the near future.
Question #3: Which one should come as first priority? Emission reduction or emission sequestration?
Reducing overall emissions needs to be our first priority. To limit global warming to 1.5˚C, we need to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030. Carbon sequestration projects, through e.g. tree-based restoration, can help us address our released emissions, but they will not be enough without reducing emissions first.
Section B: Carbon Sequestration
Question #1: How do you calculate emission sequestration?
Answer: In general, we use methodologies recommended by the UNFCCC and IPCC to calculate carbon removal from tree planting activities. We use allometric equations to estimate tree biomass, and then multiply it with a carbon fraction coefficient to obtain the carbon stock for a specific tree species planted in a specific ecosystem and location. In total, there are five different calculation approaches (from most to least preferred) that could be utilized, with the order of priority based on the availability of data. The full details of this method will also be shown in our upcoming technical note. All of our calculation methods will be revisited periodically for potential further refinement and updates.
Question #2: Why did you choose to use sequestration calculation methods that you chose?
So far, our carbon sequestration calculation uses methods that are reviewed and accepted by various scientific experts in the relevant field. In the future, we are considering third-party validation or certification of the carbon amount.
Question #3: How will you evaluate and report the progress of this initiative to the public?
Answer: Every six months for at least the next two years, we report the written progress of our initiative to each individual and organization that has contributed to the tree planting activities. In addition, we will also provide this information in the monitoring feature of our application, EMISI in mobile and web formats. The progress report will include information, namely:
The total amount of carbon sequestered by the new trees planted,
The growth and health status of trees that have been planted through our planting activities
The total number of trees needed to sequester emissions from all trips submitted in our mobile application
Question #1: How do you determine the expenses of the tree planting and adoption?
Answer: The cost per tree of the reforestation and afforestation projects are determined by our planting partners and vary based on location, ecosystem, and other factors. This cost generally covers:
The procurement of seedling and tree planting process, unless stated otherwise
Tree monitoring for 2-3 years and replanting in case it does not grow
Provision of periodic ground reports and other administrative fees (if any)
Question #2: Who will take care of the trees planted and how will they do that?
Answer: Our planting partners will take care of the trees and monitor their growth according to their good practice standards. The tree monitoring and maintenance include making sure the trees receive sufficient nutrients to grow, replanting if the previously planted trees could not grow due to bad weather or other natural reasons, and measuring their diameter and height periodically. All of these are on top of a visual picture of the trees themselves.
Question #3: How will tree planting activities be implemented?
Answer: In the spirit of co-creation and collective climate action, tree planting will be funded based on contributions from different individuals and organizations, no matter the size. The trees grow best following good biophysical and weather situations on the ground, thus most of them will not immediately be planted whenever each of your contributions arrives. Additionally, to support an efficient process, trees will be planted when the bulk amount requirement has been reached. The land in which the trees will be planted have had their land use rights confirmed.
Question #4: Who are your planting partners?
Answer: Our planting partners include local and international organizations with projects across Indonesia, such as in Kalimantan, Aceh, Jambi, and Jakarta. Each offers different environmental and socio-economic benefits, from protecting wildlife corridors to providing alternative livelihoods to local communities. Interested parties can visit their websites to learn more.
Section D: Public Engagement
Question #1: Why do we need to use the EMISI mobile app?
Answer: Imagine that you are the user of EMISI. You will be able to calculate, reduce and sequester your travel emissions so that you can learn about your role in climate change as well as take direct actions. EMISI will help you reduce your travel emissions based on three principles, namely Avoid (“are you sure each trip is necessary? how about online meetings?”), Shift (“public transport will help reduce your emissions significantly”), and Improve (“sharing your ride with other people will help you reduce your emissions significantly”) among others. Moreover, EMISI will provide you with information on the number and types of trees that you need to plant in order to sequester your emissions effectively. You can either plant the trees on your own or provide funding to planting partners that will gladly plant the trees for you.
In terms of the progress reports, you will receive information outlined under Section B Question #3 through email and the monitor feature of the application every six months. You will also receive additional information such as the total emissions from your travel activities, the growth and health status of the trees that you have planted, and the total emissions that your trees have sequestered. This will allow you to monitor your own emission reduction and sequestration progress, as well as receive transparent information regarding our planting activities directly from us.
Question #2: What are carbon trip opportunities?
Carbon trips are an immersive and educational experience for individuals and institutions to become more environmentally responsible. CarbonEthics is one of the partner organizations that offer such carbon trips. We are working with more of our partners to provide more of these opportunities.
Section E: WRI Indonesia Roles
Question #1: What is the role of WRI Indonesia in this initiative?)
Answer: This initiative is a multi-stakeholder effort across different sectors. As a research institute, WRI Indonesia provides science-based emission calculation methods, while serving as a facilitator to organize and integrate each stakeholder’s roles in a transparent way.
Question #2: Is WRI Indonesia the one that directly raises funds from Individuals participating in this initiative?
Answer: As a non-profit foundation, WRI Indonesia does not directly raise funds from individuals in Indonesian society. Instead, we actively encourage the public to support our partners directly or through credible crowdfunding platforms.
Question #3:. If the first priority is emission reduction, why does WRI Indonesia also include tree planting and protecting activities in this initiative?
Answer: While it is possible to sequester the carbon from our activities, reducing emissions ideally comes first. That being said, we still see the value in planting and protecting trees. Trees are a very visible change in the environment that can help make us feel more environmentally conscious and empowered. They also come with numerous environmental and social co-benefits, direct and indirect, e.g. wildlife corridors, help maintain air quality, provide alternative livelihoods to local communities, reduce the risks of natural disasters, and other benefits.