In a virtual meeting about a collaboration for the development of “Tropical Forest Power in Climate Actions”, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, has said that nations with large tropical forests have significant power and influence in aiming to keep global warming temperature increases below 1.5°C, and thus have strong positioning in climate negotiations at the upcoming COP26. The meeting was held between Nurbaya and Brazilian Environmental Minister, Joaquim Alvaro Pereir Leite.
Minister Nurbaya explained: “The background to this virtual discussion is that Brazil and Indonesia are the world’s first and third largest tropical forest nations respectively, so of course they have significant influence on climate negotiations.”
The world’s second largest forest nation, DR Congo, is also invited to be included in this collaboration, with Minister Nurbaya inviting Congo Kinshasa’s Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Eve Bazaiba Masudi to join them in seeking to influence climate negotiations and champion effective climate solutions.
“The joint efforts of the largest tropical forest nations, in this proposed initiative, would be very decisive and powerful in fighting the climate crisis,” Minister Nurbaya said.
She has laid out potential areas where the proposed collaboration – named IBC from the initials of the participating countries – can venture into, including reduced deforestation, fire management, social forestry and community-based forest management, climate fund management, sustainable agriculture, environmental land administration, biodiversity and bioprospecting, and mangrove rehabilitation and conservation, among others.
According to her, the proposed collaboration will benefit all countries in terms of climate actions and climate finance: “We will be able to collaborate in these potential areas while remaining aligned with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities – whereby enhanced climate actions, such as climate adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and land use sector, are matched by enhanced climate finance. This is most notable among developed countries who years ago promised US$100 billion a year but have failed to make this a reality.”
The collaboration will also try to advocate for an increase in funds for result-based payments for emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation. Minister Nurbaya explained: “We need to see a rise in emissions reductions payments as these should represent prices at the ecosystem services level. For example, the current average price tag of USD5 per ton of CO2 equivalent is clearly far too low.”
Other tropical countries, such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam, will potentially be invited to join the collaboration.
Minister Nurbaya concluded by leaving the door open for non-tropical forest countries to also play a role, saying they “will also invite the largest temperate nations to join as observers in the proposed initiative.”