Photo: WALHI

Just governance to address underlying causes of deforestation

Pushing the environmental agenda on the political arena.



The Indonesian government has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent (on their own) and 41percent (with the help of other countries) within 2020.

The government has introduced and amended policies to improve forest management.

However, there is still work to be done to reach the targets and expectations. Indonesia still has the highest deforestation rate in the world. WALHI, The Indonesian Forum for Environment, seeks through this program to address the causes that directly affect deforestation and forest degradation. The project is expected to strengthen and expand the government's efforts and make it more effective.


Indonesia’s high levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission mainly stem from deforestation and forest degradation, forest fires, and other land-use changes. The progress on the commitments to reduce greenhouse gases has been slow, and WALHI argues that there are several underlying reasons for this:

  1. The government does not sufficiently address the main cause of deforestation and forest degradation, namely the existing and expansion of large-scale monoculture plantations (like pulpwood and oil palm), and mining in the forest.

  2. The government does not sufficiently enforce the law effectively towards industries that conduct illegal and destructive practices.

  3. The government does not sufficiently protect, secure and extend sustainable and deforestation-free practices in forest/natural resources management that are applied and developed by local communities and indigenous peoples. They have not yet recognized them as important actors to reduce and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.


Norad intends to offer NOK 23 million in total for the period 2016-2020.


In this project, WALHI and its 13 regional offices will address some of the causes that directly affect deforestation and forest degradation. They will work at local, regional and natonal level, and will seek to achieve the following changes:

  1. The government acknowledges and recognises community-based natural resources management/governance.

  2. There are law enforcement efforts towards destructive and/or illegal extractive industries that increase deforestation and forest degradation, and threaten community’s sustainable forest management/governance models and areas.

  3. There are strong community-based forest management models in place. This in order to increase their bargaining position towards government/policy makers to protect the community-managed areas.   

Expected results

The results that are expected to be realized are:

  1. At least additional 80,000 hectares community-based managed forests areas in 13 provinces being legally acknowledged by the government. Well documented local/indigenous communities forest management rules/models that are well implemented in 24 districts in 13 provinces.

  2. At least 2 community declarations demanding the recognition and protection of the community-managed forests/areas representing the Sumatera region and small-island regions submitted to the relevant government/policy makers’ institutions. At least 13 regulations issued either at local, district or provincial level that recognize and protect the community-managed forests. A draft bill for climate and forest protection at the national level that are being discussed by the government and policy makers.

  3. At least 3 cases involving extractive industries that cause deforestation and forest degradation (such as monoculture plantations) are exposed and investigated by the law enforcers. At least 2 cases involving forest crimes are processed in court.


WALHI will implement the project with its own regional network, which exists in 28 provinces in Indonesia. For this project, there will be 13 Regional Offices of WALHI that will directly involve in implementing the project, together with the National Executive Office.


About the project descriptions

The project descriptions give insight in the NICFI portfolio for civil society organisations supported by Norad. 

The descriptions presented are written by the project partners. Only minor edits have been undertaken by Norad. Their presentations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad.

Published 09.06.2016
Last updated 07.09.2020