By Elizabeth Kahurani
Indonesia is one of the countries where World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has had significant success in using research evidence and tools to influence government policy and implementation. For instance, the institution developed a land use planning strategy tool called LUWES that is currently being used in all provinces across Indonesia. The provinces use the LUWES tool to estimate their contribution in achieving Indonesia’s national overall target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 26% below 2020 projections in addition to a 15% reduction with multilateral support.
Another tool, LUMENS (Land-Use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services) is endorsed for province-level planning by Indonesia’s ministry of national development planning (BAPPENAS).
Developing tools in research is one thing, having them applied in policy and used by communities is something else requiring a different set of effective, targeted skills and strategies. Dr Sonya Dewi of ICRAF in Indonesia explained what it involves at a session in the Indonesia pavilion held during UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris.
“It is a stakeholders team effort that involves a process of strengthening and building skills for application and implementation,” Sonya was quick to admit. “You have to involve other institutions and have a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to it. This includes having on board academics such as universities, development partners, government at all levels and local communities,” she said.
Working together with all these teams facilitates a dynamic set of activities that contribute to the overall goal of informing policy and implementation. According to Sonya, these activities include “tool development, training sessions, technical assistance, data compilation, policy discussions, public consultations and negotiations.” She further explained that it is a stepwise process that starts with science and knowledge generation where accountability is paramount; forming strategic alliances where fairness and efficiency are key considerations; enabling policies and institutions that ensure sustainability and scaling up; and having an effective communication strategy for raising awareness.
This has particularly been useful working with the provinces in Indonesia who under a new law are responsible for coordinating action to prevent further emission of greenhouse gases at the local level to ensure that the national emission reduction target is met. This coordination involves planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting; which according to Sonya requires training the provinces to ensure availability of skills and competencies in planning, data compilation and MRV design process.
“For example we had the LUMENS framework applied at district and province levels through a series of trainings, technical assistance, facilitation of working groups expert networks and mainstreaming,” says Sonya.
Challenges faced include training participants who are not able to advance the process back at the local level, getting a strong political will at the provincial level to ensure a multisectoral approach to policies, engaging local stakeholders and getting the needed finances.
This can however be overcome through having robust communication strategies, negotiation skills, guidelines that cut across different government levels and through an integrated landscape multifunctional approach to climate mitigation efforts.