Road map for saving Sumatra Island and ecosystem launched

EoF Press Release / 12 May 2010

Jakarta, 11 May 2010 –This evening, four Indonesian Ministries and Sumatran Governors will be launching a document of “The Road Map for Saving Sumatra Ecosystem: Sumatra’s Vision 2020.” This document will become a platform for the provinces in implementing the 10 Sumatran Governors agreement on saving Sumatra ecosystem which was previously declared on 18 September 2008 and officially published at ICUN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain on October 2009.

This governors’ agreement endorsed by Indonesian Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Forestry, and Ministry of Home Affairs outlines commitment on ecosystem-based spatial plan, restoration of critical area, and protection for high conservation value area in Sumatra.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Gamawan Fauzi, SH, MM hailed the launching of the Road Map. He expected that the criteria and action plans written on the document will become input to complete the development planning at the regional level (both mid-term and long term development planning), Strategic Plan of every regional unit of work (SKPD), and Spatial Planning at provincial, district, and city administration levels in Sumatra starting from 2010 to the next term. Moreover the road map is expected to develop synergy between district/city government both in the province and cross-province as well as build up network across regions and develop their excellences in managing their region.

As an early step, some locations will be chosen as demonstration location to enhance this ecosystem-based spatial plan model. To date, mountainous area in Bukit Barisan, located in the heart of Sumatra (extending from the western to the eastern part, as well as Bukit Tiga Puluh mountainous area and lowland areas in the north) has been identified as an area with significant ecological values in RIMBA (stands for Riau, Jambi, and West Sumatra). The demonstration location then named as RIMBA ecosystem.

The high ecosystem represents the high plant biodiversity of mountainous tropical rainforest, lowland, and peat swamp forest. Furthermore, it is also a home of numbers of endangered species. As a result, a sustainable ecosystem management of RIMBA will significantly contribute in reducing emission as The President of Indonesia has declared at The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009 to reduce Indonesia’s green house gas emission by 26 % by 2020 from the 2005 level.

Minister of Foresty Zulkifli Hasan, SE. MM, in his keynote speech said that political commitment of The Sumatran Governors to saving Sumatra ecosystem is an important step toward sustainable development in Sumatra. The implementation of the Sumatra road map and its demonstration locations are in line with Indonesia’s effort in climate change mitigation and at the same time they contribute in reducing emission by 26 % in the spatial plan-related sectors. The road map also enables the increase of carbon stock through framework of strategic area in spatial plan.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works Ir. Djoko Kirmanto Dipl. HE said that spatial plan at the island, province, and district levels have been parallelly reviewed in accordance to Law 26/2007. The road map document is expected to become a primary reference to enhance Sumatra ecosystems protection effort through transparent, participatory, and systematic spatial plan. Thus it will meet the stakeholders’ needs toward sustainable development. The demonstration area (RIMBA) agreed by the three provinces can become a model for development of strategic area of integrated RIMBA ecosystem in which the harmony of the environment and man-made environment becomes the principle of spatial pattern in both cultivated and protected area in the region.

Minister Kirmanto also gave appreciation to Sumatra Spatial Planning Forum (ForTRUST) comprising of institutions/environmental or conservation organisations, as well as representatives from universities for their support and active participation in composing the document and contributing early socialization of the Sumatra road map to all parties. He expected that the forum will continue supporting the government effort particularly in socializing the document to all parties and speeding up its implementation at the provincial, district, and city levels in the future.

On his speech, Minister of the Environment Prof. Dr. Ir. Gusti Muhammad Hatta highlighted the three important points written in the road map document. First, the activities related to rehabilitation of critical area and restoration of ecosystem function in the high ecological values area. 

Secondly, management of the areas which are still in good condition, using sustainable management model. Lastly, he underlined the development of incentive and disincentive models for spatial plan in accordance to its status and function. Since the revision process of spatial plan both at national, province, and district levels are still underway, it is expected that the road map document for saving Sumatra ecosystem will be able to become guidance for completing regulation for spatial plan and Mid-term Development Planning at the regional level (RPJMD).

Contact: Ir. Hermin Roosita, M.M. Deputy State Minister for Spatial Environmental Management, State Ministry of the Environment (62)-21-8580111.