Hundreds of environmentalists have protested in Jakarta as the Indonesian government attempted to step away from its commitment to stop deforestation during the COP26 in Glasgow.
Last Monday, more than 100 countries promised to take serious action to stop land degradation and deforestation by 2030, allocating $19bn to invest in protecting forests. The countries that supported this statement include Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which together account for 85% of the world’s forests.
However, the position of Indonesia seems unclear.
On Thursday, Indonesian environmental minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar labeled as “unfair” the global plan to end deforestation and reduce carbon emissions by 2030. She also added that this global plan does not align with Indonesia’s development plan. The protest took place one day after her declaration. According to climate activists, the government of Indonesia is not putting any serious efforts in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, nor in stopping the destruction of its rainforest, which represents about one third of the world’s total.
Speaking with Reuters News Agency, an environmentalist and activist from the local group WALHI said that Indonesia’s government is increasing the production of coal, which is considered one of the main reasons behind the rise of global temperatures. During the protest, a representative from Greenpeace Indonesia said that Jakarta is supporting policies that enable deforestation, favoring big companies, while damaging local communities.
Following the protests, there is still confusion about Indonesia’s position, as the country’s vice foreign minister denied that zero deforestation by 2030 was even part of the COP26 pledge