Bioenergy boosted through international agreement in Bali
A partnership for developing sustainable bioenergy in Indonesia has been formalised between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the World Agroforestry Centre.
His Excellency Mr Sudirman Said, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia, presided over the signing in Bali of a memorandum of understanding with the World Agroforestry Centre to further research into sustainable bioenergy. The memorandum builds upon the long-term memorandum between the Centre and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and increases synergy between all partners.
The Minister was speaking at the Renewable Energy Forum, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, held 16–17 October 2015, hosted by the Ministry, the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia and the World Agroforestry Centre.
Bioenergy has been targeted to make up 10% of the Government of Indonesia’s aim of drawing 23% of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. Achieving that goal faces many challenges, said the World Agroforestry Centre’s director-general Dr Tony Simons and Indonesia country coordinator Dr Sonya Dewi, speaking earlier at the Forum.
The Centre’s willingness to assist the Government overcome the challenges and realise a sustainable future for energy supply was formalised through signature of the memorandum of understanding by Dr Simons and Mr FX Sutijastoto, head of the Agency for Research and Development, Directorate of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
The memorandum establishes a framework for cooperation on energy development and conservation between the two organisations that will address technology, policy and regulatory concerns between the government and private sectors. Cooperative activities that might be undertaken include strengthening the capacity to develop bioenergy to support sustainable development; connecting with the global scientific and development communities for best practices and lessons learned; facilitating national and global exchanges of knowledge between the scientific community and policy makers on bioenergy; supporting and enhancing Indonesia’s scientific contributions to global bioenergy-related research and policy making; and building capacity in education and training.
Dr Putera Parthama, director-general, Sustainable Production Forest Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, welcomed the agreement and noted that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry would happily join the partnership. He emphasised that a large part of biomass production for bioenergy was linked to forests and forest land, over which the Ministry of Environment and Forestry had jurisdiction under the Forestry Law. The Law applies to almost 70% of Indonesia’s land area.
The Minister also announced that it was no coincidence that Bali was chosen as the location for the signing and the Forum: it is the first province in Indonesia to be declared a ‘clean and green’ energy area.
‘Bali’s success will be very important for all Indonesia’, said the Minister. ‘Our aim is that by as soon as 2018, 100% of the energy used in Bali Province will be drawn from renewable sources. We are establishing a centre of excellence in Bali that will serve not only the province but the nation, region and the international arena’.
To help achieve this ambitious goal in such a short time, the Minister invited the international community to participate.
‘This forum can offer solutions to Bali and the national and global effort to achieve prosperity while protecting the environment. We have already begun institutional reform and created several strategic programs based on the president’s agenda. The first strategy is to facilitate energy for all by expanding the energy mix. The second is developing clean energy technologies to help meet the target of 35,000 MW, with 20% from renewables.
‘I challenge all to come up with breakthrough thinking to achieve sustainable energy. We need to work together with the global community, national community and, particularly, civil society’.
In Bali, meeting the challenge is already under way through drawing on indigenous knowledge, said the Governor of Bali Province, HE Mr I Made Mangku Pastika, who welcomed participants to the Forum, emphasising that Bali’s underlying philosophy, Tri Harta Karana, already supported sustainability.
Tri Harta Karana is translated as the Three Causes of Wellbeing: harmony among people; harmony with the environment; and harmony with God.
‘We must respect the environment’, emphasised the Governor. ‘We must focus on the sustainability of the energy sector. Bali Province has committed to clean and green. Our agriculture is working on organic products and efficient and renewable energy, such as wind, water and bioenergy. We protect and restore forests and protect lakes, rivers and springs. We encourage the private sector to manage their waste not just to reduce greenhouse gases but to provide electricity. Our principle is ‘One island, one ecosystem, one management’. To make this a sustainable reality we must not only change some of our old habits but educate the younger generation, starting now. We welcome all to join us in doing so’.
This work is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry