Training for low-emissions development in Indonesia

To respond to the Government of Indonesia’s need for development that produces less greenhouse gas emissions, the World Agroforestry Centre and WWF Indonesia conducted training in the specially created methodology known as Land-Use Planning for Low-Emissions Development Strategies, says Suyanto


The Government has committed to independently reduce emissions by 26%, and up to 41% with international support, by 2020. Indonesia is a world leader in setting out to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases but the capacity in district governments to plan how to do this complex task is actually quite low. To help remedy this, we began a training program, starting with staff of the District Government of Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, in February 2013.

The training was conducted with people from the District Planning Development Agency, Forestry Office, Public Works Office and the Office of Plantations, Agriculture and Livestock, who formed a technical team responsible for developing low-emissions strategies for the district.

There were three objectives of the training: 1) improve the capacity of local policy makers in developing a low-emissions strategy; 2) establish a reference emission level for Kutai Barat district; and 3) establish scenarios for low-emissions development strategies.

Land-Use Planning for Low-Emissions Development Strategies (Luwes) is a series of technical and non-technical steps that have been combined into a quick and easy method that is integrated, inclusive and informed. The method focuses on encouraging the participation of local stakeholders and improving the understanding and involvement of all concerned.

Luwes also answers the need for analyses of the trade-offs between economic opportunity and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is well adapted to local conditions, especially related to capacity and data constraints.

In the training, Mr Feri Johana and Mr Thoha Zulkarnain of the World Agroforestry Centre were the main trainers, while the WWF Indonesia team, consisting of Mr Arif Budiman, Mr Hultera and Mr Muis Fajar, provided context for Kutai Barat’s engagement with reducing emissions and assisted with scenario development.

Uplands of Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Uplands of Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Thoha Zulkarnain

Kutai Barat district covers 3.2 million hectare of mountainous landscapes in the north with tracts of intact forest and relatively flat areas in the south. The south is more developed, with mosaics of agricultural land, mostly rubber, and is undergoing rapid changes in land uses. A small part of the district to the east is covered by peat swamp. Kutai Barat is a corridor between two national parks: Kayan Mentarang in East Kalimantan and Betung Karihun in West Kalimantan.

During the training, land-cover changes in Kutai Barat from 2000 to 2009 were analysed by the team, including the consequences for land-based emissions.

The analysis showed that emissions came from various sources but the largest shares were from logging concession areas followed by plantations and timber plantations (see the figure below).

Carbon emission, graph, Kutai Barat, Kalimantan, Indonesia

Emission shares in different zones in Kutai Barat district, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

The team then calculated the reference emission level for 2020 using a ‘forward-looking’ approach. Different scenarios for development were then created that could potentially reduce emissions to various levels. Based on the zone maps that were compiled for the purpose, emissions-reduction scenarios developed by the team included 1) preserving primary forest in the logging concession zone; 2) cultivating degraded land in the plantation zone; 3) rehabilitating degraded land in the mining zone; 4) preserving existing primary and secondary forests in the protection forest zone; and 5) cultivating degraded land in the timber plantation zone.

The cumulative emissions from the different scenarios were presented in the final session (see figure below).

development scenario, low emissions, Kutai Barat, cumulative emissions, graph, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Different scenarios and cumulative emissions for Kutai Barat district, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

The training was the first step in a series of activities in Kutai Barat involving WWF, the district technical team and the Centre that will help develop low-emissions strategies and incorporate them into the district’s development plan. This is intended to lead to the district being able to contribute to the national emissions reduction target.

Through the support of various projects funded by the European Union, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Danish International Development Agency and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, more training in Luwes and related tools in several other districts have been carried out and much more is planned over the next few years.


Edited by Robert Finlayson


Read about Luwes

Dewi S, Ekadinata A, Galudra G, Agung P, Johana F. 2011. LUWES: Land use planning for Low Emission Development Strategy. Bogor, Indonesia: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Southeast Asia Regional Program





This work is related to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry


Rob Finlayson

Robert Finlayson is the Southeast Asia program's regional communications specialist. As well as writing stories for the Centre's website, he devises and supervises strategies for projects and the countries in the Southeast Asia region, including scripting and producing videos, supervising editors and translators and also assisting with resource mobilization.

You may also like...