[Speech] Tropical Landscapes Summit: A Global Investment Opportunity

Apr 27, 2015

Ms. Gina Casar, UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator

Speech at the Inaugural Session of “Tropical Landscapes Summit: A Global Investment Opportunity”

27 April 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia

Your Excellency Mr. Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of Indonesia

Your Excellency Mr. Franky Sibarani, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board

Hon’ble Ministers,

Excellencies; Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin my expressing my deepest condolences to the Government and people of Nepal. The reports of death, injuries and destruction caused by this weekend’s devastating earthquake are quite horrifying. This is a time for solidarity, and I would like to make an appeal for support to assist Nepal in this dark hour.

Indonesia itself is, of course, no stranger to disasters, and I am aware that only this past December Indonesia commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

It is an honour for me to address this Inaugural Session of the “Tropical Landscapes Summit: A Global Investment Opportunity”.

This summit takes place at a critical point in time – both for Indonesia, and for the world. Indeed, 2015 is a decisive year for development, as the international community is in the process of agreeing on a global development agenda to succeed the MDGs.

Indonesia is certainly a country with the eyes of the world upon it. The choices that it makes, regarding its own development path, will have a significant bearing for global development prospects.

In particular, how Indonesia chooses to manage its tropical landscapes, is of critical importance - not only for Indonesia, but for the whole world. These landscapes are an immense and multi-dimensional source of value, at many scales. They are the source of ecosystem goods and services whose contribution to human wellbeing is invaluable; they are a repository of culture and tradition, of social identity and individual aspiration; and a source of future wealth, if managed sustainably.

For too long, landscapes around the world have been viewed in terms of isolated products that can be extracted from them, reflecting desires of a few remote consumers at the expense of the interests of wider society. This has not proven to be the optimal model for development.

The fact that the Government of Indonesia has convened this Summit, and the wide support for its objectives by the large number of participants, indicates that things are going to be done differently.

Government of Indonesia policy leadership for sustainable development

Indeed, the choices taken by the Government of Indonesia, by private sector and civil society in the country, indicate that the country is already breaking the mold of how development has traditionally been done. The Government of President Jokowi has established a clear vision of ‘development for the people’, in which sustainability plays an integral role.

Instead of trading off environment for economy, realizing GDP growth at the cost of social resilience and equity, Indonesia aims to marry growth with the protection of its natural resources for future generations. As such, the country is epitomizing the type of high-level commitment and action that we hope to inspire the Post-2015 Development Agenda. I will mention a few examples:

  • In the country’s Mid-Term Development Plan for 2015-2019, the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26%, compared by a business as usual baseline by 2020, is reaffirmed. This goal provides the anchor for the country’s broader commitments to a green economy transition.
  • The Government’s commitment under the Village Autonomy Law (No. 6 of 2014) to channel substantive development resources to the village level also provides a great opportunity to mainstream green economy principles throughout the grassroots of society, and to empower communities to craft their own strategies for a sustainable future.
  • The President’s decision to continue with the country’s ambitious REDD+ programme is commendable, and further establishes Indonesia as a model.  The Government’s commitment to extend the moratorium on logging concessions and enhance forest governance and law enforcement mechanisms to combat illegal deforestation will be crucial to continue this momentum. At the same time, the international community should step up to match Indonesia’s commitment by delivering the support that it needs, including in the form of technology, capacity building, and financing. The UN has been a privileged partner of the Government on its REDD+ agenda and stands ready to continue this partnership.
  • Renewable energy also looks to play an increasingly central role in Indonesia’s national energy mix, with the Government committing to increase its contribution to 23% by 2025.  A policy framework is under formulation to support the marrying of the objectives of energy with those of ecosystem conservation and community empowerment. This is commendable.
  • The Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), a joint programme of UNDP and UNEP, is also contributing to the goal of the emission reduction in Indonesia. In particular, a system to identify and monitor national budget expenditure for climate change mitigation has been developed with the support of PEI. It will cover agriculture, forestry, peat lands, transport, energy, industry and waste sectors – all critical areas when it comes to addressing climate change.

The importance of strong partnerships

Pursuing a pathway of sustainable and inclusive development requires strong partnerships and committed and collaborative action from government, business, civil society, and international partners alike. Each actor has a role to play; and that role can be played most effectively when others play their part.

The New York Declaration on Forests signed last September in New York, is an excellent example of a groundbreaking partnership in support of sustainable development. Indeed, it was unprecedented in the range of signatories and the ambition of their commitments, as it sets out a shared public-private commitment to halve deforestation worldwide by 2020, and end it by 2030. This was then followed up with the KADIN pledge and the pledge of major palm oil actors to move towards deforestation-free palm oil by 2020.  So there is now no shortage of commitments and frameworks to guide action- what we need to see is action.

Indonesia’s Palm Oil Platform – or InPOP, launched by the Government last October, is a concrete example of the kind of action we need to see. This initiative is led by the Ministry of Agriculture and involves all Ministries and supply chain stakeholders. It aims at addressing structural barriers to sustainability and improving the productivity, legal status, and livelihoods of the thousands of smallholders producing 40 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil, while protecting the country’s critical biodiversity and indigenous lands.  This requires the collective action of all stakeholders – public and private - and UNDP is proud to be supporting the Government in this endeavor.


Finance is a key enabler of change – both public and private. Already, opportunities and channels for green investment are emerging and consolidating at various scales.  Late last year, we saw pledges towards the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund exceed 10 billion USD. This is a valuable statement of political commitment, but surely we have a way to go to reach the fund’s full potential.

With the immense financial resources required for a transition to green economy, it is, however, clear that public finance must catalyze private investment.  Political commitment and policy leadership is essential in this regard. In hosting this Summit, the Government of Indonesia is confirming that it is serious about working together with the private sector in making the country a viable destination for green investment.

Inclusion and participation

We also need to give due consideration to who are included in the conversation about green investment.

Clearly, leadership from governments and the private sector at the highest levels is essential. But we cannot afford to ignore the voices of those living in tropical landscapes, whose daily needs and choices are the fundamental factor governing their management.  

Indeed, some of the most innovative and impactful opportunities for investment are emerging at the grassroots of society, driven by people’s creative attempts to craft solutions to the problems they experience, from micro-savings initiatives to off-grid energy solutions, to eco-tourism. We must all look to those as we balance the objectives of profitability and equity.


This “Tropical Landscapes Summit” is a great opportunity to take stock of how far Indonesia has come in terms of transitioning to a paradigm of green growth, and how the private sector and development partners can support the Indonesian government and civil society to drive this process forward.

Mr. Vice President, 

Let me assure you that the United Nations is delighted to be a part of this important endeavor.

Thank you.

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