The province of South Sumatra spans almost nine million hectares in area, is home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, while also being an important production area for globally traded commodities such as palm oil, timber, pulp and rubber. The recent expansion in commodity production means deforestation rates have been extremely high and natural forest cover has reduced significantly. This coupled with forest fires such as those of 2015 show that there is serious tension between optimizing commodity production to cater for economic prosperity of the region and the forest protection to address climate change and protect species. Both the private sector as well as the provincial and district level governments understand the urgent need to find a balance between these aspects and are motivated to act. IDH brought together the public and private stakeholders in a partnership and drove the development of a Green Growth Plan for the province. Through green growth and Production-Protection- Inclusion compacts (PPI compacts), IDH aims to protect natural forests and peatlands in Sembilang National Park, while at the same time contributing to economic growth.
Total land cover: 8.7 million ha
Land designated as forest area: 3.5 million ha
Land with actual forest vegetation: 1.3 million ha
Land designated as peat: 1.4 million ha
Ecological features: Rainforest, peatland, home to
Main causes of forest loss: Deforestation for commodity production, forest fires (eg 2015
forest fire in South Sumatra and Jambi)
Major commodities: Plantation timber, palm oil, pulp and paper
The majority of the remaining natural forest is located in the Bukit Barisan range in the far west and south of the province, and in Sembilang National Park in the northeast. IDH’s activities will be in the Sembilang National Park and its surroundings. This is due to the relatively high level of remaining natural forest, the habitat significance for endangered endemic species, the high threats of fire, illegal logging and encroachment and the multi-commodity economic base.
This area contains most of the key commodities for South Sumatra including plantation timber, palm oil and rubber. The development of palm, pulp and other commodities has significantly reduced the forest coverage. In this context, IDH sees two significant opportunities for interventions aiming at production- protection-inclusion:
The district (kabupaten) of Musi Banyuasin is a priority areas for the national and provincial government to pilot meaningful and scientific based rehabilitation, protection and peatland best management practices within South Sumatra due to the combination of a strongly motivated provincial Government and strong private sector actors with sustainability commitments. IDH has convened a Green Growth Plan at the Provincial level with accompanying multi-stakeholder coalition driving the implementation. For that implementation, IDH is developing production- protection-inclusion compacts in the areas where forest and peat protection and/or restoration will take place.
IDH links these compacts to investments in sustainable production and demand for sustainable products. We are piloting the RSPO regional sourcing scheme in South Sumatra, with wide ranging support by government, producers and supply chain companies.
There are two kinds of companies: those that sell sustainable products... and those that will...