In South Sumatra, we protect the remaining forests through intensifying production and rehabilitating degraded land, reduce emissions by preventing peat and forest fires, and improve smallholder livelihoods by intensifying commodity production and improving farming practices.

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 our activities and in collaboration with the provincial and district governments as well as private sector companies, we aim to achieve the following:

  1. Conserve remaining intact forest and peatland thereby protecting species.
  2. Prevent forest and peatland fires and thus avoid future GHG emission and environmental and economic loss.
  3. Restore degraded forest and peatland
  4. Intensify smallholder production and support them in becoming resilient to climate change and price volatility.

The Landscape

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 

Green growth plan

IDH has convened a green growth plan at the provincial level with accompanying multi-stakeholder coalition driving the implementation. Both the government of South Sumatra and the privates sector actors are strongly committed to the sustainable development of the province and thus the implementation of the plan.

Production, Protection and Inclusion

To implement the green growth plan at the landscape level, IDH is developing PPI compacts in the areas where forest and peat protection and/or restoration will take place. We are piloting this in the district (kabupaten) of Musi Banyuasin together with the local government and companies. We aim to carry out meaningful and scientific based rehabilitation, protection and peatland best management practices. Musi Banyuasin district will become the first district in South Sumatra to be certified under the jurisdictional certification plan.

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.

Driving market demand

IDH works at the market end, especially in Europe, to drive the uptake of the sustainably produced commodities in the landscape. Our market convening work also creates a stronger business case for the companies on the ground to produce more sustainably.
To drive the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, IDH and MVO (the Dutch Oils and Fats Industry) established the European Sustainable Palm Oil, or ESPO, project in 2015. The project was initiated to stimulate the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, and its objective is to achieve ‘100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020’. ESPO works in close collaboration with various National Palm Oil Initiatives on sustainable palm oil, the RSPO and umbrella EU associations, such as Caobisco (confectionary), Fediol (refineries) and Imace (margarines), and connects to the green sourcing areas.



Title Type Year
Landscapes Information Brief: IDH’s approach to sustainable landscapes Brochure 2018
IDH Landscape program Factsheet 2018
Indonesia Landscape Factsheet Factsheet 2018
Conveners Guide for Building Landscape Coalitions Report 2017
IDH Landscapes Forum Report Report 2017

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Our Public and Private Partners


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