All roads lead to ROAM

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All roads lead to ROAM

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G'day!  Spent last week in Jakarta (aka the Big Durian) at the national kick-off event for the; Restoration Oppotunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), developed by IUCN and World Resources Institute.

The objective was to ensure that mangroves and coastal landscapes are on the Agenda as part of Indonesia's national Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) plan.

The workshop was entitled:  Accelerating Action on Forests and Landscape Restoration in Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities for Enhancing Ecological Resilience and Community Livelihoods

What: A national, multi-stakeholder forum – attended by representatives of central and local governments, civil society organizations, research organizations and universities, the private sector, and the media – to accelerate action on nation-wide forest and landscape restoration (FLR).

When: April 19-20, 2016

Where: Sonokeling Room, Manggala Wanabakti (Ministry of Environment and Forestry), Jalan Gatot Subroto, Senayan, Jakarta 10270

Organizers: World Resources Institute Indonesia, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Peat Restoration Agency (PRA)

 

Background:

World Resources Institute (WRI) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) are two key players in the global partnership for mainstreaming and implementing FLR efforts.

FLR is an integrated approach that seeks to ensure that forests, trees, and the functions that they provide are effectively restored, conserved, and employed on a landscape-scale to help secure ecological integrity and sustainable livelihoods for the future. WRI and IUCN also developed the
Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), a flexible and affordable framework which has been used in several African and Latin American countries to rapidly identify and analyze FLR potential in various landscapes.

Successful FLR and ROAM implementation will not only increase carbon sequestration and capacity to adapt to climate change through low-emission development strategies, but also create multiple other benefits, such as expanding habitats and migration corridors for biodiversity, enhancing food production, reducing soil erosion, and yielding clean water supplies. 

The high rates of deforestation, forest degradation, land-use conversion, and fragmentation in Indonesia have not only led to a sharp reduction of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but also significantly increased the country’s total carbon emissions (Sari et al. 2007). The importance of
maintaining forest cover and restoring the lost forest is increasingly being acknowledged by various stakeholders in Indonesia. For example, initiatives to improve land-use planning are increasingly done by governmental forestry departments in close collaboration with international conservation organizations and local NGOs, often within the framework of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). However, policies related to REDD+ mitigation and adaptation are often being developed by different stakeholders in isolation from each other, thereby overlooking FLR as a relevant strategy (Sayer and Barr 2012). Further, many economic, social, financial, institutional and policy enabling conditions needed for FLR are often missing in Indonesia, as evidenced by the limited success of some past restoration projects (Nawir et al. 2015).

The application of the FLR concept in Indonesia has the potential to lead to more inclusive, comprehensive, effective, efficient, and sustainable restoration initiatives. The opportunities generated by FLR may serve as the basis for a better national land-use management and for generating national restoration commitments towards the Bonn Challenge, a global movement aimed at restoring 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2020.

Meeting Objectives:
• Galvanizing widespread support for FLR in Indonesia and clarifying Indonesia’s restoration goals and options
• Discussing various approaches to FLR and the identification of restoration opportunities, including the use of ROAM
• Learning from previous restoration initiatives in Indonesia and identifying ways in which FLR can be successfully scaled-up, including priority next steps
Dead mangroves in Tambak at Tanjung Panjang Nature Reserve - Gorontalo

My own specific session was co-facilitated with Yoyok of Wetlands International - Indonesia Programme.  Together we made the case that coastal landscapes require special analysis due to uinque hydrological character, their highly dynamic nature at the nexus between land and sea, and their lack of coherent land tenure in Indonesia.  To make the case for a coastal specific assessment, I spoke on each of the 5 main steps of the ROAM process as they relate to mangrove restoration and management in Indonesia;

  1. Development of a typology for mangrove restoration regimes incouding stakeholder analysis
  2. Identification of best mangrove restoration and supporting governance and livelihoods development practices
  3. Restoration opportunities mapping 
  4. Cost-benefit analysis of restoration efforts including Total Economic Valuation and carbon modelling
  5. Diagnostic of Institutional Capacity/Readiness and Finance & Resourcing Analysis

After the meeting - together with IUCN, our NGO Blue Forests and Wetlands International - Indonesia Programme developed a concept note for a national ROAM program to assess mangrove and coastal forest landscape restoration opportunities.  

If you are interested in the above topics, there is plenty of room and need to engage.  Major research data gaps exist, at both the national and landscape scale, from a variety of disciplines in the social and biophysical sciences.