Palm oil and the forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. CIFOR/Nanang Sujana
Palm oil and the forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. CIFOR/Nanang Sujana

By sealing a commitment shared with 26 other countries to lead international efforts to reshape commodity production and create sustainable value chains, Indonesia is cementing its international role as an innovator in integrated landscape management.

At a recent inception workshop in Jakarta to launch its Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) initiative, the Indonesian government detailed efforts designed to support economic and environmental resilience.

With projects on palm, cocoa, coffee and rice, growing over 3.6 million hectares, Indonesia will share knowledge and lessons learned with other FOLUR countries to bring crops efficiently from the field all the way through to the consumer.

“Healthy and sustainable value chains offer social benefits and generate profits without putting undue stress on the environment,” said Christopher Brett, FOLUR co-leader, who participated virtually in the workshop, addressing around 200 participants online and on site in Jakarta.

“The full extent of global connectivity became very apparent during the workshop, particularly with regard to Indonesia’s potential offerings to countries on the African continent engaging in oil palm production,” Brett said.

But connectivity is not a one-way street. Delegates recognized the potential offerings of a deep matrix of experiences that could funnel the other way – where some African countries might share expertise on cocoa and Latin American countries might share expertise on coffee.

“The potential for exchanging knowledge across the global network is vast,” Brett added. “Not only that, the thirst for knowledge and the desire to learn are also there.”

Backed by the Global Environment Facility and led by the World Bank, FOLUR projects build resilience, laying the foundation for long-term food security.

The workshop in Jakarta also addressed the benefits of innovation. Creating cross-sectoral platforms that can engage both public and private partnerships in a meaningful way is also central to the aims of FOLUR, which in Indonesia are implemented by the World Bank, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the U.N. Development Programme.

“It’s important to be engaging various government ministries at the table, rather than just the Ministry of Agriculture,” Brett said. “We need to be speaking to the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Trade and Industry. And, of course, the Ministry of Finance.

By looking at familiar problems through a new lens, it is often possible to solve them, he said.

~ Published Sept. 22, 2022

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