The exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change provides opportunities for sub-national governments to lead the efforts for fighting climate change. The Governors’ Climate and Forests Taskforce (GCF), a global sub-national alliance from 35 states and provinces, is a global initiative for fighting climate change through reducing tropical deforestation. On 25 to 29 September, 2017, the GCF will hold their Annual Meeting in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The meeting will be attended by governors representing the GCF member states and provinces from 8 countries across the world. In preparation for the GCF Annual Meeting, the Indonesian members of the GCF held a meeting on July 18th, 2017, at Pullman Hotel, Jakarta, to discuss the strategy for preparing for the event in Balikpapan.
During the meeting, the Indonesian GCF members including: Aceh, North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Papua, and West Papua, discussed the concerns of sub-national governments in Indonesia related to forests and climate change and how they could be addressed through a platform called the Balikpapan Statement. The Balikpapan Statement is a new, global initiative led by sub-national governments, which brings together producer and buyer companies, farmers and indigenous people, civil society, donors and national governments to find practical ways to reduce deforestation and fight climate change. The current GCF Chair, East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak, together with Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) as the Indonesian Secretariat of the GCF, will launch the Balikpapan Statement at this year’s GCF Annual Meeting.
The Director General for Climate Change from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, and 17 partners from foreign embassies, donors, and non-governmental organizations attended the preparatory meeting. The meeting resulted in: (1) GCF Governors inviting the national government to cooperate with sub-national governments, as well as with other partners, to achieve low-emission development, (2) emphasizing the importance of forest-dependent communities, especially the crucial role that indigenous communities have in protecting tropical forests globally and fighting climate change, and (3) inviting partners and non-governmental organizations to support and contribute to the development of the Balikpapan Statement and to implement it in each of the GCF states and provinces.
Various representatives of the international community and donors supported the initiative of the GCF in leading the Balikpapan Statement, which they saw as a way for sub-national governments to achieve the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
GCF Indonesian Secretariat
Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)