Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning and welcome to the 22nd UNFCCC COP.
It is an honored for me to once again participate in this annual big event. Last year in Paris, we have concluded a quite ambitious agreement to respond the climate change, which to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C. It was, indeed, a tipping point for our movement to solve the issue of climate change. This year, I believe, we will achieve a more important result, given that the discussion will be focusing on the mechanism on how to achieve our last year goal.
It is not only about the final resolution of this year conference that excites me, but also my current position as Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning. This is very interesting, how to see the issue of climate change from the spatial planning point of view. Let me start to show you by picturing the area of Indonesia in general. It is no doubt that our country is one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of its size. The total area of our country is 5,3 million Km2. A big number it is. However, when we divide it into land and sea areas, only 1/3 of it are our land area and the rest 2/3 are sea area.
So now, let us discuss the land area first. Statistically speaking, we are the 14th biggest country in the world with density 141 people per Km2. However, compared with other tropical countries, we sit as the 10th largest country in the world by land area. If we look closer to the national level, it is calculated that people in Java will have 0,08 Ha per capita. The people in Papua, on the other hand, will receive bigger land proportion with 10,3 Ha per capita. Furthermore, from the calculation, we can conclude that Java is not only the most populous island in Indonesia, but also the most populous place on Earth. When India has 441 people for every 1 Km2, Java has to manage the density of 1.121 people for every 1 Km2.
[Division of Forest and Non-Forest Area]
Ladies and gentlemen,
When we discuss spatial planning, it is important to understand the classification of characteristics of our land area nationally. From this 1,8 million Km2 land area, only 33% of them are non-forest area. Even in Papua alone, 92% of its area are covered by forest. Then in Java, an island that is considered as the most populous place in the country, have 23% of its area as forest.
Once again we try to see the comparison of Indonesia’s forest area with other countries. Despite standing in the 14th place in terms of land area, Indonesia has the largest forest area proportion with 1,2 million Km2, or covers about 67% of Indonesia’s total land area. Even though any other countries, namely Russia, Brazil, United States and even China have a bigger number of forest area, but the proportion of their forest to their total land area are still lower compared to ours. Russia, the biggest forest area country, has only 50% of its land are considered as forest. Let us see Brazil which well-known with its tropical forest area, only 59% of its land are considered as forest. To make it clear, we are the only country in this world having 2/3 of its land area covers by forest.
Looking at the comparison with other tropical countries, Indonesia has the second largest forest area proportion, slightly lesser than Republic Democratic of Congo by 67,3%.
Ladies and gentlemen,
When we put aside forest area and only count on our non-forest area, Indonesia’s density rate is gone higher with 426 people per km2. This number makes us as the second most densely country in the world behind India. The same thing goes when we compare it with other tropical countries which we still sit as the second most densely country. It is not only the density level that is growing up, but also the land ownership per capita to be declining.
The people in Papua that is originally assumed to own 10,3 Ha per capita, will only have 0,86 Ha per capita when we exclude the forest area. Meanwhile, the people in Java only have 0,07 Ha per capita.The exclusion of forest area even makes the density level of Java even worse. Excluding the forest area, Java’s density level is climbing to 1.466 people per Km2. From here, we can start to see one big issue, on the place where we can find the most populous area on Earth have to face the problem of land scarcity for people to live and cropland expansion.
However, it is still not fair enough to only see the density level by dividing the area into forest and non-forest. If we exclude the arable land from non-forest area, then we can determine the housing land. Therefore, the population density of every country will increase. By only counting based on our housing area, we will have almost 700 people for every 1 km2. Whether we see it on a global level or tropical area region, we sit only behind India as the most densely country in the world. The most important that needs to be highlighted is Indonesia has the lowest housing land by only 20% of land area.
[Dilemma on Indonesia’s Land Area]
Ladies and gentlemen,
I hope we already have the same rough assumption of land area in Indonesia. From here, we can see the dilemma that we are facing. On the one side, Indonesia is constantly pressured to maintain and preserve its forest area, while on another side we also need more land for planting our food and finding a place to stay.
Currently, with 256 million people, we already have 698 people per km2. Can you even imagine what would it be in 2045 when we will reach ~318 million people by is still obliged to preserve only the forest area? By stating this, I do not mean to disregard the issue of climate change. I do believe that all people here coming to this conference have the same high concern upon climate change. In this case, I would like to remind that human population will always grow, and will always come hand in hand with the growing demand for food and energy, including bioenergy. All of these things should receive equal concern from us.
[Three Concepts of Recommendation]
So the question will be, what should we do to demonstrate our sincere contribution to solving the global issue of climate change? And as the person who is the most responsible for spatial planning in Indonesia, I will try to see it from the spatial point of view. First, as a maritime country, we are blessed to have 2/3 of our country area by sea. It makes us have the most effective natural carbon sink compared to any other country. Second, we need to boost the development of sustainable land use planning. And the last one is, we need to start to increase the utilization of degraded land.
Looking from the maritime country perspective, what I believe we need to understand is the role of our sea must receive a bigger credit for its role to sink carbon dioxide than our forest. Here, we talk based on the scientific data. 30% of our carbon go to the ocean, while only 26% of them are sunk by land including forest.
As I have stated before, it is the sea that dominates Indonesia’s area. With that, it shouldn’t be the forest that is used as the main tool to solve the problem of climate change. For the case of Indonesia, it should be the sea that must be the main tools to solve it. And as our ancestor’s said, “Jalesveva Jayamahe”, “in our seas we victory”.
Speaking of the sustainable land use planning, we will put our focus on three different aspects. The very first agenda is to assure the preservation of ecosystem of our nature. For that, the sustainable land planning must pay attention to the nature conservation. With giving our effort to protect the nature, we will be able to achieve the rest two of the focus, which are food production and economic growth.
A sustainable land use planning that is focusing on food production is highly important to assure the needs of our people to eat is well fulfilled. Aside of that, the formulated plans also have to accommodate the economic of scale for the people in order to achieve a better economic growth.
Indonesia is no doubt is a big country. The Ministry office of Agrarian and Spatial Planning will not be able to work alone to create a sustainable land use planning. That is why we adopt three fundamental approaches to our development planning. First, we need to work together holistically with other institutions in our country. Creating the same vision, and working at the same pace. Second, we need to have integrated plans and programmes among cross-sectoral governmental bodies or privates. Third, the plan formulation should be based on spatial data to assure the precision of the objectives.
The issue of the land scarcity could be addressed by improving the utilization of degraded land. Specifically, we need to work together with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to identify the division of degraded land, whether they belong to the forest area or non-forest area.
Let me close my speech by delivering three main principles that I believe should be our basis to achieve our mutual interest in solving the issue of climate change. Be more frugal in determining land use planning. Do the resource sharing so we can implement the multifunction land. And the last, be more environmentally friendly towards our nature. This is undeniably the most important thing so we can create a better place to live for our great great grandchildren.