(Jakarta /Glasgow_ COP 26 UNFCCC, Indonesian Pavilion) - Palm oil is one of the national strategic commodities wich has contributed to the largest national income outside the tourism, oil and gas sectors. It is worth about $23 billion, which is equivalent to 16% of the total national export value. But then, the massive production triggers to expansion of land which relatively degrades the forest. So that monoculture oil palm plantations in forest areas are considered to disturb ecological interests and threaten the balance of the ecosystem. To minimize the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the expansion of monoculture oil palm plantations that are already in the forest area, it is necessary to resolve through a comprehensive strategy. One of the settlement concepts introduced is the Jangka Benah strategy, one of them is in Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan. Central Kalimantan is one of the provinces with great oil palm potential. Based on data, the area in 2019 has oil palm potential of around 1.7 million hectares or about 11.64% of the total area of Central Kalimantan Province. The 1.7 million hectares of oil palm, it is indicated that there are 892,000 hectares in forest areas.
Tuesday (9/11) at Manggala Wanabakti, Day 7 of the Indonesian Pavilion Agenda series COP 26 UNFCCC, SPOS Indonesia program KEHATI Foundation participated at Talk Show session titled “Jangka Benah Strategy”, An Initiative for Resolution of Palm Oil in Forest area (Central Kalimantan case work). On this occasion, the Director General of PSKL, KLHK, Dr. Ir. Bambang Supriyanto, M.Sc, conveyed that the Jangka Benah Strategy for improvement has been stated in PP No.23/2021 and explained at the operational level through KLHK ministrial Regulation No.9/2021 in April 2021 yesterday. This is a common solution for oil palm plantations that are already in the forest area (private sector and community). On the other hand, the government is trying to restore the forest through a Jangka Benah strategy, while smallholder oil palm planters can still harvest their palms while practicing the Jangka Benah technique through a variety of trees. Of course, with the mechanism as regulated in the KLHK regulation no.24/2021. The license that will be issued later is a Social Forestry license with the obligation to implement Jangka Benah Strategy. According to him, one of the requirements to determine the type of trees will be seen related to the function of the forest, whether it is a production forest or a conservation forest. The Jangka Benah field school initiated by UGM and the KEHATI Foundation is very helpful in implementing this policy. Then, what has been done in Central Kalimantan and Jambi can be used as benchmarks or examples of the application of the Jangka Benah concept in other locations. Social Forestry is a national program, through the social forestry Working Group which is a collaboration between ministries, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Villages and Transmigration, as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs. This partnership also involves academies and civil society as well as coordination with local governments, both Governors and district heads (Bupati), to ensure that social forestry is included in the APBD as one of the long-term development plans.
Technically, the implementation, Dr. Hero Marhaento. S.Hut., M.Si on the same occasion explained that, Jangka Benah is not a new concept, for foresters. The required period to improve structure and ecological function of a disturbed forest area due to monoculture oil palm expansion. As we know it’s a forest area but after the expansion of the oil palm, it decreases all the structural vegetation and also the ecological function. The first stage in the improvement period is the enrichment of oil palm monoculture, with forest trees through an agroforestry system. It can also improve forest structure; biodiversity; carbon sequestration and ecosystem function (hydrology). There are 3 indicators of the success of Jangka Benah's practice. First, the practice of OPAF (oil palm Agro forestry). Second, policy support from the government and third, technical support for institutional strengthening and empowerment. In implementing Jangka Benah, Dr. Hero Marhaento. S.Hut., M.Si also said that he and his team are currently assisting 2 pilot projects in Jambi and Central Kalimantan. In the mentoring demplots, plant patterns, alternative trees, as well as tree enrichment at the demplot boundaries were practiced. Monitoring and evaluation are also carried out to determine progress in the stages of the period. To increase the capacity of the institutions, Jangka Benah Farm School was also held in collaboration with BPDASL Kahayan which was supported by the KEHATI Foundation's via SPOS Indonesia Program.
The hardest part of all this process is getting farmers to join implementing a Jangka Benah scheme without the “shadow” of profit and loss, considering the price of palm oil is currently good it now. Of course, this is a special challenges. On this occasion Irfan Bakhtiar, Director of the SPOS Indonesia Program-KEHATI Foundation's said was important to raise awareness for farmers not only economic motives. They need to be made aware that as long as their business in a forest area is illegal, they need legal support. Moreover, regarding the mandatory implementation of ISPO 2025 for all oil palm plantations, without the legality of palm oil production they will not have certification which means it will be difficult to market even though the production and quality are good. In addition, another challenge is the implementation of existing policies. SPOS Indonesia data mentioned, there are 700,000 hectares of oil palm land in forest areas which are very difficult to identify. Although land verification on paper seems easy, on field are often difficult to implement. Through the SPOS Indonesia Program, Irfan Bakhtiar also said that the KEHATI Foundation had facilitated various mentoring programs for the Strenghtening of sustainable palm oil governance in Indonesia. This includes supporting the Jangka Benah strategy in efforts to resolution oil palm in forest areas. According to him, with the current policy, the Jangka Benah Strategi has successfully passed the first stage, the next stage is a more challenging stage.
Good efforts on sustainable palm oil governance through this Jangka Benah Strategy need to be disseminated to various parties and stakeholders, both domesticly and internationally. The momentum of the UNFCCC COP 26 is one of the right moments for share the commitment succeed the target emission reduction from forestry sector.