LESTARI, meaning ‘everlasting’ in Bahasa Indonesia, is a sustainable forest management project designed to support the Indonesian government in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and conserving biodiversity in carbon rich and biologically significant forest and mangrove ecosystems.
The project builds on the strong foundation laid by USAID’s Indonesia Forest and Climate Support (IFACS) project, which supported effective governance and forest management processes in focal districts. LESTARI applies a landscape approach – an integrated land use management framework that seeks to integrate policies across sectors in order to harmonize development and conservation objectives.
Local and Global Purpose
Indonesia’s expansive tropical rainforests, peatland, and mangroves contain carbon stocks of global importance. These forests are also biodiversity hotspots which house key species and provide valuable ecosystem services, such as water filtration and pollution control, for more than 30 million people.
Unfortunately, deforestation and forest degradation contribute to the largest share of Indonesia’s GHG emissions. This is negatively impacting Indonesia’s natural capital, which holds immeasurable value for the global community. LESTARI is supporting Indonesia in addressing these challenges that hold both local and global implications.
LESTARI works in six landscapes characterized by large areas of intact primary forest, high carbon stocks, and rich biodiversity. They are located in Aceh (Leuser Landscape), Central Kalimantan (Katingan-Kahayan Landscape), and Papua (Lorentz Lowlands, Mappi-Bouven Digoel, Sarmi, and Cyclops Landscapes).
- At least 41% of total CO2-equivalent emissions reduced from land use, land use change and deforestation averaged across all landscapes within the project scope;
- At least 8.42 Million hectares of primary or secondary forest, including orangutan habitat, under improved management;
- Management of at least six conservation areas improved, resulting in the conservation of valuable orangutan and other key species habitat, and the reduction in poaching of threatened and endemic species;
- At least ten public-private partnerships (PPPs) promoting low-emissions conservation oriented development established;
- Funding leveraged from public and private sources, representing co-investment in project outcomes;
- Increased commitment of key private sector, government, and community stakeholders regarding the positive benefits of conservation and sustainable use of forests and the species they encompass;
- Policies, laws, regulations, and procedures in support of low emission development and forest conservation and management increased, promulgated, and enforced at all levels; and
- Models for successful integration of district, provincial, and national low emissions development and forest conservation strategies developed and shared at all levels of government and with other key stakeholders.
LESTARI is implemented through three integrated and synergistic thematic activities: 1) Forest and Land Use Governance and Advocacy, 2) Conservation Co-Management, and 3) Private Sector Engagement. Each technical theme is supported by various strategic approaches. LESTARI works at the landscape level with local governments, private sector, and local communities through grantees, subcontractors, and directly implemented activities.
Some of the key LESTARI activities include the following:
- LESTARI continues the partnership built under IFACS through the Multi Stakeholder Forum (MSF). LESTARI strengthens the MSF by broadening participation, including by women and other marginalized groups, and fostering dialogue and commitments by all stakeholders towards sustainable land use.
- LESTARI supports Integrated Fire Management and Peatland Restoration by facilitating cooperation between government, community, and private sector entities. The focus of this work is on prevention activities in order to reduce the incidence of future forest and land fires and their devastating consequences to the health and economy of local communities.
- LESTARI advocates the integration of conservation and low carbon development targets into district and provincial Spatial Plans and Development Plans. This is accomplished through operationalizing Landscape Conservation Plans (LCPs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments – Low Emissions Development Strategies (SEA-LEDS).
- LESTARI promotes the collaborative management of protected areas harboring key species. This involves working with community and national park management authorities to improve data, monitoring, and enforcement systems in order to reduce encroachment and poaching.
- LESTARI supports the development of Green Enterprises through public-private partnerships. This involves engaging with communities to identify and develop commodities such as cocoa, honey, and palm sugar. Green Enterprises support sustainable livelihoods while reducing encroachment pressures on protected areas.