At the local level, USAID LESTARI actively works with regional government and community stakeholders to promote policies, laws, and procedures in support for low emissions development and forest conservation. In southern Aceh, this has involved facilitation of a District-level regulation known as Qanun for improved environmental protection and management.
Recently, five major factions in the Aceh Selatan District parliament including Partai Aceh, Partai Demokrat, Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia, Amanat Pembangunan Indonesia, and Mandiri agreed upon the Draft Qanun on Environmental Protection and Management and recommended its passing. This Qanun is aligned with Law No. 32/2009 on Environmental Protection and Management. The Qanun supports the Aceh Selatan District Government authority in planning and protecting 4 distinct ecosystems: river, coastal areas, peatland, and Leuser Ecosystem Areas.
LESTARI played a key role in facilitating the Qanun, including providing technical inputs, Provincial approval, and making use of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum in Aceh Selatan for public consultation of the draft regulation as well as advocating for its enactment. Moreover, the formulation of the Qanun benefitted from explicit reference to the formal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for spatial planning in Aceh Selatan as well as the Landscape Conservation Plan, both developed under the previous USAID IFACS project. The Qanun signifies LESTARI’s impact in securing local government commitment to integrate environmental considerations into local policy formation to encourage improved management in the Leuser landscape.