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Indonesia - Country Profile

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Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Indonesia’s archipelago comprises approximately 17,000 islands, of which around 990 are permanently inhabited. There are 7 major biogeographic regions in Indonesia, centered on the major islands and their surrounding seas. Conservation International considers Indonesia to be one of the 17 “megadiverse” countries, with 2 of the world’s 25 “hotspots”, 18 World Wildlife Fund’s “Global 200” ecoregions and 24 of Bird Life International’s “Endemic Bird Areas”. It also possesses 10% of the world’s flowering species (estimated 25,000 flowering plants, 55% endemic) and ranks as one of the world’s centers for agrobiodiversity of plant cultivars and domesticated livestock. For fauna diversity, about 12% of the world’s mammals (515 species) occur in Indonesia, ranking it second, after Brazil, at the global level. About 16% of the world’s reptiles (781 species) and 35 species of primate place Indonesia fourth in the world. Further, 17% of the total species of birds (1,592 species) and 270 species of amphibians place Indonesia in the fifth and sixth ranks, respectively, in the world.

Indonesia has 566 national parks covering 36,069,368.04 million ha which consist of 490 terrestrial protected areas (22,540,170.38 ha) and 76 marine protected areas (13,529,197.66 ha). The terrestrial protected areas include 43 National Parks, 239 Nature Reserves, 70 Game Reserves, 13 Hunting Parks, 22 Grand Forest Parks, and 103 Nature Tourism Parks. Marine protected areas comprise 4,589,006.10 ha which are managed by the local government. Forests in Indonesia cover 88,495,000 ha and have rich biodiversity, particularly lowland forests.

It is estimated that 40 million Indonesians living in rural areas rely on biodiversity for their subsistence needs. Wetland ecosystems in small islands such as mangrove, coral reef, and sea grass plain are important for local communities, especially traditional fishermen. According to a survey conducted in 2006, only 27% of mangrove in Indonesia is in good condition, 48% in slightly damaged condition and 23% in damaged condition. The broader sea grass plain in Indonesia is estimated to reach 30,000 km2, 10% of which has been damaged. The damaged rate of coral reefs in Indonesia reached 40% in 2006, mainly caused by destructive fishing practices.

The list of species threatened by extinction includes 140 species of birds, 63 species of mammals and 21 species of reptiles. Indonesia has 728 conserved species which consist of 130 mammals, 390 birds, 48 reptiles, 8 fish, 20 butterflies, 12 molluscs, and 9 crustacea.

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The main factors affecting biodiversity loss and species extinction in Indonesia are habitat degradation and fragmentation, landscape changes, overexploitation, pollution, climate change, alien species, forest and land fires, and the economic and political crises occurring in the country.

Lowland forest, which is the most diverse area for biodiversity, is the most threatened forest due to the conversion of land use, moving farms, irreversible forest management, development of infrastructure, mining, fires and various illegal activities. Moreover, land clearance through the conversion of natural forest to oil palm plantation is a contributing factor to the damage in forest area. In 2003, oil palm plantation constituted 5.25 million hectares and increased to 5.59 million hectares by 2005. It is predicted that the expansion of oil palm plantation will increase to 13.8 million hectares by 2020. The conversion of natural forest into oil palm plantation is a serious threat to biodiversity conservation, because the conversion is often conducted in tropical lowland rainforest which is categorized as the type of ecosystem with the highest biodiversity.

Major disruption to the mangrove forest is caused by conversion into settlements, roads, ports and other infrastructure development. Illegal logging is also a factor that threatens preservation of the mangrove forest. The main cause of damage and decreased quality of coral reefs is suspected to come primarily from inappropriate fishing methods, coral reef mining and sedimentation. Destructive fishing practices, such as the use of dynamite, the use of toxic cyanide, muro-ami fishing techniques and destructive fishing nets cause damage to coral reefs. Fishing boats, water sports and tourism activities also contribute to coral reef damage.

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

In 1993, the National Development Planning Agency produced the Biodiversity Action Plan for Indonesia (BAPI). The document was published prior to CBD ratification in 1994. The BAPI prioritized in situ conservation measures, both inside and outside protected areas, as well as ex situ conservation. In 2003, a second document titled the “Indonesian Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (IBSAP)” was developed with a focus on achieving five goals: 1) to encourage changes in attitude and behavior of Indonesian individuals and society, as well as in existing institutions and legal instruments, so as to increase concern about conservation and utilization of biodiversity, for the welfare of the community, in harmony with national laws and international conventions; 2) to apply scientific and technological inputs, and local wisdom; 3) to implement balanced conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; 4) to strengthen institutions and law enforcement; and 5) to resolve conflicts over natural resources. NBSAP implementation is on a voluntary basis and no coordination mechanisms are established to monitor and evaluate implementation.

A detailed plan has been established to further update the NBSAP, which includes target-setting. The main elements will be integrated into mid-term national development planning (2010-2014), the Government’s annual work plans and budgeting programme (by 2013), as well as into provincial planning processes.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

In situ conservation is carried out through the establishment of conservation areas, such as biosphere reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, ecotourism parks, forest parks and hunting parks. Coverage of these areas increased from 7.628 million ha in 1981 to 27.968 million ha in 2007. Community-based forestry projects, covering 2 million ha, have also been established. As a result of ex situ conservation measures, the number of species of flora and fauna being bred in captivity increased from 171 species in 2006 to 416 species in 2008.

The Ecosystem Approach is being used in the development of a programme for the conservation and management of marine and fish resources. In 2008, management plans had been approved for 105 conservation areas, while management plans for 87 conservation areas had not been approved.

Several regencies have been designated as conservation areas based on whether most of their respective area is already protected and whether it has a vital role in regional development. As a conservation area, all activities within such regencies should refer to the principle of rational and optimum use of natural resources. In addition, conservation efforts should be carried out to protect ecosystem balance in rural areas.

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

Biodiversity issues have been integrated into the sectoral strategic plans of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of Forestry, Agency for Agriculture Research and Development (under the Ministry of Agriculture), and the Research Center for Biology of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

One policy priority in the Ministry of Forestry’s Strategic Plan (2005-2009) is the rehabilitation and conservation of forest resources. Mid-term priority targets include implementation of sustainable forest management and development of self-managed national parks by involving local communities. The Ministry of Forestry developed its programmes and activities in accordance with the Forestry Act and the Act on Biodiversity Resources Conservation and The Ecosystem. Conservation of agricultural genetic resources is one of the focuses of the Strategic Plan of the Agricultural Research and Development Agency. Balanced use and the sustainability of biodiversity and natural resources are also considered in this Strategic Plan.

Biodiversity considerations have also been incorporated into the administration of local governments. To date, the Conservation Districts established include Kapuas Hulu, Malinau, Kuningan and Pasir. Biodiversity has also been integrated into some broader national strategies and programmes, such as strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, National Program on Community Empowerment Mandiri, Action Plan for implementing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Indonesian Strategy and Action Plan for Wetland Management (2004). Indonesia ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2004.

Biodiversity is addressed in environmental impact assessment (EIA), strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and relevant incentives. It is hoped that over time SEA will be integrated into regional ecosystem-based spatial planning.

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

Indonesia is in the process of updating the Indonesia Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2003) to 2020. The updated IBSAP will be mainstreamed into sectoral policies and programmes through its integration in the Medium-term National Development Plan (2014-2019). The updated IBSAP will also include elements for monitoring and evaluating implementation at the national and local levels.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme