President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo disappointed environmentalists at home and internationally last month, when he failed to set a date for Indonesia to reach net-zero emissions at US President Joe Biden’s recent virtual climate summit. Leading up to the event, officials suggested Indonesia was considering setting a target of reaching net-zero by 2070.

Jokowi did, however, note that in 2020, Indonesia’s rates of deforestation had reached record lows, with a reduction in conversion of its natural forests and peatlands and fewer forest fires.

Indonesia is home to 10% of the world’s tropical rainforests. It is also the 5th largest emitter of carbon, largely caused by the continued destruction of forests and peatlands.

Does this recent data reveal a sustainable trend for the reduction of deforestation in Indonesia? What challenges remain to significantly reduce or even end deforestation? How important are Indonesia’s forests for the world’s climate future?

In Talking Indonesia this week, Jemma Purdey talks to Aida Greenbury, a sustainability and climate change expert and advisor to governments, industry and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). She was the managing director of sustainability at Asia Pulp and Paper Group for 13 years, and sits on advisory boards for a range of organisations, including Mongabay and Indonesia’s Palm Oil Smallholder Unions.

In 2021, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Annisa Beta from the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


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