Indonesia is endowed with the greatest combined concentration of marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the world. With its vast forests and its marine, mineral, and fresh water, the country is rich in natural resources. Although these resources are fueling Indonesia’s rapid economic growth, the country’s environmental health is at risk. From massive land use change to escalating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the destruction of terrestrial and marine habitats, a variety of environmental hazards jeopardize Indonesia’s valuable ecosystems.
To reduce GHG emissions and conserve biodiversity, USAID’s Build Indonesia to Take Care of Nature for Sustainability project (or Bangun Indonesia untuk Jaga Alam demi Keberlanjutan - BIJAK) addresses the factors that drive deforestation and biodiversity loss, including market forces, financial incentives, policies, and social norms. For this cross-sectoral conservation effort, BIJAK is collaborating with Indonesian policymakers, local communities, and other stakeholders to preserve what remains of the country’s biodiversity and tropical forests.
BIJAK aims to improve management of conservation areas and protection of biodiversity by better coordinating how different levels of government interact. The project will also assist in updating legal and procedural frameworks. Improving Indonesia’s legal, fiscal, and budgetary practices will not only fortify its institutions and tools for preserving biodiversity, but also support its low-carbon and conservation-oriented land use governance.
In partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society and local partner Kemitraan, BIJAK facilitates cross-sectoral initiatives to improve environmental policies and their implementation. Drawing from the successful practices being implemented by USAID environmental projects at the local level, BIJAK will scale-up these proven approaches to the national level.
The project also promotes environmentally friendly, low-carbon business models to reform destructive private sector and industry practices. In addition to advocating for institutional change, the project encourages civil society to drive changes in public opinion about biodiversity conservation and low-carbon development issues.
By assembling coalitions for change that span sectors, BIJAK is on the front line of efforts to protect Indonesia’s vulnerable ecosystems.