The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is blessed with a remarkable array of natural resources. Winrock’s extensive work in the island country dates back to the 1980s and has been largely targeted at providing the training, tools and expertise needed to help the country sustainably manage those resources to benefit its people and the planet. Winrock has provided technical assistance to guide the development of wind, solar and biomass facilities. We have also collaborated with communities and companies involved in the important palm oil industry to make its practices more sustainable. Our efforts have also included working with smallholder farmers to improve their skills, market access and, in turn, their incomes for enriched livelihoods.
In the last 15 years, Indonesia’s palm oil sector has seen an enormous production increase, leading to growth in smallholder incomes and the overall national economy. However, this expansion has threatened the environment by driving high deforestation and peatland degradation rates. This project, a partnership between USAID, Winrock and Perkumpulan Sawit Lestari, aims to strengthen private sector initiatives that address the link between deforestation and the palm oil industry. It works to enhance technical research on policy and regulatory reform, define and address smallholder sustainability needs, and develop a framework for monitoring and reporting progress against deforestation.
Changing hearts and minds to end gender-based violence means creating local solutions to this pervasive problem. Working with and through local people and organizations, the program will foster collaboration and support for gender equality as it mobilizes communities, improves services for survivors, and strengthens local organizations in Papua and West Papua, Indonesia. This five-year USAID program works in partnership with Resources Management and Development Consultants and in close coordination with the Government of Indonesia and local civil society organizations.
Smallholders produce around 40 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil, an amount that is expected to increase due to the lack of land suitable for new large-scale plantations. However, a lack of resources and technical capacity often leads to extremely low productivity and unsustainable management at small plantations. With funding from IDH, Cargill and Costco, this project will create a protocol that provides step-by-step guidance to smallholders and tengkulak (middle men) about how to identify and manage peatland areas in existing plantations and around new plantings. It will also supply instruction about management methods to restore areas not suitable for replanting. By working with farmers to apply this protocol, the result will be increased sustainability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Indonesia has become the largest palm oil producer in the world, making the industry a vital cog in the nation’s economy. Additional economic and environmental benefits are possible if the liquid waste generated during the palm oil production process is used to make renewable biogas. The USAID-funded Capacity for Indonesian Reduction of Carbon in Land Use and Energy (CIRCLE) program helps the owners of palm oil mills produce renewable energy and improve the overall sustainability of their facilities.
A lot of field work is necessary to truly understand the role of forests in climate change — both the benefits of preserving them and the impact of cutting them down. As part of a NASA-funded initiative, Winrock is spearheading the planning, collection and analysis of data to understand the impacts of selective logging on carbon stocks in the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo.
The cultivation of coconuts, especially for use in coconut oil, has been an important source of income for Indonesia’s small farmers. Yet a host of factors — including a failure to replace old trees with new seedlings and a lack of effective pest management — has led to reduced production in the country’s South Minahasa Regency. By distributing high-quality seedlings and training smallholders in effective agricultural techniques, this program seeks to lift the production and incomes of farmers in the region.
The demand for palm oil has provided vital economic opportunities to many Indonesians. At the same time, the conversion of forests and drainage of peatland to create palm oil plantations is a leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Winrock has designed two scalable and replicable pilot projects that demonstrate the feasibility of improving the management of peatland areas currently devoted to palm oil production — an approach that would reduce emissions while increasing long-term sustainability.
There is a measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions when forests are cut down and replaced with plantations. As a contributor to the High Carbon Stock Study, a sustainability initiative launched by growers, traders and other stakeholders in the palm oil industry, Winrock reviews existing tools and equations used to measure the impact of turning forests into palm oil plantations.
Transitioning land from forest or grassland to cultivation for biofuels has implications for greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Renewable Fuel Standard 2 rulemaking process, Winrock is responsible for evaluating and analyzing the emissions implications of land conversion taking place around the world as a result of increased demand for biofuels
Indonesia boasts the third-largest expanse of tropical forests in the world. Sustainably managing this unique economic and ecological resource is important to both the economic well-being of many Indonesians and a world community increasingly focused on climate change. As a partnering organization in this USAID-funded project implemented by Tetra Tech, Winrock’s role is to provide Indonesian government officials and the private sector with mapping, monitoring and other tools that clearly outline the impact of their development and conservation choices.
Delivering clean electricity to regions that lack reliable access to power addresses two interconnected challenges: climate change and poverty. As part of an overall effort to provide 100 percent renewable energy to the citizens of the Indonesian island of Sumba, this program delivers the technical expertise required for schools to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Powering these schools with solar — and becoming a community charging station for solar lanterns — allows teachers and students to study without interruption and helps alleviate the poverty that arises when there’s no access to energy.
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