The Jakarta Post
The future of the National Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Agency (BP REDD+) has become uncertain after only one year because of a plan from the Environment and Forestry Ministry to liquidate it.
BP REDD+ head Heru Prasetyo said on Friday that he was concerned about the plan from Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar to merge the agency with the ministry, which she is currently restructuring.
'I met Bu Siti on Tuesday and before I had the chance to ask, she said there was this idea,' he said during a meeting with journalists at his office in Central Jakarta.
Under Siti's plan, BP REDD+ would be absorbed by the climate change mitigation directorate general, which she is yet to form.
Under Siti's plan the ministry would have two focuses, environmental issues and forestry.
'Both the forestry ministry and the environmental ministry used to have 13 director generals each. So if she has to handle 26 [echelon I officials], she will get a headache,' Heru said.
Siti planned to have only nine director generals under her: forestry planology and environment management, natural resource conservation and ecosystems, river basin areas (DAS) and conservation forests, forest management and natural products, pollution and environmental damage control, waste management; social forestry and environmental partnership, environmental and forestry law enforcement and climate change mitigation.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry has also won backing from Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi for its plan to absorb BP REDD+ into the ministry.
BP REDD+, established by then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the end of 2013, is the world's first Cabinet-level institution working specifically on deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
Contacted separately on Friday, Siti said BP REDD+ would serve as an advisory board to the planned directorate general for climate change mitigation.
'The agency's authorities overlap with those of the ministry,' she told The Jakarta Post.
Heru balked at the proposal saying his agency should remain independent and that its work could complement the ministry's.
'Under the current arrangement, BP REDD+ is the only institution that has the knowledge [to address climate change] and its role should not be restricted,' he said.
Heru likened BP REDD+ to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which could motivate the National Police and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) in the campaign against graft.