Mapping Commitment of Subnational Governments to Sustainable Land Use in Southeast Asia
This study provides useful insights on the commitment of subnational governments to sustainable land use in Indonesia and Malaysia by examining 53 jurisdictions, including districts, provinces, and states, that have been identified as key to remove deforestation from commodity production or have started the implementation of elements of sustainability at jurisdictional level. Findings from this study are expected to support companies, NGOs, and development partners interested in utilising the jurisdictional approach to achieve sustainability at scale in these countries, the world’s largest producers of palm oil.
Researchers examined several parameters to demonstrate subnational governments’ commitment to sustainable land use, representing key elements of the implementation of the jurisdictional approach. These include (a) statement of commitments to sustainable land use; (b) regulations and policies (c) multi stakeholders governance structure; and (d) involvement and/or membership of sustainability or forest and climate initiatives. Data collected was divided into five categories of topics, namely forest and peat, green growth, disaster and environmental management, sustainable commodities, and support for indigenous peoples.
Key findings include how the topics addressed by a jurisdiction in its public statements and regulations on sustainable land use appeared to be linked to the size of its forest and conservation area — the larger these areas are, the more topics are addressed in the jurisdiction. ‘Peer-to-Peer’ and networking learning style through membership-based initiatives and existence of program(s) focusing on sustainable land use in their area could support jurisdictions to improve understanding and progress on sustainability.