Indonesia is considered a mega-diverse country, with 17,493 tropical islands containing some of the highest levels of biological diversity across the globe. This rich diversity includes critically endangered species, such as rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans. However, unsustainable land clearing for plantation development, especially for the palm oil industry, has led to increased deforestation and degradation of critical forestlands. Tetra Tech is implementing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) LESTARI project, which supports the Government of Indonesia to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and conserve biodiversity in carbon-rich, biologically significant forest and mangrove ecosystems.
Deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia are a result of a complex dynamic of political, economic, and institutional drivers. On three of Indonesia’s largest islands, Tetra Tech’s project activities target six strategic areas including Aceh, Central Kalimantan, and Papua landscapes.
I just wanted to express my personal gratitude to you and your team for the fantastic events you orchestrated last week. All of your team was stellar and their performance highly indicative of the first rate team you have assembled. You are all such capable and knowledgeable professionals. I am very proud of the Project, and to have you as part of the extended USAID Environment Team!John Hansen, USAID/Indonesia Environment Team Leader
Through LESTARI, Tetra Tech applies a landscape approach that combines conservation objectives and low emissions development strategies. This approach improves land use governance, enhances protected areas management and protection of key species, and increases commitment from the private sector for more sustainable business practices.
Working with key private sector, government, and community stakeholders, the LESTARI project has resulted in an increase of policies, laws, regulations, and procedures to support low emission development, forest conservation, and sustainable forest management to be enforced at all levels. Tetra Tech has helped develop models for successful integration of district, provincial, and national low emissions development and forest conservation strategies, which also have been shared at all levels of government and with other key stakeholders.
LESTARI’s influence resulted in the introduction of three public policies that address the changing climate and biodiversity. In addition, 971 people received training in natural resource management and 120,551 people were reached with targeted information about project activities.
Tetra Tech has helped LESTARI reclaim more than 8 million hectares of forest and put them under improvement management, including the critical orangutan forest habitat, which reduces the threat of poaching.
LESTARI also assisted with a 41 percent decrease in CO2-equivalent emissions, helping Indonesia decrease GHGs and increase forest and key species conservation.