JAKARTA (FORESTHINTS.NEWS) - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has emphasized that the development of a conservation landscape in every targeted food estate block is a major government priority and represents an effort towards a solid alignment between long-term ecological resilience and food security on the ground.
According to Minister Nurbaya, the primary goal of food estate development, as directed by President Joko Widodo, is to ensure long-term ecological resilience as a means of achieving targeted national food security.
“The solid alignment of long-term ecological resilience and food security continues with each reinforcing the other in every targeted food estate and conservation landscape,” Minister Nurbaya (Dec 8) explained at the ministry building in a technical discussion about ecological resilience and the development of conservation landscapes in targeted food estate complexes in Central Kalimantan.
“If food estates are directed towards creating environmental destruction, it is clear that the concept of ecological resilience and the long-term development of conservation landscapes aligned with targeted food estate goals are not needed. We don’t choose this track,” she asserted.
She went on to say that targeted food estate development is designed so as not to ignore the essence of long-term ecological resilience, and that of course the government needs to work hard, for example, to ensure the protection of critically-endangered species protection based on conservation landscapes.
“The government has a set of clear technical and legal measures regarding how long-term ecological resilience and the development of conservation landscapes will be achieved in the corridor of every targeted food estate block,” she said.
Minister Nurbaya showed the two photos below of a community-based food estate scheme in a village situated in Central Kalimantan which forms part of a targeted food estate development. The government is prioritizing productivity enhancement, including sustainable supply chains, among other targeted food security goals.
Not all lands for food estates
Minister Nurbaya pointed out that not all lands are technically, legally and socially feasible for food estate development, especially in peat ecosystems that lie within peat hydrological units (KHG).
“Analyses of land suitability, peatlands and biodiversity, as well as spatial modeling, are undertaken to ensure the greatest possible level of alignment between long-term ecological resilience and food security on the ground level,” she said.
“The latest land cover analyses have not only been performed using satellite data, but also involve direct ground level verifications. Efforts aimed at aligning long-term ecological resilience and food security have also been designed based on the process of data validation in the field,” she added.
Minister Nurbaya also said that the government should not be seen as merely prioritizing the selection of food estate locations.
“In fact, these targeted food estate locations are chosen in parallel with the concept of ecological resilience, including the development of conservation landscapes in certain ecosystems, especially those with peat hydrological units in them,” she explained.
“This takes into account the objective of species corridorization which forms part of the development of conservation landscapes,” she affirmed.
No doubts about moving forward
Minister Nurbaya reaffirmed that the government did not select proposed food estate locations arbitrarily. In fact, it did not opt for locations without a complete concept and analysis, instead carefully considering ecological resilience and food security running in parallel in the long term.
“The concept of food security aligned with long-term ecological resilience reflects the President’s order and places all related factors on the frontline, especially in this pandemic situation,” she said.
"Technological interventions at certain levels are also being carried out in a measured manner which complements indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, the required investments in every targeted food estate location are being balanced by efforts to ensure that ecological resilience remains sustainable," she underlined.
In conclusion, Minister Nurbaya confirmed that the government has no doubts about moving forward with the concept of food estate development based on ecological resilience, while developing and managing conservation landscapes to ensure that the goals of long-term food security are achieved.