Ecotourism is set to be developed in Aceh, Central Kalimantan and Papua following a new partnership between Indonesia and the United States.
Under a five-year initiative called Lestari (everlasting), the partnership aims to achieve a balance between economic developments and green growth.
The initiative’s targets include the establishment of 10 public-private partnerships aimed at promoting low-emissions development.
According to the latest data, said Reed Merill from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Indonesia was the fifth largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter with 85 percent of its emissions stemming from land-use activity such as deforestation and peat fires.
National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) director of forestry and water resources conservation, Basah Hernowo, said the government would strive to bring together environment conservation and economic growth planning as coordination between the two had so far been neglected.
He added that the government was also committed to reforming the bureaucracy by, for example, simplifying the permit process for attaining government-owned lands.
USAID Indonesia environment office head John Hansen said small businesses should be involved in the project as they played an important role in driving the economy.
“Ecotourism, if not planned correctly, can be as damaging as deforestation,” said Hansen.