Editor’s Note: Minister Pulgar-Vidal’s speech can be watched in its entirety above. Check in at forestasia.org to see news updates from the Forests Asia Summit. Videos of all presentations and speeches at the Summit will be posted here.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Forests should be at the center of the next global climate framework, Peru’s top environmental official said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta, Peru Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal highlighted the complementary position of Latin American and Southeast Asian countries in the lead-up to the next climate agreement — and urged the region’s leaders to put their weight behind an agreement that is more inclusive of a broader range of stakeholders and perspectives.
“It should be clear that we are not going to repeat Kyoto,” he said. “This agreement will be reached from the bottom up.”
A binding climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol is due to be finalized in Paris in 2015. Pulgar-Vidal will preside over the UN climate talks in Lima in December — the last such talks until Paris.
On Tuesday, he was unequivocal about the need to act now. “We are in a special time,” he said. “We are building momentum because we are short on time. … We need to have an output from Lima.”
A transcript of Minister Pulgar-Vidal’s speech follows. Note: This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
Good morning, thank you very much, I feel pleased and very honored to be here with you, in this Forests Asia Summit. Let me say that after I’ve heard the number of 2000 people here, 3000 more in live stream, and I don’t remember how many people through tweet, I am completely afraid.
But I will try to make my reflection around the topic of forest, the climate change, the climate debate, the debate of development, and the COP 20. So I am going to move around these four topics.
And let me say that we are in a special time. We are in the time in we should take decision. We are in the time in which through this kind of session we are building momentum. We are building momentum because we are short on time to take decision. And we have a goal. We need to have by the end of the next year an agreement. A new agreement that deal with the climate change consequences. That can bring to the new generation hope, that can bring new kind of measures to deal and to address the consequence of the climate change.
So let me give this speech, plenary speech talking around seven or around seven questions or seven topics, seven items.
The first one, the climate debate as a development dialogue, and the question is how much do the forest is already part of the development debate. We are in a time in which in many countries, even in the developed countries we are living economics, finance and ideological crisis.
We are in a time in which we are discussing new ways to orient our development. The world development. So this is the time in which we can raise topics or issues, a sustainable development. That topic of sustainable development has been developed by around 25 year, it was in 1987 that through our common future that reported, raised the topic of sustainable development.
20 years after that, this is the momentum of that topic. This is the time in which we can, through that focus through that topic we can develop new ideas, new vision, new ways to oriented our development in many of our countries.
So how much the forest it is part of that? I think that not too much or not too enough. So how come we move to that?
In that UN system there is a debate of the post 2015 audiences or new audiences, and as part of that audience we are discussing the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals.
So what it is important is try to identify how much the forest should be part of that discussion? What are the kind , what kind of indicator we need to include in the SDG debate to be part of what we are going to measure in the future. How much we can bring the forest to this discussion and how much we are building in that debate, that kind of consideration.
Also, in this debate of development, we are talking about green economy. And what does it mean the green economy? Means that we are going to rethink the way which we are measuring our growing. We need to include into that GDP more measure consideration. We need to include in the GDP the natural infrastructure issue. And we need to develop our economy with low carbon emission.
So the forest plays a very important role in that green economy discussion. In many of our countries are currently discussing the green economy or the green growing, because as it has been the mandate of the Rio+20 document. The future we want, every country based on its own reality needs to create the basis for the green economy policy.
Many countries in Latin America, Chile, Columbia, Mexico has already developed the green economy policy. Peru is working on that. But we need to include more forestry considerations into the green economy. Mostly, mostly, based on what it is a reality. The reality in many of our countries in Latin America, the bigger, biggest source of green house emission, it is deforestation and land use change.
So if we want to have a very clear policy to deal with that problem, we need to include in our green economy discussion, the consideration of the forest. And also we have the discussion of the TEEB. The Economic of Ecosystem and Biodiversity. In which we should recognize that for development we don’t need only artificial or human infrastructure. What we need to consider it is the natural infrastructure. How can we consider as part of the policy to creating growth in our country, that natural infrastructure.
So what I think is that we need to put closer the forestry discussion in all this big debate. The post 2015 debate, the SDGs, the TEEB, the green economy among many others.
So it is a very big challenge and should be our goal to bring the forest to this discussion.
My second point it is what is the situation of the climate debate now.
And let me say that we have already developed diagnosis. Probably Dr. Pachauri is going to say yes. What has the IPCC has already identified.
We know that the current trend is moving us over that two degrees threshold. And we know what are the consequences of that, or what will be the consequences of that.
We have already identified the objectives, we need a new agreement. We need an agreement that can deal or can address that problem. We need to take into consideration that everybody has responsibility on this issue.
We also have received the mandate, we are closed to be 20 more than 20 years discussing the climate change topic. Since ‘92 we’re closed to celebrating the COP 20.
And we are putting as a goal to have in the 21 COP, an agreement. And we recognize that there are some milestones to fulfill with that mandate and to risk the objectives to have that agreement. We have the next board meeting in June, we have the September, the secretary general summit in September, we have the COP 20 in Lima in December, we have the COP 21 in Paris.
So, if that is as clear as I am describing, why we are not taking decision. What is failing, why we are still thinking that we are in the same road that we have had in Copenhagen. How can we change that.
And for me there are some important topics, or issues, that can deal with that situation.
First, we need to integrate the discussion. Currently we are discussing finance, in an isolated way, REDD, mitigation, adaptation, but we are not integrating the discussion to try to bring solution.
Second, we should be very clear that we are not going to repeat Kyoto. Kyoto had their time, and now we are going to have a bottom up agreement, in which everybody can recognize their own responsibilities.
Everybody need to take measures. Everybody need to take domestic action. So is not going to be as it had been Kyoto. We are going to have a different kind of an agreement.
Third, what we need to recognize is that there are many actors, different sectors, and different countries that are doing things. In that countries, in that sectors, in that actors, are seeking for recognition. We need to recognize the role of the business sector, we need to recognize the right of the indigenous people. We need to recognize what civil society is currently doing. And it’s very difficult to bring what it is already done, into an agreement. But that is the challenge. What we need to put in the agreement is a story success, a success story that business sectors is trying to say to as, please recognize that things are moving.
We are not in a year zero. We are in a time in which the business sectors and different actors are bringing solution. And also the forestry sector.
And also we can recognize that the only way to bring solution is through recognizing the realities. The different realities. So we need to re-interpreted that CBDR, Common But Different Responsibilities We need to recognize that we should include that principles. But in a new way. In a new way in which everybody has their own responsibilities.
So that is important in the current climate debate.
Let me move to the third, my third reflection.
The forestry issue. For me the forestry topic it is a still the younger brother of the climate debate. Because the forest consideration in the climate debate has been developed mostly as a mechanism. Not as an objectives.
So how can we bring the forestry as an objective. So let me in that third point, moving from the domestic reality to the international debate.
First, we need to strengthening policies. Forestry policies. And in that sense, what we need to create is competitiveness. Around the forest. We need to create condition to have competitiveness around the forestry sector.
Secondly, second, for that we need to have enough information. We need to monitoring our forest, the reality, the quality, the health of our forest.
Also we need to solve the land use problem. In the land use problem it is related to incentives. It is related to this big discussion of property right, concession, tenures, and many other topics.
And fourthly what we need is to deal with the decentralization processes in many countries.
In country as in Peru, the contradiction between the national policies and the regional policies is creating a lot of conflicts. So what we need to do is to recognize that probably in the local sectors is going to take better decision but framed by a national policies. And we need to create the condition to fit both of them.
Decentralization it is part, an important part of the discussion around policies.
My second point it is right titling and tenure, around this idea to strengthening this forestry sectors.
And around of that what we need to recognize is right of settlers, and mostly of indigenous people.
Taking into consideration that currently, because the forestry market of carbon, people are loosing trust and confidence around that mechanism. People are thinking that, that can create condition to loose their land. That are not recognizing the right over the land and over the forest.
So as part of the safeguard that we need to develop, we should recognize that right of the people who live there.
Also, we need to create ways to solve conflicts. Because there are a lot of conflicts over the forest. Not only because rights but also because economic activities.
When we live in countries as in Peru or in the Amazon Basin, in which currently that new big threat it is the legal mining, that is creating distraction of the forest, what we need to do is to create condition to solve that overlap conflicts based on the overlap of different rights.
For oil, for mining, for forest, for tourism among many others. And in that sense the landscape focus can help a lot.
Also, we need to revise our legal system. Because when we try to develop forest based on our legal system, we will find a lot of problems. We need to create some new ways for that good management of the forest. But we need to go deeply in the legal system discussion as part of what we need to do to create that good management.
And finally, what we need to create is rules and enforceable rules. We need to have ways to enforce the rules. Because part of the problem, regarding rights, titling and tenure, it is the lack of enforcement of the rules.
My third point in this third reflection, it is around that incentives. How can we bring the private sectors, the business sector to manage the forest. What kind of incentives can we create to bring the business sectors to the forest. How much this initiatives of Unilever is a good example of how a private sectors can play a more active role regarding the forest.
How much this initiatives of this oil palm company in Indonesia, Malaysia, sorry I don’t remember, can help to look a new ways to bring the business sectors into the forest.
But on the other hand, regarding incentives, what we need to do is to address the problem of the value, of the carbon bond around the forest.
The current price are creating lack of interest. The current price of the bound of the carbon is creating disincentives to have the business sector and the investor more close to try to the forestry sector.
And we need to recognize, and use the consumers to have the company using the supply chain as part of what it is the solution to protect the forest as a landscape.
So, and finally regarding the incentives, what we need to do is to try to put together all the pieces.
Country as in Peru has a lot of projects, a lot of initiatives, but we are not looking that as a big or as a one piece project or program. We are looking the forest in an isolated way. We are looking at the forest just through project, through program, through cooperation.
But what we need to create is good condition and in that sense, what we are doing fulfilling the mandate of Warsaw, to prepare the national contribution can help a lot.
My fourth reflection is how much can we build based on mandate towards an agreement. As you know Warsaw had as an advantage that solve many of the discussions around REDD.
Not everything, but some of the discussions has been already addressed, has been already solved. So we have some mandates, but we need to go deeply to some point.
First, how can we bring the forestry discussion into the finance discussion. So, how can we build through this mandate of result-based finance in a realistic way.
What are the measure that we are going to take to fulfill with the result-based finance, to have a fit between our goals and the money.
Because there are a lot of untrust between who are going to put the money, and who should do the homework. So what we need is to create some kind of indicator, what does really it means result-based finance.
How can we fit the finance with what it is our own objectives. And for that also it is obviously very important the capitalization of the green climate fund. But the capitalization of the UCF is going to be a political signal, but it is not going to be enough.
Is going to bring more trust in this discussion. But is not going to be enough. And in the finance discussion, the big debate it is what we are going to count, just public, and public new fund, or just the typical fund for the assistance for development. Or we are going to count private resources. Or how much the public fund can create leverage to private fund. How much the new bond market can bring more money to deal with what we need to do.
So that it is one important point, bring the forest closer to the financial discussion.
The second point it is a mandate, it is also mandate, we need to identify the focal point, the focal entity. Who is going to play that role. And probably we are going to have in many countries, it is the discussion between finance ministers, agriculture ministers, environmental ministers, among many others.
So how can we build new entities. How can we build new ways to coordinate among these different entities. We need to have a very strong focal point. But for that we need to think in a new way to create good condition, to have a very strong focal point, in that sense.
Also one mandate is to create a national forest monitoring system, but for that we need to have our own methodology. In the world there are a lot of different methodologies.
There are competences between that different sector, companies, universities, that are used to offering different kind of methodologies, to monitoring the forest. But the challenge of the countries is to try to receive that, but based on that to build their own methodology to monitoring their forest.
Because when we see many countries, that different kind of methodologies, that critiques of one to the other, we recognize that we need to create our own, based on that experiences but it is important to have a very trustable system to monitoring the forest.
And finally there is a mandate to work around driver of deforestation. And driver of deforestation means to understand the forest as a landscape. That is what CIFOR is currently doing. Is look the forest as an ecosystem. Look the reality of forest not only around the trees, but around the people, around the landscape, around the reality, around the agriculture issues, is bringing all the discussion to try to identify driver of deforestation.
My fifth reflection, it is around the securities. And let me say the importance that the global canopy group document has in this discussion. It is about security on the Amazon because climate change.
When we talk about securities in this case, and this is a very important document, we are talking about water security, energy security, food security, and health security.
And when we discuss the security around the tropical forest, we are able to bring new actors. Ministry of defense, ministry of health, ministry of agriculture, different actors that are not necessarily working in the topics.
So it is a way not only to recognize what would be the consequences of the climate change over the tropical forest. But it is the way to create link between the different sectors and the different actors.
So the topic of securities surely could be a good way to move this discussion and to raise it in our local and economic consideration. I think that the securities it is an important way to create more awareness of the role of the forest.
My sixth point, it is, what it is really a suggestion, I don’t have the answer. But if we have into consideration that we are talking about the SDGs, why and I give to CIFOR that challenge, we don’t discuss an FDGs. Forestry Development Goals.
What do we want to measure. What kind of indicators do we want to include in this discussion. What do we think a clearly the indicator that are going to show us that we are improving our manage, the management of our forest. I think that we are on the time in which we can do that. We can develop an FDGs.
Let me tell you what happen to me some weeks ago. We were discussing with business sectors in Peru, around a campaign that we are developing as part of the COP 20, and one of the guy who was there told us, when we discuss about growing or the economic performance of a country, it is very clear indicators. GDP, excuse me but I don’t how can I say in English, balanza de pagos, in two or three indicators.
When we talk about the social sectors, we are used to say, to talking around the live of poverty, nutrition among others. But when we talk about environment or when we talk about forest, we really don’t know exactly what we need to show. What we need to measure, what we need to prove.
So it is important to have indicator, and probably try to have FDGs, it could be a good way to move forward in this discussion.
So because I am taking too much time, let me move to my last reflection.
Really, let me say, what we are doing as part of the organization of the COP 20. What we are doing as the next host country of the COP 20.
First, let me say that we are very confident, we have, we are, we know that we are able to do something. We know that we are able to move this discussion toward an agreement. We know that it is a big challenge, it is difficult, it complex, but based on the Latin America position, but also based in the partnership with countries, as the Southeast Asia countries, we can do something.
And for that what is clear is that we need to have an output. And for Lima the output, should be, must be, to have a very strong draft agreement to be signed in Paris.
And for that we need to move in the formal process recognizing the roles of the ADP but also the non-formal process. So we can take advantage of the September summit, that wants to bring political will to the negotiation process.
Try to bring the leader of the world to offer and put on the table what they are able to offer to the world. So, we have that the ADP, we have the September summit, we have meetings as this in which we are discussing the forest sector, so based on that, we can deal with our objectives, to reach a draft agreement by the end of December.
But that is not the only objective that we are seeking.
The second objective it is trying to bring some content to adaptation. We are used to talking about adaptation, but not necessarily with a clear content.
What does it mean resilience in adaptation? What are the roles of the forest in adaptation? What it is our agenda as developing countries to recognize what does adaptation mean? And how much we can put the adaptation discussion into national contribution and into the final agreement.
So that is our second goals. And for that, we have it is a mandate, we need to revise the guidelines that are the best for the national adaptation plans, NABs. So that is one of our mission.
The third objective is trying to move the finance discussion into an improvement, into some results. And as I’ve already told to you, the capitalization of the green climate fund it is important.
And for that also our fourth mandate is to bring information that is going to be part of national determine contribution. And we think that the balance between finance and the national, the NDCs, is a good way to create trust. To have developed countries putting money on the table, and to have developing countries identifying their own action, not only for mitigation but also for adaptation.
We are ready to organize the COP. We are moving quickly, we are doing what are, doing our biggest effort to have the countries on the table, taking decisions by the end of this year.
So let me finish saying again, how pleased I am to be here, how pleased I am that even though this is a discussion around forest in Southeast Asia, I think it is very important to have this region of the world, as part of the discussion to try to raise the forest discussion and to not continue to be the younger brother of the debate.
We need to have political decision, political solution to the forest, as part not only of the climate debate but the development debate. Thank you very much.