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Synergy potential between climate change mitigation and forest conservation policies in the Indonesian forest sector: implications for achieving multiple sustainable development objectives


There has been growing interest in achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by identifying effective interactions or synergy potential among measures/policies on sustainable development. The simultaneous implementation of climate change mitigation (SDG 13) and forest protection (SDG 15) is an example of an interaction where the measures/policies that contribute to both goals can be identified and the overlaps eliminated. However, there are limited studies that quantitatively evaluate the synergy potential in the forest sector. This study is the first attempt to examine the synergy potential in the forest sector in Indonesia focusing on climate change mitigation and forest protection. We evaluated four scenarios that differentiated climate and forest policy options and assessed the effectiveness of implementing these two policies simultaneously by 2030, using a computable general equilibrium model and a land-use model. We found that the additional efforts needed for emission reduction were larger for the scenario not considering forest protection than for that considering forest protection. This caused differences in the mitigation measures introduced and the resulting land use that depended on the scenario. Consequently, mitigation costs would be reduced by implementing mitigation and forest protection policies simultaneously, suggesting that the synergy effect in the forest sector in Indonesia does exist. This also implies simultaneous contributions to SDGs 13 and 15 (Targets 13.2 and 15.2). To realize such synergies, which have not yet been considered, it is necessary for policymakers to fill the institutional gaps between the policies/strategies of mitigation and forest conservation and enforce the policies for SDGs.

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Fig. 1

This figure is based on Hasegawa et al. (2016b)

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  1. 1.

    International regimes are defined as sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given area of international relations (Krasner 1982).

  2. 2.

    Forest conservation is the practice of planting and maintaining forested areas for the benefit and sustainability of future generations (Pawar and Rothkar 2015); therefore, this phrase was used in the previous section. However, because this study focuses on no deforestation, we use the phrase “forest protection” to explain our analysis.

  3. 3.

    Emission reduction in the CP scenario is that from the BaU scenario, whereas emission reduction in the CP–FP scenario is that from the BaU–FP scenario.

  4. 4.

    For example, the demand for rice and wheat increased by 1.24 and 1.30 times, respectively, in 2030 from that at 2005. The demand for livestock products increased by 2.1 times in the same period.

  5. 5.

    “Other land use” includes other vegetated (primary or secondary non-forest and non-agricultural vegetation, including savannah, natural grassland, scrubland, and tundra) and non-vegetated (bare land, deserts, ice, and water) areas.


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This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-14) of the Ministry of the Environment, JSPS KAKENHI Grant number 18K11754 and 18K11800, and the Integrated Research Program for Advancing Climate Models (TOUGOU program) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. We thank Leonie Seabrook, PhD, from Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ken’ichi Matsumoto.

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Handled by: Riyanti Djalante, United Nations University, Japan.

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Matsumoto, K., Hasegawa, T., Morita, K. et al. Synergy potential between climate change mitigation and forest conservation policies in the Indonesian forest sector: implications for achieving multiple sustainable development objectives. Sustain Sci 14, 1657–1672 (2019).

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  • Climate change mitigation
  • Forest conservation
  • Synergy
  • Indonesia
  • AFOLU model
  • Computable general equilibrium model