Extension of the Research Facility on Inequalities in Indonesia

Harnessing Inequalities Reductions Benefits in Marine Protected Areas and Contributing to the Public Debate on Inequalities in Indonesia
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	Reducing Inequalities Through the Development of Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia, Extension of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities
Increasing inequality, climate change and the deterioration of marine ecosystems are all challenges for Indonesia, which has experienced growth since its integration into globalization. To address these multiple issues, the Extension of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities will support the Indonesian government in its policy of developing marine protected areas and in analyzing the social impacts of this policy. In parallel, it will cooperate with local research centers and national statistical office to product a diagnostic on inequalities in Indonesia.


Indonesia has benefited from its integration into globalization with a significant increase in the value of the human development index (HDI) and a significant decrease in the number of people living below the poverty line. However, its economic growth has not been inclusive, as evidenced by the rapid increase in wealth inequality in the country. With a Gini coefficient of 0.38 in 2019, Indonesia has higher levels of inequality than other Southeast Asian countries in the same income group. 

As an archipelagic country, Indonesia depends heavily on the fisheries sector and on the quality of its marine ecosystem. However, the latter is seriously threatened by climate change, which is causing the deterioration of the country's coastal ecology, of the livelihoods and of food security for a part of the Indonesian population. Indeed, changing weather patterns and warming oceans are expected to lead to a 20% decrease in Indonesia's marine fisheries production by 2055, with major socio-economic consequences for a large proportion of the population. Beyond climate change, other factors also threaten marine ecosystems and resource exploitation: overfishing, marine pollution, habitat destruction, etc.

To address this issue, Indonesia has introduced a plan to develop marine protected areas (MPAs) with the aim of promoting the conservation of marine ecosystems by restricting all human activities in designated areas. This plan, established for the period 2020-2024, is part of the country's 6th Development Programme and presents benefits for both environmental sustainability and reducing inequalities.


Preliminary research and workshops conducted in partnership with local research centers and the AFD and EU agency in Indonesia have effectively demonstrated the value of marine protected areas in reducing economic, access, gender and health inequalities. While increasingly part of marine protected areas (MPAs) objectives, the social impacts of protected areas have seldom been assessed. Yet, understanding the impact of conservation interventions on people is also central for seeking biological objectives. 

MPAs are a driver of inequalities in communities relying heavily on marine resources, and a powerful tool to help reduce them. While being an important aspect of the well-being of the people involved and of the success of MPAs, inequality assessments and metrics are currently largely absent in the design, implementation and management of MPAs. As part of the Extension of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities (RFI), this research projects aims at a deeper understanding of the inequality dynamics in MPAs in Indonesia, drawing upon existing data and specific case studies. It should help us gain better knowledge of how inequalities influence biological and social outcomes in MPAs, and bring insights on how to integrate inequality assessments and indicators in existing MPA policies in the country, at every level of governance.The main outcome of this project is a toolbox that will bring together policy recommendations and insights from the research, to help implement training and capacity building activities in the corresponding governance entities. 

In addition, an analysis of the overall situation of inequality in Indonesia is necessary to understand its dynamics and to develop appropriate policy responses. To this end, a diagnostic on inequality in Indonesia will comprehensively assess inequality in the country, not only through monetary indicators (income or expenditure), but also through social assets, such as access to education, health, water and sanitation, or employment.


In order to identify and address the challenges of inequalities and climate change, the Extension of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities (RFI), in partnership with local research, is conducting a project on Harnessing inequalities reductions benefits in marine protected areas. SMERU will aim to develop a framework for analyzing inequalities and their dynamics in MPAs in Indonesia. This work will feed into the policy dialogue conducted by the EU and AFD on marine resource management and environmental protection. This project will also result in the development of a toolbox for integrating inequalities into the design, implementation and management of MPAs. 

Besides this project, the Extension of the RFI program conduct comprehensive inequality assessment and produce an inequality diagnostic report in cooperation with LPEM and BPS. This project is intended to be the basis for launching a national dialogue about inequality and stimulate policy interventions to overcome inequality.


12 July
[Research Conversation] Balancing Conservation and Community Welfare: Enhancing the Management of Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia

Held on July 12, this event will focus on a SMERU Institute quantitative and qualitative analysis led in the framework of the Extension of the Research Facility on inequalities.

This study explores the factors explaining welfare disparities among the costal communities and the potential for alternative livelihoods, and discusses the policies and governance of maritime development and conservation in Indonesia.

Link of the replay here.

[Workshops] The role of Marine Protected Areas on environmental sustainability and inequality in Indonesia
Couverture du research paper sur les aires marines protégées en Indonésie élaboré dans le cadre de la Facilité de recherche UE-AFD sur les inégalités.

These two workshops have been held on 2 and 3 september 2021 and were an opportunity to discuss on the research document on the benefits of marine protected areas in fighting inequality and fostering environmental sustainability in Indonesia

This event aimed to use research findings to inform the design and implementation of policies at the intersection of marine protection and inequality reduction in Indonesia.