Creutzig F.,Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change |
Hedahl M.,U.S. Naval Academy |
Rydge J.,Global Green Growth Institute |
Szulecki K.,University of Oslo
Global Policy | Year: 2014
Researchers from various disciplines have built impressive but distinct compendia on climate change the defining challenge for humanity. In the spirit of Lord Dahrendorf, this paper represents the output of interdisciplinary collaboration and integrates state-of-the-art academic expertise from the fields of philosophy, economics and governance. Our focus is on Europe, which is widely perceived as a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, leadership weakness on climate over recent years, largely due to recession and political vacillation, is eroding this perception. What is needed is a firm justification for strong climate action, acknowledgement of the available tools, awareness of the reasons for our failures to date, and a realistic, but goal-oriented strategy for an integrated climate policy. We therefore present current normative insights from climate justice research highlighting the need to make institutions responsive to those most vulnerable we discuss the economics of the transition to a low-carbon economy, pointing to key policy instruments and post-2020 climate targets for the EU; we contrast the normative and quantitative synoptic principles with the particularistic implementation schemes and politics of (not) implementing measures on the ground; and we suggest a careful coordination of European climate policies with acute challenges that could increase both climate justice and political feasibility. © 2014 University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Halsnaes K.,Technical University of Denmark |
Garg A.,Indian Institute Management Ahmedabad |
Christensen J.,Technical University of Denmark |
Foyn H.Y.,Technical University of Denmark |
And 16 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2014
The aim of this paper is to assess how policy goals in relation to the promotion of green growth, energy security, pollution control and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions have been aligned in policies that have been implemented in selected countries during the last decades as a basis for discussing how a multi objective policy paradigm can contribute to future climate change mitigation. The paper includes country case studies from Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea and the United States covering renewable energy options, industry, transportation, the residential sector and cross-sectoral policies. These countries and regions together contribute more than two thirds of global GHG emissions. The paper finds that policies that are nationally driven and that have multiple objectives, including climate-change mitigation, have been widely applied for decades in both developing countries and industrialised countries. Many of these policies have a long history, and adjustments have taken place based on experience and cost effectiveness concerns. Various energy and climate-change policy goals have worked together in these countries, and in practice a mix of policies reflecting specific priorities and contexts have been pursued. In this way, climate-change mitigation has been aligned with other policy objectives and integrated into broader policy packages, though in many cases specific attention has not been given to the achievement of large GHG emission reductions. Based on these experiences with policy implementation, the paper highlights a number of key coordination and design issues that are pertinent to the successful joint implementation of several energy and climate-change policy goals. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
News Article | November 18, 2015
Abdullahi Majeed, a veteran negotiator on climate change for the Maldives who has been warning of the risks of sea level rise since a meeting in 1989, attends U.N. talks in Bonn, Germany, October 22, 2015. Abdullahi Majeed, a veteran negotiator on climate change for the Maldives who has been warning of the risks of sea level rise since a meeting in 1989, attends U.N. talks in Bonn, Germany, October 22, 2015. Now a 60-year-old veteran, Majeed is still repeating that message, one of a handful of delegates to this month's Paris climate summit who have been attending tortuous U.N. negotiations to combat global warming from the start. "It's frustrating," he said. "The sense of urgency is simply not there." In countless conference halls from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, Majeed has seen more setbacks than breakthroughs, not least the failed Copenhagen conference in 2009. He is now pinning cautious hopes on the Paris summit, from Nov. 30-Dec. 11, when almost 200 nations will once more seek an accord to curb manmade greenhouse gas emissions, blamed by almost all leading climate scientists for rising global temperatures and sea levels. "There is more hope," he said. "We can't have another Copenhagen." In November 1989, Majeed was head of his country's meteorological service when 14 island nations met in the capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago to sign the Male Declaration about the risks of climate change. It went almost unnoticed outside the signatories, which included Grenada, Fiji and Malta. At the time, few scientists blamed mankind for global warming, and the fall of the Berlin Wall a week earlier was dominating the world's headlines. "We knew it wouldn't be plain sailing but we thought ‘We have to begin somewhere’," Majeed said. Now, the risks are far more widely known. Sea levels have risen by about 20 cm (8 inches) since 1900 and the U.N. panel of climate scientists says they could swell again by between 26 and 82 cm by the late 21st century, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica. That would be a creeping threat to coasts from Bangladesh to Florida, to coastal cities from London to Shanghai and to many low-lying coral atolls. The Maldives, with a population of 345,000, is among the most vulnerable since its highest natural point is just 2.4 metres (8 feet) above sea level. Robert Van Lierop of Vanuatu, the first chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from 1991-94, said Majeed had helped to set the tone for island negotiators by blending concern with humility. "Through the ups and downs of the negotiations, he has been a steady rock," Van Lierup said. Majeed, now Minister of State for Environment and Energy, said he had first become interested in the weather as a child when his father had been unable to answer the question "How do you measure rainfall?". Delegates often jokingly liken the negotiations to herding cats. Just like AOSIS, now grown to 44 members, the United States, China, African nations, OPEC oil producers or left-wing Latin American states all have often-competing national interests. OPEC nations, for instance, immediately realized that any shift to wind and solar power was a threat to oil exports. At climate talks in the early 1990s, "half of the OPEC delegates were lawyers", Majeed said. It was not until 1992 that a U.N. climate convention in Rio de Janeiro finally set a goal of limiting greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2000, albeit only for developed economies. But the goal was non-binding, and was not met. After a grind of unproductive annual U.N. meetings, the next accord was the U.N.'s 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which initially obliged about 40 rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent below 1990 levels in the period 2008-12. Those cuts have been met overall, but Kyoto had fatal flaws, and the number of participants in an extended period to 2020 has shrunk to a small core around the European Union. U.S. President George W. Bush concluded that Kyoto was giving big emerging economies such as China and India a free ride, and would cost U.S. jobs. Having signed the deal, Washington never ratified it. "It was a very minor step in the right direction," Majeed said, remembering that his delegation had to leave before the agreement was reached, in overtime, to avoid missing their expensive flight home. One of the lowest points was a two-week meeting in Buenos Aires in 2004, which ended with an agreement merely to hold a seminar about climate change the following year. To some, given the U.S. opposition to Kyoto, even that was a victory. "At the time, I was very happy to get this workshop," said Yvo de Boer, the U.N. climate chief from 2006-10 who was a senior member of the Dutch delegation in Buenos Aires. He says the core problem is that climate change ultimately means transforming the world economy. Crops will have to be replaced or planted elsewhere, for instance, industry will have to find new ways of working without fossil fuels, and low-lying countries may one day have to move whole cities. "If it was just about cutting emissions, it would be much easier," said de Boer, who now heads the Global Green Growth Institute in South Korea. Majeed said the pace picked up in Bali in 2007, when nations agreed to work out a global accord to succeed Kyoto within two years. Washington dropped its opposition at a stormy final session during which U.S. delegates were booed. But the 2009 Copenhagen summit failed, with only a partial accord for emissions cuts until 2020 and a promise to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing nations by 2020. By last year, about $62 billion had been amassed. Majeed says Copenhagen was the worst meeting: "People started with such optimism, and it ended with such doom." Prospects for a global accord are now brighter, partly because the United States and China are working together. But ambitions are also lower: a Paris accord will compile voluntary national pledges for action beyond 2020, forsaking the binding model of Kyoto. In Male, Majeed lives in a house that is about 2 metres (7 feet) above sea level and 50 metres from the waterfront. He grumbles that there are few beaches, because of the sea defenses that occupy much of the capital's coast. After the Paris talks, set to take place under heightened security after the attacks that killed 129 people last week, he reckons he may stay with climate negotiations for another five years. "Nobody likes traveling to so many places," he said. "We all have families too." Majeed has four daughters. Asked why he has stayed on so long when many others have given up, he shrugs: "I've got climate in my veins."
Hajer M.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency |
Hajer M.,University of Amsterdam |
Nilsson M.,Stockholm Environment Institute |
Nilsson M.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology |
And 7 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2015
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have the potential to become a powerful political vision that can support the urgently needed global transition to a shared and lasting prosperity. In December 2014, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General published his report on the SDGs. However, the final goals and targets that will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 risk falling short of expectations because of what we call " cockpit-ism": the illusion that top-down steering by governments and intergovernmental organizations alone can address global problems. In view of the limited effectiveness of intergovernmental efforts and questions about the capacity of national governments to affect change, the SDGs need to additionally mobilize new agents of change such as businesses, cities and civil society. To galvanize such a broad set of actors, multiple perspectives on sustainable development are needed that respond to the various motives and logics of change of these different actors. We propose four connected perspectives which can strengthen the universal relevance of the SDGs: " planetary boundaries" to stress the urgency of addressing environmental concerns and to target governments to take responsibility for (global) public goods; " the safe and just operating space" to highlight the interconnectedness of social and environmental concerns and its distributive consequences; " the energetic society" to benefit from the willingness of a broad group of actors worldwide to take action; and " green competition" to stimulate innovation and new business practices. To realize the transformative potential of the SDGs, these four perspectives should be reflected in the focus and content of the SDGs that will be negotiated in the run up to September 2015 and its further implementation. © 2015 by the authors.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-03b-2014 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2015
The GREEN-WIN project will develop a major international transdisciplinary research collaboration to apply a solution-oriented approach targeted at increasing the understanding of links between climate action and sustainability and overcoming implementation barriers through win-win strategies. The project will critically assess where and under which conditions win-win and in particular green growth strategies work in practice and where fundamental trade-offs must be faced. We thereby focus on four critical barriers that have been identified by practitioners and policy makers. First, we develop transformative narratives highlighting opportunities in climate and sustainability action in order to contribute to overcoming cognitive barriers and empowering people. Second, we examine climate and sustainability finance policies and governance arrangements in order to contribute to overcoming financial barriers to mitigation and adaptation. Third, we substantiate the economics of green growth in order to contribute to overcoming economic and collective action barriers to de-carbonisation. Towards this end we introduce major innovations into the GEM-E3 computable general equilibrium model required to discover green growth strategies. These include developing a network-based model of technological diffusion, and introducing financial market constraints and adaptive expectations of agents. Fourth, we contribute to overcoming economic and institutional barriers through identifying win-win strategies, sustainable business models and enabling environments in three action fields of coastal zone flood risk management, urban transformations and energy poverty eradication and resilience. We embed all these activities within a sustained international dialogue involving stakeholders from policy, research, civil society and the private sector, and an open knowledge management and capacity building strategy to promote knowledge transfer and learning beyond the project lifespan.
News Article | October 25, 2016
All eyes on Mars Planetary scientists are expecting the first successful landing of a European spacecraft on Mars. As Nature went to press, the Schiaparelli lander — part of the ExoMars joint mission with the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos — was expected to touch down on the red planet on 19 October. The craft, which launched from Kazakhstan in March on a Russian rocket and separated from its mothership on 16 October, is intended to demonstrate landing technology, but it will also study dust storms that are expected to rage on Mars. The mission’s second component, an orbiter, will begin orbiting Mars on the same day and will analyse the composition of the planet’s thin atmosphere next year. See go.nature.com/2eduxjh for more. Protests at South African universities Student protests over tuition fees continue to disrupt teaching and academic life at South African universities. Violent clashes between students and police have been raging on campuses for several weeks despite calls from university officials to save the academic year from breakdown. Last week, protesters threw petrol bombs at buildings in the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, where a library was torched last month. At the University of Cape Town, teaching resumed on 17 October. But other campuses, including the University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, both in Cape Town, remain closed (pictured is Vaal University of Technology near Johannesburg). Green millions The Green Climate Fund, the United Nations’ financial mechanism for helping developing countries to deal with climate change, approved US$745 million in funding proposals on 14 October. The money will go towards 10 new projects involving 27 nations. The Fund, which six years after it was launched has not yet disbursed any money, has now earmarked a total of $1.17 billion for developing countries. At its meeting in Songdo, South Korea, the Fund’s governing board also selected Howard Bamsey, former director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute and Australia’s special envoy on climate change, as new executive director. Bamsey will replace Héla Cheikhrouhou, who has taken over as Tunisia’s minister for energy, mining and renewables. Big climate win Almost 200 nations have agreed to substantially curb their emissions of chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning that act as potent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An expansion of the Montreal Protocol, signed on 15 October at a United Nations meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to reduce projected emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by almost 90% over the course of the twenty-first century. The protocol was created in 1987 to halt the destruction of Earth’s protective ozone layer. If left unchecked, heat-trapping HFCs, which have since replaced ozone-depleting chemicals, might have contributed up to 0.5 °C of warming by the end of the century (see go.nature.com/2doehrn). Moonshot report The US Cancer Moonshot Task Force released a report on 17 October detailing its accomplishments and goals. The task force, which is led by US Vice President Joseph Biden, continued its call for data sharing, increased clinical trial participation and molecular tumour profiling. The moonshot aims to double the pace of cancer research. Obama’s Mars plan US President Barack Obama reiterated his goals to send NASA astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. In an 11 October op-ed piece for CNN and at a conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Obama said the space agency would work with private companies to develop deep-space habitats for astronauts. This includes asking companies for ideas about attaching privately built modules for living and working to the International Space Station. But with Obama leaving office in three months, the direction of NASA is up to the next president and Congress, so the goals remain uncertain at best. Comet hunter dies Klim Churyumov, co-discoverer of the rubber-duck-shaped comet studied by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, has died aged 79. Working with fellow astronomer Svetlana Gerasimenko, the Ukrainian spotted the comet using a Maksutov telescope in 1969. The space agency selected the body, known as 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as Rosetta’s target in 2003, and Churyumov followed the mission closely. He lived to see its finale, a crash-landing of the mothership on the comet on 30 September. As well as being an accomplished astronomer who co-discovered a second comet in 1986, Churyumov was an avid popularizer of science and published a series of poetry books for children. Next UN chief Former prime minister of Portugal António Guterres (pictured, left) will be the next secretary-general of the United Nations, taking the helm after Ban Ki-moon (pictured, right) steps down on 31 December. He was appointed by the General Assembly in New York City on 13 October. Guterres, 67, studied engineering and physics in Lisbon, and had a brief career in academia before going into politics. He was high commissioner of the UN’s refugee agency for ten years until 2015, and said that alleviating the suffering of vulnerable people, and gender equality, would be key priorities for his five-year tenure as secretary-general. Galaxy glut With the help of tens of thousands of citizen scientists from around the world, astronomers on 12 October released two data sets on the shapes of some 168,000 galaxies. The catalogues are part of the Galaxy Zoo project, which began in 2007 and has enlisted volunteers to classify nearly 1 million galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The latest projects (described in two papers at https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.03070; 2016 and https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.03068; 2016) include galaxies that are farther away, with images from the Hubble Space Telescope that show galaxies up to 3.6 billion parsecs (12 billion light years) away. The results could help astrophysicists understand how galaxies have evolved. AI manifesto Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning hold significant potential for innovation and economic growth, a White House report published on 12 October concludes. Calling for government and private sector investment in research and development, the report says that regulations and standards must keep pace with the conceivable benefits of using AI technology in finance, health care, aviation and self-driving cars. Impacts on the economy and workforce must be scrutinized because automation in industry might particularly affect low-wage jobs, the report argues. Weighing neutrinos The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment in Germany, which is designed to establish the elusive mass of neutrino particles, was switched on for the first time on 14 October. Neutrinos are known to have non-zero masses, but the actual values of those masses have been difficult to measure. KATRIN will weigh the extremely light particles indirectly by measuring the energies of electrons shooting out from the nuclear decay of tritium, an isotope of hydrogen. Researchers have now started beaming electrons inside the 70-metre-long, €60-million (US$66-million) machine, and plan to begin the tritium experiment — expected to last five years — in late 2017. Bob Dylan, who on 13 October became a Nobel laureate in literature, might be scientists’ favourite musician. A 2015 analysis found that Dylan’s song names were mentioned in at least 213 article titles (C. Gornitzki, A. Larsson and B. Fadeel Br. Med. J. 351, h6505; 2015); numerous fields were found to be “a-changin’”. The authors concluded that Dylan’s respect for the medical profession — as evidenced by his lyric “I wish I’d have been a doctor” — is reciprocated. 24–26 October Bill Gates and Richard Branson join 1,000 scientists from around the world for the Grand Challenges conference in London to share ideas on topics from crop research to menstrual hygiene. go.nature.com/2e75xb3 2–4 November The Africa Renewable Energy Forum meets in Marrakesh, Morocco, ahead of the COP22 climate meeting. africa-renewable-energy-forum.com
News Article | August 23, 2016
SEOUL – August 23, 2016: Dr. Frank Rijsberman, the former CEO of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium, has been appointed as the Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Dr. Rijsberman will lead the Seoul-based international organization for a four-year term, beginning on October 1, 2016, succeeding Yvo de Boer. “The opportunity to support developing countries to achieve their economic growth ambitions while reducing poverty and minimizing the environmental impact is inspiring and very motivating to me,” Dr. Rijsberman said. “While GGGI is a relatively young organization, it has already established a strong track record in laying the policy foundations for green growth, increasing green investment flows, and sharing its knowledge and experience with partner countries. I look forward to building on this success and driving the Institute’s work towards achieving its vision of a resilient world with strong, inclusive, and sustainable green growth.” The appointment of Dr. Rijsberman became effective following the unanimous agreement by the GGGI Assembly, GGGI’s supreme organ. “On behalf of GGGI’s 26 Member countries, I warmly welcome Dr. Rijsberman to the Institute,” said H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of GGGI. “We are confident that under Dr. Rijsberman’s leadership, GGGI will accelerate its Members’ transition to a new model of growth, aligned with their Nationally-Determined Contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement and the internationally-agreed Sustainable Development Goals.” At CGIAR, Dr. Rijsberman led the Consortium’s transformation from 15 independent research centers towards a single integrated organization. This included a process of cultural and institutional change towards results-based management, including the development of the Consortium’s 2016-2030 Strategy and new portfolio of research programs for 2017-2022, building an integrated organization and governance structure, and developing its policies and procedures to ensure accountability. Prior to leading CGIAR, Dr. Rijsberman was the first Director of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he developed a strategy to help achieve universal access to sustainable sanitation services using radical new technologies and innovative market-based mechanisms. Dr. Rijsberman also has worked as Program Director at Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, where he led grant making in the public health initiative and was responsible for programs and partnerships in health, disaster response, geo-informatics, and climate-change adaptation. Before Google Dr. Rijsberman was Director-General of the International Water Management Institute, an international research institute with HQ in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Originally from the Netherlands, Dr. Rijsberman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology, and earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. in water resources planning and management and civil engineering from Colorado State University. About GGGI Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote green growth. The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly, are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI works with countries around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions. To learn more about GGGI, see http://www.gggi.org and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
News Article | December 1, 2015
But as the leaders departed Paris, it became apparent that disagreements which have blocked a deal over four years of lead-up negotiations remain unresolved. Negotiators from the 195 countries with a place at the table resumed work on a draft text that still runs to more than 50 pages and is riddled with sticky issues to be settled. The biggest obstacle is money: how to come up with the billions of dollars developing nations need to shift from fossil fuels and adapt to the impacts of climate change. At Tuesday's technical talks, countries restated their well-known negotiating positions on the question with few hints of compromise. China's delegate Su Wei "noted with concern" what he called a lack of commitment by the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and help developing nations with new finance to tackle global warming. And the group of the 48 least developed countries urged far tougher action to limit rising temperatures. "It's back to the nitty gritty," said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, adding the opening day was "all good but that does not resolve the crunch issues." Certainly there was still some hangover of goodwill from Monday, when a parade of leaders stepped to the podium to assert the imperative of getting a deal. Many delegates said the large turnout of leaders, almost all expressing sympathy for the French people after attacks by Islamic State militants killed 130 in Paris this month, set a less hostile tone than the one that prevailed in the last talks in Copenhagen in 2009. French President Francois Hollande said he was encouraged by the start of a conference that is planned to run until Dec. 11. "It's set off well but it has to arrive too," he told reporters. The mood had also been brightened by major spending announcements, including a plan by India and France to mobilize $1 trillion for solar power for some of the world's poorest people and a private sector initiative led by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to mobilize billions of dollars for new energy research and development. A deal in Paris would be by far the strongest ever agreed to bind both rich and poor nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say have blanketed the earth, raised global temperatures and begun upending the planet's climate system. But Tuesday showed that the Paris talks are still taking place under the shadow of politics-as-usual back home. In the United States, Republicans have signaled they will oppose authorizing the billions of dollars that President Barack Obama has pledged to help developing nations adapt to climate change. In response, Obama told reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to the United States that the impacts of climate change will force any future U.S. president -- Democrat or Republican -- to act. "Everybody else is taking climate change really seriously," he said of world leaders in Paris, adding: "People should be confident that we'll meet our commitments on this." Developing nations want the rich to pledge rising amounts beyond the current goal of $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them obtain clean energy sources and adapt to the effects of climate change, ranging from more floods to droughts and intense storms. Other disputes concern how to define a long-term goal for reducing or phasing out fossil fuels this century. So far, pledges made by 184 countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, made in the run-up to the Paris summit, are too weak to limit rising global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. That is widely viewed as a threshold for dangerous and potentially catastrophic changes in the planet's climate system. As negotiators grapple with the details, they also appear motivated by the fearful consequences of failing to get an agreement. "Leaders still have the scars of Copenhagen on their hearts and brains," said Yvo de Boer, who was the U.N.'s climate chief in Copenhagen. De Boer, who works for the Global Green Growth Institute, said Monday's big turnout was encouraging for a deal - but acknowledged the challenge ahead. "The elephant in the room is still finance," he said.
Szulecka J.,TU Dresden |
Szulecka J.,Center for International Forestry Research |
Obidzinski K.,Center for International Forestry Research |
Obidzinski K.,Global Green Growth Institute |
And 2 more authors.
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2016
Forest plantations have been an important land-use pattern in Indonesia for centuries. Yet the role of timber plantations, their specific goals, perceptions, actors involved, and management systems had been redefined in the past and they continue to evolve today. It is important to understand the driving forces and historical trends shaping timber plantations in Indonesia in order to critically reflect on their changing roles in the forestry sector. This article traces the development of Indonesian forest plantations through time by categorizing them into paradigms. Proposed explanatory framework helps to see the historical legacies in the Indonesian plantation sector. The identification of historical plantation modes is based on a literature review while current approaches and specific policy instruments are discussed based on exploratory empirical case-study material from three Indonesian forest plantation estates (involving joint forest management, community forest management and large private timber company). The historical review shows a range of continuities and helps to explain the problems forest plantations in Indonesia face today. It points to socially-oriented community forest management as highly praised by its stakeholders, able to improve rural livelihoods and secure environmental benefits. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.