May 27, 2010

President: Indonesia serious about managing its forests

Oslo (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia is serious about conserving its forests to contribute to the balance of the environment and climate.

Speaking to the press aboard an Oslo-bound presidential plane on Wednesday, he said the seriousness was reflected by concrete action rather than a mere slogan or plan to maintain the area of the country`s forests.

"Therefore, I hope the central and regional governments will be fully responsible for encouraging the public to take part in ensuring the success of the endeavour. As such, we will be respected by the world community when they help us," he said.

He said developed nations had been committed to providing funds to tropical forest countries struggling to maintain their forests believed to contribute to nature conservation and balance.

"Indonesia has the chance to get contributions from the international community, particularly developed nations under a fund sharing scheme. I prefer to use the term "sharing" and "assistance" because Indonesia is really able to maintain its tropical forests, meaning that we maintain the lungs of the world. It is not merely Indonesia but also the rest of the world which will enjoy the fruit. Therefore, it will be fair if Indonesia uses its resources and budget not only for the environment or forests but also for the people`s welfare," he said.

Given the commitment, Indonesia must prove that its forest conservation efforts were not a mere slogan or plan, he said.

"Now that the developed nations want to contribute to forest conservation efforts by providing grants and not loans we must convince them that we not only have commitment and plan but also are determined to implement what Indonesia and donor countries have agreed upon," he said.

For its part, the head of state called on all domestic elements including the central government, regional governments, the community and the private sector to prove the commitment which would in the end improve the local people`s living standard.

"We build good political tradition that Indonesia is a consistent nation, state and government. Once again whether or not we are assisted, we are obliged to conserve the environment as good as possible," he said.

Yudhoyono arrived here at 07.00 a.m. on Wednesday for a four-day visit during which he will attend an international conference on climate change and forests.

During his stay, the Indonesian leader is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at 03.00 p.m. to discuss the signing of a letter of intent in the field of forestry cooperation between the two countries.

The cooperation will be the first with Norway in the field of forestry based upon the principles of mutual benefit.

Yudhoyono will attend the conference at the invitation of Prime Minister Stoltenberg with whom he will co-chair the forum.

Representatives from 40 countries will attend the conference including the leaders of Denmark, Guyana and Gabon.

The conference will aim to facilitate voluntary partnerships between advanced and developing countries that have tropical forests with regard to the implementation of the mechanism for reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries (REDD+).

The meeting is expected to be able to produce an agreement regarding the REDD+ mechanism for immediate implementation.

Source : http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/1274907070/president-indonesia-serious-about-managing-its-forests

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