STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AT THE 11TH SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL/UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP) GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM Nusa Dua Bali, 24 Februari 2010

3/10/2010

 

STATEMENT BY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
AT
THE 11TH SESSION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL/UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP) GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM

Nusa Dua Bali, 24 Februari 2010

 

(Unofficial Translation)

 

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

 

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

 

His Excellency Mr. Oliver Dulic, President of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),

The Honourable Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP,

Honourable Ministers and Heads of Delegation,

Honourable Ambassadors,

Honourable Governor of Bali Province,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is great honour for me to be able to participate at the august 11th Session of the Governing Council/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Ministerial Environment Forum, in Nusa Dua Bali. I am glad to see many of you again in this hall where we got together during the historic Bali Climate Conference of 2007. I hope that Bali’s ambience will inspire all of you here to produce a conclusion that will benefit to all humankind.

 

On this glorious occasion, on behalf of the Government and people of Indonesia, I would like to convey my warm welcome to all of the ministers and delegation from various countries in Bali, the Island of God. It is my fervent wish, that the beautiful ambience of the Island of God would help to inspire us to deliver the best outcome for the humankind.

 

This meeting is timely, as the challenges of environmental degradation are getting more urgent. The tagline of the Session, “One Planet: Our Responsibility”, is most appropriate. Indeed we are here to renew and make good our pledge to save our planet, the home to us and our future generation.

 

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The theme of the Session is “Environment in the Multilateral System” which calls for the future cooperation and partnership to ensuring the sustainability of the environment—and that is through more genuine global cooperation and partnership. We need to reiterate our commitment to sustainable development and to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

During the past 12 years, the world was at its warmest since 1850. This catastrophe cannot be avoided. A one-meter rise in sea levels will bring about a terrible devastation to scores of millions of people.

 

The prospect of the loss of diversity is also grim: within this century some 50,000 plant species and almost 4,000 endemic vertebrate species will probably become extinct. Some sixty percent of the earth's ecosystems—forests and soil, grasslands and coral reefs—are already badly damaged.

 

As to the oceans, which cover two-thirds of the earth’s surface, these are the unsung treasuries of the world economy. They are the great providers of food security. Without them half of the human race would starve and some 120 million people who live in coastal areas in this part of the world be deprived of their livelihood. Because of over-exploitation and depletion of fishing grounds, the aggregate losses in fish stocks totaled some $50 billion in 2008. Such an enormous economic loss is a grievous obstacle to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals of the developing island and coastal countries.

 

Considering the importance of oceans to human survival, Indonesia organized the World Ocean Conference in May 2009. The Conference adopted the Manado Ocean Declaration that called for the mainstreaming of ocean concerns in any future climate change regime.

 

For the same purpose, Indonesia and five of its neighbours—Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands—launched the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral partnership to safeguard unique marine and coastal biological resources of this area, which is widely regarded as the “Amazon of the oceans,”

 

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As to our tropical rainforests, they very well deserve to be regarded as the lungs of the world. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen that is breathed in by human populations all over the planet.

 

That is why Indonesia and ten other rainforest countries established the grouping called Forest Eleven in September 2007. Its aim is to enhance cooperation among its member in carrying out sustainable forest management. In this regard, I personally welcome the result of the Ministerial Meeting of F-11 held yesterday, which stressed the importance of Sustainable Forest Management as a way of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. I urge all countries to support our constructive initiatives in the F-11.

 

At the national level, we continue pursuing our national forestry programme by, among other ways, planting one billion trees every year. These will absorb tens of million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

 

As Indonesia’s contribution to solving the global problem of climate change, we have set a voluntary emission reduction target of 26 percent on a business as usual basis by 2020. This can be increased to 41 percent with enhanced international assistance. We are doing our utmost to reach this target through domestic policies ranging from sustainable peat land management to promotion of energy efficiency, and from reduction in rate of deforestation and land degradation to shifting to low-emission transportation mode.

 

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On the International Environmental governance at the global level, I am personally fully aware that the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are so proliferated and fragmented that they are not optimally functioning as they should. We need to strengthen multilateralism to enhance coordination, synergy and coherence, especially among agencies in the UN system, in addressing environmental challenges. Improving international environmental governance is a must. This should be done to make our efforts at addressing environmental challenges more effective and efficient. Hence, there is an urgent need to improve the capacity of UNEP, the main instrument of the international community in addressing environmental challenges.

 

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The global financial and economic crisis had a severe impact not only on our development efforts but also on our endeavours at resolving environmental challenges. The depth of the crisis has raised questions on the path and methods of our economic development that we adopted in the past. We are therefore called upon to redesign global economic policies and strategies on the basis of a new paradigm of real growth and real economic strength.

 

At the same time, all of us should do more to check the alarming rate of environmental degradation so that our legacy to our future generations will not be a wounded planet. It is our common responsibility to expeditiously address the development and environmental challenges in a concerted, coherent and effective manner.

 

That means that we must carry out the following:

 

First, we must change our unsustainable production and consumption patterns or else humankind will have to live with unacceptable levels of environmental degradation and undergo unspeakable suffering.

 

Second, we should spare no effort to stop the rate of biodiversity loss. We should take measures that are more ambitious and more specific than were agreed upon at the World Summit on Sustainable Development eight years ago, namely to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. In this regard, I encourage all of you to conclude the international access and benefit-sharing regime at the COP 10 of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, October 2010. Let us celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity by translating rhetoric into concrete action without further delay.

 

Third, we should strive to achieve a green economy in the context of a “pro-growth, pro-job creation and pro-poor” strategy of development. Striving for a Green Economy, we will more quickly mainstream ecological concerns into our economic decision-making. This can ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and the achievement of the MDGs. Thus we have a clear opportunity to reshape our economic systems and to introduce ‘green growth’ as a global paradigm.

 

Fourth, let us bring to a conclusion the protracted debate on the issue of International Environmental Governance in the context of an International Framework of Sustainable Development when we meet at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Brazil in 2012. Let us ensure that the work of the UN system becomes more efficient, effective and coherent so that we can achieve our global development and environmental goals. In this regard, I commend the decisions taken yesterday by the Simultaneous Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. These could provide a model for synergistic arrangements involving related multilateral environment agreements. This is in the spirit of the World Summit Outcome 2005 that calls for enhanced coordination, synergy, and coherence among the parts of the UN system.

 

Fifth, we should ensure the co-benefit between climate change and biodiversity so as to provide benefits for biodiversity conservation and local communities. We need to take into consideration traditional knowledge, and respect the rights of local communities. Such co-benefit should be manifested through the concrete incentives mechanism of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation. To this end, we should ensure that they are reflected in the outcomes of the Nagoya Conference and Mexico Climate Conference.

 

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We cannot afford any more delays in concluding climate negotiations at the end of the year. The expiry of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is fast approaching. In this very room, we agreed in December 2007 to conclude the long-term cooperative actions and the further commitments of Annex-1 countries in Copenhagen. That, however, was not realized.

 

The hour is late but it is not yet too late. I have been informed that an informal high level ministerial meeting on Climate Change will be held in the margin of this gathering. I strongly encourage all of you to seize this timely forum to map out concerted efforts that will ensure the success of the Mexico Climate Conference.

 

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Let me now share with you a philosophy that has brought about balance and harmony between human activities and nature in Bali.

 

The Balinese philosophy and way of life, called Tri Hita Karana; calls for harmony between the human being and God, harmony among human beings, and harmony between the human being and the environment. This philosophy has imbued the Balinese people with a profound respect and love for nature and its intrinsic harmonies. I do hope that this philosophy will also guide your discussions and exchanges of views.

 

In this august meeting, I am truly grateful and honored to accept this “UNEP Award Leadership in Marine and Ocean Management” on behalf of the government and the people of Indonesia. This award reflects the world’s trust to our country and shows high appreciation of the world to the people of Indonesia. It is my utmost wish that that this award will further enhance the efforts to manage and empower oceans and marine potentials of this archipelagic country.

 

In this regard, I look forward to your bold and creative responses to the challenges I have brought up here today. On the quality, sincerity and firmness of our collective responses depends the fate of our planet and the quality of life of our future generations.

 

I therefore wish you every success in your important deliberations. And by saying “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim”. I now declare this meeting open.

 

Wassalamu’alaikum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

 

 

 

Nusa Dua Bali, 24 Februari 2010 

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

 

DR. H. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO