World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Indonesian president issues call to arms for forests

Indonesian president issues call to arms at ‘turning point’ for climate, development, forests

5 May 2014 — Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on his successor, who will take office in October, to extend a ban on the issuance of new logging licenses, saying “more remains to be done” to address unsustainable land-use practices in his country and across the region.

Speaking to nearly 2,000 participants at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta, Yudhoyono urged other countries in Southeast Asia to steer clear of a “self-destructing path of development.” He called upon governments in the region to commit to sustainable land-use and investment practices that do not come at the expense of Southeast Asia’s natural resources — chiefly its forests. Indonesia is home to the world’s third-largest area of tropical forests.

“What we do today is not for our own benefit,” Yudhoyono said. “It is for the billions of people who will inherit our Earth.”

It was one of several calls to action ahead of what is seen as a critical window for informing major global policy processes related to climate change and sustainable development.

“Our world is at a turning point,” said Peter Holmgren, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research, which co-hosted the Summit with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. “Decisions are to be made on the international arena over the next 18 months that may shape our common future for generations to come.”

Southeast Asia is considered to be on the frontline of the fight to balance the needs of a growing population, a growing economy, and environmental protection. The Forests Asia Summit sought to bring together regional stakeholders — from governments, civil society, academia and the private sector — to generate inclusive, equitable solutions for this challenge.

Economically and demographically, Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. In recent years, it has also seen some of the worst effects of unsustainable development and agricultural expansion — such as the haze crisis of June 2013 that choked the skies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with smoke caused by human-started fires in Sumatra.

“We have a problem,” said Vivian Balakrishnan, Singaporean Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. “And the root of this problem is misaligned commercial interests.”

Companies set on short-term profits in Southeast Asia, he said, help to drive what he called “environmental vandalism.”

Underpinning the Summit is the idea that the problems of one Southeast Asian country are problems shared by all.

“Individual countries cannot overcome interconnected problems” including poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and economic instability, said U Win Tun, the Union Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry of Myanmar. The minister urged the narrowing of development gaps among ASEAN member states; his country has recently begun to open its doors to expanded trade.

The Summit saw numerous discussion forums centered around five themes — climate change, sustainable investments, food security, governance and equitable development. Messages and outcomes from these discussions will inform high-level panels on these themes on Tuesday, the second day of the Summit. The role of the private sector will be a major focus of the Summit on Tuesday.

Several high-level speakers will take to the podium on Tuesday, including Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peruvian Minister of the Environment and President of the UNFCCC climate change talks in Lima, Peru. Also speaking will be Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recently released an assessment report on climate change mitigation.

All Southeast Asian countries sent delegations to the Summit to share lessons and experiences on green growth and sustainable development. Ministerial delegations also came from Africa and Latin America.

Selected sessions at the Forests Asia Summit can be watched online at forestsasia.org/live.

Transcripts of the speeches of President Yudhoyono and CIFOR Director General Holmgren are available at cifor.org/forestsasia/category/news/summit-news/.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news