2016-10-29

Ambassadors congratulate Indonesia after President signs Paris Agreement into law


JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Ambassadors from several friendly countries took the opportunity of a "climate change diplomacy forum" held in the Environment and Forestry Ministry building on Friday (Oct 28) in Jakarta to extend their congratulations to Indonesia after the President signed the Paris Agreement into law.

The ambassadors of Norway, the United Kingdom, France and the acting US ambassador to Indonesia expressed their appreciation for the move and gave their congratulations in person, one by one, to the Environment and Forestry Minister, Dr Siti Nurbaya, as did the Deputy Head of the EU Mission, Deputy Chief of Mission of the German Embassy and Minister Counsellor of the Moroccan Embassy.

The Environment and Forestry Minister used her speech at the event to underline the following important point. “President Joko Widodo is fully committed to the Paris Agreement. As such, it is not only the responsibility of our ministry to address the issue of climate change, but all our responsibility. Everyone has to participate in and contribute to this movement.”

After parliament endorsed a bill ratifying the Paris Agreement (Oct 19), it took just a few days for President Joko Widodo to sign the agreement into law (Oct 24). This was evidence, according to the minister, of the President’s absolute commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement.

One of the considerations written into the law of the ratified Paris Agreement is "that climate change due to a rise in global temperatures poses an increasingly serious threat to humankind and planet Earth and requires much more effective cooperation among countries."

The Indonesian parliament gave its unanimous approval for enshrining the Paris Agreement in law. In fact, the ratification process was unprecedented in its speed of completion.

“No other issue has been ratified and signed into law this quickly. The Indonesian parliament gave its unanimous approval because the Environment and Forestry Minister successfully convinced us that Indonesia will also suffer serious adverse consequences if it fails to join in efforts to tackle climate change, starting now,” explained a member of parliament attending the forum.

Before bringing the forum to a close, Minister Siti Nurbaya asked the ambassadors and embassy representatives to watch a video showcasing the beauty of the Kluet peat swamp forest ecosystem, which is situated in Gunung Leuser National Park in southern Aceh.

The video, which was shot in the context of the ministry’s on-the-ground monitoring efforts by Greenomics Indonesia as a member of the monitoring team, illustrates the intactness of the Kluet peat swamp forests, which form part of one of Indonesia’s national treasures - the Leuser Ecosystem.

“It’s important to show the parts of the Leuser Ecosystem which remain intact, beautiful and well maintained. Of course, we also need to show the parts that are damaged so that we are prompted to undertake additional efforts to address these areas,” the minister told foresthints.news at the event.

The minister has previously declared that there are three important peatland blocks which form part of the Leuser Ecosystem, as reported by foresthints.news.

According to the minister, the majority of the Kluet and Singkil peat swamp forests are conservation areas. In contrast, only a small portion of the Tripa peat swamp forests has been designated as a protection zone by the Aceh government. These three peatland landscapes are all important habitats for the Sumatran orangutan.

The minister has endeavored to pay special attention to the Leuser Ecosystem, including by issuing a declaration along with Acehnese leaders (Apr 19) aimed at enforcing a moratorium on palm oil plantation and mining expansion in the Leuser Ecosystem, which is the only ecosystem of its kind on earth.

When Indonesia signed the Paris Agreement in New York (Apr 22), the minister made a speech in which she outlined the palm oil plantation and mining expansion moratorium in the Leuser Ecosystem.