H.E. Mrs. Adiyatwidi Adiwoso Asmady
Ambassador/Chargé d’ Affaires
of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
At the General Assembly Thematic Debate:
“Climate Change as a Global Challenge”
New York, 1 August 2007
Let me join others in congratulating you for the excellent organization of this thematic debate and yesterday’s panel discussions, which enlightened us on the mitigation and adaptation aspects of climate change.
Indonesia would like to align itself with the statement made by the distinguished delegate of Pakistan speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Climate change is a pertinent issue for all of us as it impacts the life of humankind. The panel discussions yesterday painted a picture of the delicate relationship between man and nature. Glaciers have melted causing sea level rise, flooding and other kinds of natural disasters and unusual weather patterns. It seems that no country is immune from its adverse effects.
Developing countries in particular face difficult challenges. This includes financing and access to affordable technologies. Managing them effectively requires institutional and human capacity building. Indonesia shares the views of other developing countries that national efforts need to be supported by the international community.
We are also cognizant of the fact that addressing climate change at all levels needs close inter sectoral coordination and cooperation. For this purpose, raising public awareness should also be continued.
Against this background, let me share with you some of Indonesia’s challenges and the approach in which we have sought to address climate change at the national level.
As a developing nation of 17,000 islands, Indonesia faces multiple challenges in addressing climate change. Our coastlines are one of the most heavily populated. And about 37 million people are still living under the poverty line. We have faced long odds in overcoming this challenge, especially with the fluctuating global economy and the natural disasters. Now climate change is threatening to undo the gains registered from years of national development.
Foreseeing the long-term implications, the Government of Indonesia established a National Committee on Climate Change in 1993 and renewed in 2005 consisting of all stakeholders. This Committee commissioned a number of studies to identify measures to mitigate greenhouse gases while sustaining and further increasing Indonesia’s economic growth. The studies measured various greenhouse gas emissions including CO2. With baseline data from the studies, a national action plan for addressing climate change is in the final stages of completion. The action plan will also serve as a basis in further elaborating Indonesia’s low carbon development strategy.
In the meantime, various measures that contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions were instituted. In the forestry sector, emissions have been caused by biomass burning during forest and grassland conversion activities. On that basis, the government committed 50% reductions of the number of hot spots this year from the 2006 forest and land fires through tighter laws and enforcement. It has also taken significant steps to initiate deforestation avoidance pilot projects, that will demonstrate the high level commitment of both industrialized and forest countries in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the forest sector. In addition to these efforts, a national campaign on Forest and Land Rehabilitation has been in effect since 2004. The target is to replant 5 million hectares by 2009 and continuing with the same efforts beyond that time.
In the energy sector, the government has launched a National Energy Strategy and draft energy law that will outline an energy development path toward a clean, efficient and diverse energy supply. Fuel subsidies have been gradually removed except for the poor and diversification of energy sources be it natural gas, coal, solar, geothermal, bio-fuel have been intensified. Indonesia is in fact very keen to develop the bio-fuel industry, which aside from improving the overall energy picture will also have a positive impact on agriculture, rural development, industry, infrastructure, poverty reduction and employment. Greater energy conservation and efficiency has been promoted in all aspects of daily life including educating the public to be more energy efficient in the conduct of their daily lives. It also means getting the transport industry, factories and offices to use innovative technology to save energy.
Indonesia has undertaken significant efforts on mitigation, but we are only beginning to address adaptation aspects. Further actions for addressing climate change adaptation in Indonesia will include:
Mainstreaming adaptation policies into relevant sectors;
Monitoring sea level, rainfall and climate parameters relevant to human health and agricultural activities;
Establishing a response system in relation to adaptation to climate variability;
Establishing “Toward Green Indonesia Program” with reforestation elements;
Improving the management of peat lands
As the incoming President and host of the 13th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and 3rd Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol, we are hopeful that this thematic debate and the High Level Event on 24 September can serve as positive political reinforcements that will lead to a major breakthrough in the Bali meeting.
Indonesia also welcomes the recent positive developments including the G-8 Summit declaration that strengthen the foundations provided by the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. Combining all these forces will give a chance of rising to what is without doubt the greatest challenge humankind has ever had to face.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org