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Remarks by
H.E. M.S. Kaban
Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia

on the Occasion of the Launch of Preparation for
the International Year of Forests 2011

New York, 17 April 2007

 


Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

It is a great pleasure for me to join you as one of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region at this event to launch the preparations for the International Year of Forests.

Indeed the International Year of Forests in 2011 will be an important commemoration that will be extremely significant for forests and the forestry community. For this reason, I should like to take this opportunity to express my highest appreciation to the Government of Croatia for its visionary idea leading to the adoption of the resolution on the International Year of Forest-2011 by the 61st UN General Assembly.

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Forests support our life system. They are the world's oxygen factories. Moreover, forests play a role in climate change as the wood they produce trap and store carbon dioxide. Equally important, forests are a source of livelihood for millions of people around the world not to mention a source of food and shelter for the people who live in and by them. For many countries, especially developing countries, including Indonesia, forests signify one of the most important resources for development and poverty eradication. This is why we need to constantly remind ourselves that the world’s forests are vital to the well being of the human race and to the wellbeing of the planet.

The observance of the International Year will be a momentous occasion to do that. It will set the stage to address the most crucial issues affecting forests as well as the wider development agenda that includes poverty reduction. The International Year should ensure that it highlights forests as an important element in development and link with many other events and issues being addressed in the United Nations and other processes at the global level.

At the same time, at the national level, the International Year will certainly revitalize the Government of Indonesia’s motivation to implement sustainable forest management. For this reason, we greet the International Year of Forests in 2011 with great enthusiasm. From now to 2011 and beyond we will be fully committed to implementing concrete actions consistent with Indonesia’s national forest program. Let me at this opportunity share with you some ongoing actions under the national forest program which aims to combat illegal logging, restructure the forestry sector, accelerate rehabilitation and conservation, empower local community economy, and strengthen permanent forest areas.

Four years ago, a National campaign for Forest and Land Rehabilitation was launched, involving relevant stakeholders planting highly critical watersheds in over 2 million hectares. The Indonesian Government is also very committed to effectively managing its protected areas by developing model national parks, and sustaining managed production forest having significant values for biodiversity conservation. We are also making every effort to improve local community livelihoods. Since 2001, we have been continuously promoting the process of decentralization of forest resource management. Even if the process is taking time, we are confident that it can improve transparency and equity of forest resource utilization for local communities.

However, I have to say that all of those efforts are virtually meaningless if the major cause of forest degradation in Indonesia continues to take place, namely illegal logging and the associated illegal timber trade. At the current pace of illegal logging, natural forests in Indonesia could disappear even as soon as ten years from now. Even so, I remain optimistic. A government crackdown on illegal logging since 2004 has brought the guilty parties to justice. The results are promising; in 2005 close to 3000 cases were reported while a year later the cases dropped to 916.

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Being one of the largest rainforest countries in the world, Indonesia stands ready to play an active role in SFM, and I am honored to express our national pledge for the International Year of Forests, which includes:

1. Continue maintaining and securing forest biodiversity by protecting, extending and restoring protected areas. To date, Indonesia has designated 55 national parks which include 30 million hectares of protected forests and 28 million hectares of other ecosystem types. At present, protected areas cover approximately 30% our territory and we plan to expand the areas.

2. Continue implementing the National campaign on Forest and Land Rehabilitation with a target of replanting 5 million hectares in 2009 and continuing with the same efforts beyond that period.

3. Reduce pressure on utilization of natural forests by continuing to promote effective forest plantation management and sustainably manage the remaining natural production forests. This includes efforts to enhance local community access as well as imposing mandatory certification to forest concessionaires.

4. To practice good forest governance and eliminate illegal practices on forest resources by enacting Law on Combatting Illegal Logging in 2008 and the establishment of the forest Management Unit in 33 provinces by 2009. In addition, we will continue to promote negotiations on voluntary partnership agreements with timber consuming and producing countries.

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In line with our emphasis on cooperation and program coordination, let me reiterate Indonesia’s readiness to work hand in hand with other member states as well as international organizations, processes and initiatives to attain the above mentioned pledges.

I also wish to bring your attention to the linkage between sustainable forest management with efforts to address climate change. I therefore invite all of you to participate in the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will be held in Bali in December 2007.

Thank you for your kind attention.
H.M.S Kaban

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

 

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