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Remarks by
Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia

at the Fifth Session of the UNFF
On Agenda Item 9:
Linkages between forests and the internationally agreed development
goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration

 

New York, 25 May 2005

 

 

Mr. Chairman,

I am honored to have this opportunity to address this eminent Global Forum on Forestry and congratulate the Bureau on their valuable contributions and facilitation of this Fifth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests. May I also extend Indonesia’s gratitude to the Director of UNFF and the Secretariat for its continued support. I also wish to align my statement with the one made by the distinguished representative of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

In the framework of today’s topic, I think it would be beneficial to gain an understanding of the specific linkages that countries have identified between forests and development particularly the internationally agreed development goals to help us arrive at a future international arrangement on forests that reflects the views and needs of developing countries.

As a developing country with a forest cover of 120 million hectares, it has been the Government of Indonesia’s policy to include forest in our national development plans. Furthermore, nearly 48 million or 20% of our population inhabit in or near the forest, and of that number, 10.2 million are categorized as poor communities. Our government has created opportunities for these communities to empower them in real economic terms by adopting social forestry policies. Likewise, our forest related industries have also provided many jobs in rural areas. Forests therefore have an important contribution towards poverty eradication in Indonesia.

Forest also play an important role in protecting the valuable ecological services that we depend on, including clean air, maintaining the carbon cycle, soil fertility and water resources. For these purposes, Indonesia has allocated 50 national parks covering 26.5 million hectares. We also acknowledge the role of forests in maintaining and improving health. Indonesia’s tropical rain forests are one of the richest sources of medicinal plants and in this regard Indonesia is making an effort to conserve and optimize the utilization of resources as well as traditional knowledge, particularly for improving the welfare of the people where the knowledge is derived.

In our present context, however, when we take into consideration population growth including Indonesia’s now at 220 million people, and the complexities of the globalized economy, it becomes apparent that managing our forests in a sustainable manner will indeed require an enabling environment conducive for the implementation of SFM and attainment of the internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs. While we agree that domestic resources need to be mobilized, we perceive that external sources of financing will also have a significant role to play.

Indonesia encourages exploring innovative financing mechanisms and would like to lay emphasis on countries that are burdened by debt. In the context of achieving the internationally agreed development goals, the future IAF should comprehensively address the debt problems of developing countries and include in its means of implementation such innovative mechanisms like debt for SFM swaps. We encourage international recognition of traditional knowledge as a valuable asset of SFM, which invites us to consider some form of compensation for it. This could be considered as an innovative form of financing for SFM as well.

As the Kyoto Protocol has entered into force on 16 February 2005, it offers non-Annex I parties some options for means of implementing SFM through among others the Clean Development Mechanism. Although still at a very early stage, Indonesia is taking steps to prepare for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol

Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to express our support for the UNFF and hope that this fifth session of the UNFF can produce concrete and practical initiatives to achieve sustainable development and sustainable forest management.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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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