Mr. Dana A. Kartakusuma
Assistant Minister for Technology and Sustainable Development, State Ministry for Environment
Republic of Indonesia
At the Commission on Sustainable Development
On the General Comments on the Chairperson’s Draft Negotiating Document
New York, 4 May 2009
Indonesia would like to associate itself fully with the statement made by Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China. I should also like to take this opportunity to thank to the chairman of CSD-17 for putting forward chair’s negotiating text. This text is a good basis for our deliberation and negotiation for the two weeks later.
The section on agriculture, rural development and land on your text provides a forward looking action oriented approach. However, the section has not fully captured the current condition, situation and difficulties of the agriculture and rural development sector as well as land management in developing countries.
The situation of urgency resulting from the food crisis and price instability is not fully reflected. The section also has not address the distortion of the agriculture sector in developing countries resulting from the monopolistic practices of large agricultural multinational companies.
Important elements such as the issue of trade and market distortions, financing, capacity building, role of small farmers in developing countries, vulnerable population, establishing conducive economic and market environments, international support towards national actions, and the important role of the Rome based organizations such as the FAO, IFAD, and WFP were not or insufficiently addressed.
Greater emphasis should be made in the draft decision on the urgent need to rebalance the global food economy. Addressing the structural problems in the food and agricultural and rural development sectors including agriculture protectionism and subsidies in developed countries is central in this regard.
The recent food crisis has shown that the current global food and agriculture economy needs to be reformed. For reform to succeed there must be a mobilization of political will and commitment from all relevant stake holders to revive agriculture and rural development in developing countries through coordinated short, medium and long term measures at the national and international levels.
Such reform must also take into account the impact of climate change and ensure sustainable agricultural practices.
A global framework to help developing countries revitalize their agricultural and rural development sectors needs to be established. This is an important step towards reform of the global food and agriculture economy, and should be reflected in the CSD decision.
Such global framework on agriculture and rural development should cover among others, clear strategy for the attainment of global food security. This could include at this CSD policy session, the support for the establishment of Regional Food Security Framework that can boost regional food stocks and production should be established.
Public and private sector investment in agriculture, particularly in rural infrastructure in developing countries must be increased. This could be achieved through a combination of national budgetary allocations and private investments. Also important in this context is the role of ODA, in which its share to agriculture should be increased.
Commitment should be made to expedite fundamental reform of the world agriculture trade. Currently, cheap and subsidized imports from advanced countries are hampering developing countries’ farmers to access their own domestic markets. At the same time, access to international markets for developing countries farmers are impede by tariff peaks and escalations, as well as overly strict SPS standards, implemented by many developed countries. Eliminating imbalances and the development of adequate agricultural safeguard mechanisms for developing countries are central to achieving fundamental trade reform.
Also important in this framework is the establishment of an active global partnership for agricultural development and food security can contribute to revitalizing developing countries’ agricultural and rural sectors. This concept should also be reflected in our decision later at this session.
To implement sustainable land management in developing countries, there should be efforts of international community to develop capacity of developing countries to strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks necessary to do so.
The preservation of forest resources must not overlooked as an integral part of sustainable land management. Efforts to reduce deforestation and land degradation are inextricably linked to poverty eradication and employment creation in developing countries. An International framework must provide incentives for carbon sequestration, afforestation, and reforestation, to reduce the loss of valuable forests, deforestation and land degradation.
With regard to the issue of climate change, it must be emphasized that traditional farming practices of small and resource poor farmers in developing countries, contributes to mitigating the impact climate change. It must however be highlighted that small and resource poor farmers urgently needs assistance to adapt from the impact of climate change such as among others the changing weather and rain fall patterns. In this regard support and cooperation should be directed toward ensuring adequate financial resources, comprehensive capacity building and technology transfer to assist developing countries farmers effectively adapt to climate change.
Finally Madame Chair, the production of biofuel in a sustainable manner is important not just for the environment but also in improving the livelihood of the rural population. Indonesia’s biofuel production has been based on using non-grain agricultural products and making use of semi arid land. We are of the view that such biofuel production practices should be supported and encouraged.
In closing, the challenges facing the global food and agriculture economy are great. There is a need for us to embark on a new green revolution that would not only enable us to overcome hunger and malnutrition, but to do so in a way that supports the three pillars of sustainable development. Indonesia is confident that this is achievable. Our own experience in revitalizing agriculture and rural development has allowed us to achieve self-sufficiency of our staple food.
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