Tuesday, March 29, 2011


     Jakarta, March 29, 2011 (ANTARA) - Indonesia, as one of the world`s mega diversity countries and a main "exporter" of haze in Southeast Asia, has planned to ratify two significant agreements, respectively on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution (AATHP).
      "The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity" is a legally binding international agreement which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.

      The Protocol was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its tenth meeting on in Nagoya, Japan, on October 29, 2010.
       Makarim Wibisono, chairman of the ASEAN Foundation, said in Jakarta, early March 2011, that Indonesia was among the first to sign and ratify the Nagoya Protocol because Indonesia is a country which has been striving for the adoption of the access and benefit sharing principle since a long time ago.
      "In the past, a country`s sovereignty only covers land, water and air, but now biodiversity is also included in the sovereignty concept," Makarim, senior diplomat, said.
      To implement the protocol, a national authority needs to be formed with the tasks of issuing permits and monitoring the genes used, including tracking the flow of genetic materials to avoid "bio-piracy."

According to Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Arief Yuwono, who is in charge of the environmental damage and climate change control, Indonesia would sign the Nagoya Protocol in May in New York, in conjunction with the High Level Segment of the 19th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

The ratification of the protocol would become a regulation, which is urgent to be implemented in Indonesia, he said after attending a meeting on the Indonesian preparation for the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol in Jakarta, on March 7, 2011.

The Nagoya Protocol will be integrated into the Bill on Genetic Resources Management that the government has drafted since 2002, he added.

The Montreal-based Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat on its website said the Nagoyo Protocol was officially opened for signature by Parties to the CBD in New York on February 2, 2011.

The Nagoya Protocol remains open for signature until 1 February 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

According to the CBD Secretariat, Parties that have signed the Protocol include Colombia, Yemen, Brazil, Algeria, Mexico and Rwanda.

Deputy Minister Arief Yuwono hoped that Indonesia, as the world`s second largest mega biodiversity after Brazil, will be able to improve its people`s welfare by benefiting from the rich biodiversity.

The Protocol could help prevent biodiversity thefts and biodiversity countries get benefits from the utilization of genetic resources by advanced nations, he added.

As part of its commitment to the preservation of biodiversity, the government needs to promote a public campaign on biodiversity, according to the deputy minister.

Environmental Affairs Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta has once described the Protocol as a milestone of the biodiversity protection in Indonesia.

It would also guarantee Indonesia, as the genetic resource-rich country to get benefit sharing from the utilization of the genetic resources by other parties, Minister Gusti Muhammad said on November 1, upon his arrival after attending the tenth meeting of the Convention of Biological Diversity, in Nagoya, Japan, on October 29, 2010.

Another long-waited important agreement that Indonesia plans to ratify this year is the ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution (AATHP)

The AATH has been ratified by eight ASEAN members so far, according to Environmental Affairs minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta in Palembang, South Sumatra, early March 2011.

"We will ratify it soon," he said after opening a coordination meeting on Sumatra ecological region in Palembang.

He admitted it would be not easy for Indonesia to implement the agreement because bush fires that cause haze, still regularly happen especially on Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands.

The government, however, would work harder to be able to prepare things needed to support the ratification, he added.

"We will carry out a number of programs including encouraging the people to care about fire incidents which still often happen in a number of regions," he said.

He said he would also declare two provinces namely Riau and West Kalimantan as the pilot projects for it.

The report about Indonesia`s plan to ratify the ASEAN agreement on haze was first reported by Channel News Asia in Singapore, on February 17, 2011, as quoted on the Singapore`s homepage SG Links.

The Channel News Asia reported that Singapore`s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim announced that Indonesia had given its commitment that it will ratify the ASEAN Haze Agreement this year.

The announcement was made at the end of the 11th Ministerial Steering Committee on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution held in Singapore last February.

In a joint statement issued at the end of their Singapore meeting, five participating countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) noted that in anticipation of traditional dry season between June and September this year, the five ASEAN nations agreed to stay vigilant and be prepared for any occurrence of trans-boundary haze from forest and plantation fires.

Indonesia in the Singapore meeting reiterated its commitment to reduce the number of hot spots from forest and plantation fires by 20 percent annually.

ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution in June 2002, and entered into force in November 2003. But, Indonesia has yet to ratify the ASEAN haze pact.

Forest and plantation fires, which often trigger trans-boundary haze, are among the most serious environmental problem in ASEAN because of their impacts on the environment, economic and health.


(T.F001/A/F001/R013) 29-03-2011 18:51:54

No comments:

Post a Comment