Wednesday, September 28, 2011


      Jakarta, Sept 28, 2011 (ANTARA) - The application of green economics principles in Indonesia is relatively new, but the nation as well as international experts have seen significant benefits of the policy.
       The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in its new report entitled "The Orangutan and the Economics of Forest Conservation in Sumatra" which was launched in Jakarta, on September 28, 2011, said conserving key rainforests in Indonesia could generate considerable revenues and multiple Green Economy benefits from combating climate change, securing water supplies and improved livelihoods while throwing a life line to the world`s remaining populations of orangutans.

       Accessing "Green Jobs" - that are good for the environment and good for business -- will be critical for achieving sustainable development goals ranging from eradicating poverty to accelerated growth in sectors such as sustainable agriculture to renewable energies, which are also part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
       The findings come in the new report, requested by the Government of Indonesia, from the UNEP under its Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).
       A study conducted last year to analyze the impacts of switching to a low-carbon economy in Indonesia has shown that investing more in energy efficiency, reducing the use of coal-based fuels and stopping deforestation, could improve per capita incomes and help ease the level of unemployment.
       The joint study was carried out by Padjadjaran University, the Center for Economic and Development Studies (CEDS), Strategic Asia and the office of the State Minister for the Environment.
      The study found that these benefits would be gained by increasing energy efficiency by 25 percent, reducing the use of coal-based fuels by 50%, implementing a US$50 per ton tax on carbon production, and reducing the rate of deforestation by 10 percent.

"The environmental and economic benefits of such measures are huge. It would cut 177 million tons of CO2 emissions and increase GDP by 2.7 percent [Rp 133 trillion] per year," Arief Anshory Yusuf, a researcher from Padjadjaran University told the media last year.

Yusuf said that green economy benefits could create new jobs for more than 3 million people, and the number of poor people would be reduced by more than 4 million per year.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, during his address to the 100th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva in June 2011, expressed a commitment to promoting green economics.

"In Indonesia, we intend to advance a national green skills development strategy. We plan to pursue a decentralized youth apprenticeship programme for green jobs and take measures to foster entrepreneurship and self employment in the green sector," he said.

Indonesia has been quietly carrying out various efforts to create environmentally friendly energy for the environmental preservation, according to Professor Gusti Muhammad Hatta, the State Minister for the Environment, said in a UNEP conference in Bandung, West Java, on September 27, 2011.

"For example, in Bali and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). In NTT, we have made lamps using solar energy, and it`s one of the regions supporting the green economy programs," he said.

The minister said, "Green jobs in emerging economies will benefit a broad cross-section of the population, especially young people. That is why it is essential to develop new skills and capacities for the future. We look forward to the Bandung Declaration to bring these ideas to the forefront of the global agenda for Rio+20".

On the sidelines of the five-day Tunza International Children and Youth Conference on the Environment 2011 being held in Bandung, Environmental Affairs Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta also reaffirmed the government`s commitment to promoting green economics.

President Yudhoyono has instructed the application of an economic development system by using environmentally friendly energy since last year, and its implementation had reached 48 percent.

"So, 48 percent of the power energy being produced, have been using environmentally friendly energy," he said.

Opening the CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research) conference in Jakarta on September 27, 2011, President Yudhoyono called sustainable forests part of his plan for putting Indonesia`s economy in the global top 12 by 2025.

"Indonesia, home to the third largest tropical forest in the world, views itself as the custodian of these great green treasures; and I want to keep it that way," he said.

The wealth of Indonesia`s forests can be counted in their rich biodiversity and the many valuable products they provide Indonesian people. Thanks to a funding mechanism known as REDD+ that wealth can also be counted in carbon, CIFOR said in its recent report.

In an effort to combat climate change, REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) pays countries to preserve carbon in their forests.

President Yudhoyono has pledged to cut Indonesia`s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020, and by 41 percent with international assistance.

Norway has since committed US$1 billion to help Indonesia meet its target. Among other initiatives, the deal with Norway includes a two-year moratorium on new forest concessions effective May this year.

"These measures give us time and resources to review and revise land use policy and practice. They also provide opportunity to develop a new sector in our economy - through ecosystem restoration concessions for carbon sequestration and emission reduction," the head of state explained.

Efforts to protect the environment have already been included in the 15-year Master Plan for accelerating and expanding Indonesia`s economic growth.

The president also urged business leaders to contribute their experience, and to work with government and international partners to shape the future of Indonesia`s forests.

"We need to take bold initiatives through close collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders. We must change the way we treat our forests, so that they are conserved even as we drive hard to accelerate our economic growth," he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when addressing the Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Bali in February 2010, called for the adoption of a green economy development strategy which was pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-poor.

"Striving for a Green Economy, we will more quickly mainstream ecological concerns into our economic decision-making. This can ensure sustainable and inclusive growth and the achievement of the MDGs. Thus we have a clear opportunity to reshape our economic systems and to introduce `green growth` as a global paradigm," the head of state told roughly 100 environment ministers attending the forum last year.

The Second United Indonesia Cabinet last year launched a green economics program as part of its sustainable development plan which is claimed to be pro- growth, pro-jobs, and pro-poor.

To support the implementation of green economics, the cabinet has drawn up programs on food resilience by implementing sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry management, efficiency and renewable energy usage, clean technology support, waste management, efficient and low carbon transportation management and green infrastructure development. ***4***


(T.F001/A/F001/S012) 28-09-2011 23:05:26

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