Indonesian President: World Must Move To Green Economy & Protect


Indonesian president calls for fundamental reinvention of society in creating a global green economy & protecting world’s forest

Indonesia’s president has said that the sustainable management of the world’s forests is critical for equitable economic growth and he called for a “fundamental reinvention and reorganisation of societies throughout the world”. 

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Indonesia’s economy has changed from one in which forests were sacrificed in return for economic growth, to an environmentally sustainable one where forests are prized for the wide range of ecological services that they provide to society. He declared that by 2025 “no exploitation of resources should exceed its biological regenerative capacity”. 

“Sustainable forestry is critical to our efforts at sustainable development as well as to our climate mitigation efforts,” the president said in a speech today at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which has its global headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia.

“Losing our tropical rain forests would constitute the ultimate national, global and planetary disaster. That’s why Indonesia has reversed course by committing to sustainable forestry”.

Speaking just days ahead of the Rio+20 summit, he warned of conflict should world leaders not change the global growth model to one that is “strong, balanced and inclusive”.

“We are already seeing a worrying rise in resources competition, some of which have turned into conflict – and the possibility of war cannot be totally dismissed”.

For almost 20 years, CIFOR has carried out research on how Indonesia and other developing countries worldwide can sustainably manage their forests. With a global staff of almost 200, CIFOR works hand-in- hand with many national and international research organisations, government ministries, civil society groups and other organisations across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“We are encouraged by the high-level of environmental activism among governments, international organisations and NGOs in recent years,” he said. But he also called on individuals to change their behavior.

“It is the individual who will ultimately have to make the choice of what he or she will buy, eat, drink, waste or burn. And it will not be an easy choice because more and more individuals will have greater purchasing power and the luxury of options in his life. Unless we change the excessive consumption habit of world citizens, we will all run into a brick wall.”

Indonesia is home to the world’s third-largest area of tropical forests. Although Indonesia occupies only 1.3 percent of the world’s land surface, it has roughly 12 percent of the world’s species of mammals, 16 percent of the world’s species of reptiles and amphibians. The second longest expanse of mangrove forests in the world is stretched along its coastlines, which provide support coastal fisheries and protect communities from destructive storm surges as sea levels rise. Indonesia has 50 percent of the world’s tropical peatlands which lock up an enormous storehouse of carbon.

“Climate change is man-made, and its solutions are also man-made. We must arrest the growing trend of ‘ecological footprint’ deficit worldwide”.

“We must avoid the dangerous trap of a waiting game. Consensus building – especially on global stage – will take time to build. We know the problems. We know the solutions. We must act now”.