Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Dean’s Lecture at Standford University in San Francisco, US, November 15, 2023
Distinguished Dr. Arun Majumdar;
the big family of Stanford University;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Hello, good afternoon everyone.
Earlier I asked, “What’s the jargon of Standford University?” They said, “Go cardinal, Sir.” Then, I asked, “What are Stanford identical colors?” They said, “Red, Sir.” That’s why I decided to wear a red tie today. Red. Do I look like a member of Stanford family now?
Then you must be curious, is that important? Yes, of course. Because I want to be connected to all of you who are smart, young, diligent generations. Applause for Stanford University.
It’s important to be connected with other human beings. Similarly, it’s also important to be connected with the nature as well. We all know that the world is not in a good condition. Thus, climate change and energy transition must get serious attention. However, the question is: do countries around the world have the commitment to be responsible and involved [in environment issues]? There is no need to doubt and our commitment should not be questioned. Indonesia walks the talk, not talks the talk.
Indonesia has successfully reduced emissions by 91.5 million tons as of today. Indonesia has also reduced deforestation rate, which has been lowered by 104,000 hectares by 2022. 77,000 hectares of forest areas have been rehabilitated and 34,000 hectares of mangrove forests have been restored in just one year. However, everytime I met with investors from Indonesia and other developing countries, I always mention about funding and technologicy transfer, these issues always pose a huge challenge. It is because we really need huge investment and technology transfer as well as collaboration. This is the challenges that we and other developing countries often face. Thus, Indonesia wants to ensure that the energy transition also produces energy that is affordable for all people, accessible to all people.
However, until now, climate funding remains business as usual, like commercial banks. It should be more constructive, not in the form of debts that will only increase the burden on undeveloped or developing countries. For example Indonesia; maybe I haven’t explained, for those who haven’t known anything about Indonesia, Indonesia has 17,000 islands and is home to nearly 300 million people. Indonesia also has 714 distinct ethnic groups with diverse traditions and cultures. It has over 1,300 local languages. Indonesia has untapped potential in green energy, which can be used for the sustainability of the earth. Its potential includes 3,600 gigawatts from solar energy, water from its 4,400 rivers, wind, geothermal energy, waves, and bioenergy.
Last week, before flying to the United States, I flew to West Java province in Indonesia. This is one of the most populous provinces in Indonesia with approximately 48 million inhabitants. I attended the inauguration of a floating solar power plant in Cirata reservoir. This is the largest floating solar power plant in Southeast Asia. It was just inaugurated with a capacity of 192 MWp. Moreover, we won’t stop there; we will also build similar facilities in other cities, including in the new capital of Nusantara.
Earlier, Dr. Arun Majumdar, the Dean, mentioned about Nusantara. Yes, Nusantara is our upcoming new capital—a forest-based smart city, with 70 percent of its area being green, covered with forests. We will utilize green energy from the sun and hydro. The first thing we are building for the development of the Nusantara is a nursery center and a botanical center with a capacity of 15 million tree seedlings per year. These seedlings will be planted annually in the Nusantara capital and on the island of Kalimantan. This represents Indonesia’s transformation showcase. Next year, Indonesia plans to celebrate its Independence Day in Nusantara to demonstrate that we already have a new capital, even though its completion might take another 15 or 20 years.
It would be a great idea, if Standford University students could visit the Nusantara to witness the development processes. All of you can also conduct a swift research and learn about the sustainability aspect in building a green city.
I graduated from the Faculty of Forestry. If it is necessary, I can be your guide to visit there. Please raise your hand, if you are interested in.
I heard that Stanford University will establish a partnership with the Nusantara Capital Authority in the field of sustainable research and innovation development. Given that the increasingly threatening impacts of climate change, this collaboration is crucial, extremely crucial, and concrete strategic steps are much needed. Without it, it would be impossible for us to ensure the sustainability of the only planet earth that we love.
We can no longer take an easier walk, we can no longer take a slow walk, we must run fast, we must fear the tree.
I thank you.