Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 2022 National Working Meeting of the Environmental Fund Management Agency at A. A. Maramis Building Central Jakarta, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, December 21, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 21 Desember 2022
Category: Remarks @en
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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

Good afternoon,

May peace be upon us all,

 

Distinguished Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and Ministers in attendance,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors of Friendly Countries,

Distinguished Governors in attendance this afternoon,

 

We are aware that the impacts of the environmental damage and climate change are indeed evident and real.

Environmental damage has caused floods, landslides, droughts, and other disasters, while global climate change has brought about seasons shift, temperatures change—which we are already experiencing, and sea level rise.

For that reason, we must direct the focus of the Environmental Fund Management Agency on real activities –  actual activities related to the environment. We have too many things to undertake; waste management, fauna conservation, flora conservation, mangrove forest rehabilitation, tropical rainforest rehabilitation, peatland rehabilitation, not to mention marine resources, plastic waste that pollutes the sea, coral reef protection.

Therefore, the fund will increase. I appeal to you to concentrate on two issues for now before we manage others. Once these issues are solved, we should move to the second stage, to two other issues that have become our major problems. The budget must not be scattered everywhere because if it did, it would not bring real or significant impacts on our country and the world.

I am certain that if the impacts are visible and our efforts of rehabilitation are visible as well, the Environmental Fund Management Agency will receive a lot of funds.

For starters, I suppose waste issue should become a top priority. Based on my experience as a mayor and as a president, waste issue has never been solved. Issues with incinerator installation and tipping fee in the city of Solo still have not been solved. I have begun the work, meaning we have begun the work 20 years ago; yet, it remains unfinished. I have no idea whether any incinerator has been installed.

When I was appointed as Governor of Jakarta, we began the [incinerator installation] project in Sunter area. I had not signed anything for that matter even until I was no longer governor although it had been planned. I have no idea whether it has been completed. Be careful, it may not be finished in 2023 either. I would be happy if it has been completed, but I am not sure that it will be in 2023. It is not Mr. Heru’s fault because it has always been that way.

If the agency has the budget, please address the issue of waste so the waste will not go to the sea, to the rivers and will not make our cities dirty. You are welcome to use any system, but it must be solved. Sometimes people argue about incinerators, about the options, about the tipping fee. Eventually, no progress is made.

Governors, have any of you solved waste issue in your area? Anyone? No? is someone raising their hand? Tomorrow, I will inspect it by myself. No one has solved it. I am aware of this. No one has solved it. It must be solved immediately. We have the tools and the funds, but this issue remains unsolved.

Second, we must focus on the environment, on forestry. We do not have deal with other issues for now because mangrove [forest] can reduce pollution eight to 12 times as effective as other forests, so the impact will be significant. We must focus on that issue because there are many mangrove areas that we must manage. Focus on that. If you focus on mangrove, I will only ask for concrete actions. Prepare the nurseries first. The seeds can be counted. Do not do what people used to do.

I often attend events called “Planting of One Billion Trees”, but I assure you that not even 1,000 were planted. I also assure you that not even 100 grew. Do start from nurseries like Minister of Environment and Forestry did. The Ministry has a nursery in Rumpin in Bogor regency. How many seeds are produced there? Twelve million? It can be counted. I counted 12 million and it is correct.

How many seeds are generated at the mangrove nursery center in Bali? Six million. Do count the seeds carefully. There are six million. Six million indeed. Once the seeds are prepared, they shall be planted. Do plan the locations, in regencies A, B, C, D. Share the seeds. Do carefully control the six million seeds until they grow. If 5 percent or 10 percent dies, plant 5-10 percent more. However, do not write one billion on an event backdrop if not even 1,000 are planted and not even 100 grow. I counted how many were actually planted. I did count it. At first, I complained to Minister of Environment and Forestry. That is the number.

I suppose this is what we should do to make it possible for the Environmental Fund Management Agency to bring real impacts and bring benefits. Or you can also give some of the fund to the provinces, to North Sumatra province for establishing a nursery, for example.

“Sir, my nursery can generate 10 million [seeds].” “Yes, okay.” It means that the cost of planting and maintenance is borne by the Environmental Fund Management Agency. Give the provinces Rp10 billion, Rp50 billion, for example, but it must be done only if there is a real progress. Do not give the fund if the provinces have not done anything. It means that regional governments must also have their commitments. For waste, do prepare lands that will be used by incinerators, for example. Once the land has been acquired, the Central Government will step in. I suppose this is the cooperation that we want to embark on. Concrete, real, measurable, visible, quantifiable. Otherwise, forget it.

That concludes my remarks this afternoon.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

(DH/EP)

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