President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono said on Wednesday he would call on state leaders to renew their political commitment to develop the green economy during the upcoming Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, known as the Rio+20.
The President added he would also talk about sustainable development and poverty eradication.
“Next week, I will join a number of world leaders and thousands of participants from all over the world at the Rio+20 Summit, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit. I will use the opportunity to send a message and call for action for the post-Rio+20 sustainable development agenda,” Yudhoyono said in his speech at the headquarters of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, West Java.
“Let’s take responsibility for the future of the human race and for Mother Earth: All citizens of the world, developed, emerging and developing nations, international and regional organizations, private sector actors, environmentalists, all stakeholders,” the President added.
According to official statements, world leaders meeting at the Rio+20 Summit from June 20 to 22 will discuss ways to reduce poverty, ensure greater equality and protect the environment so people can all continue to live and prosper while safeguarding the planet’s limited resources.
In his speech, which he called “Manifesto 2015: Sustainable Growth With Equity”, Yudhoyono also reiterated that economic growth must not rely on the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.
“Environmental sustainability is at the heart of all long-term development plans, both at the national and local levels,” the President said. “Developed countries should take the lead in reducing emissions.”
Yudhoyono also recalled his administration’s success particularly the country’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis as shown in the steady growth improvement up to 6.5 percent in 2011.
“We cannot achieve sustainable growth with equity without addressing climate change. They are two sides of the same coin. In all this, political will was and remains crucial. It was not always easy to implement environmentally sound policies. But it was necessary, and it was the right thing to do. So, we pushed hard at it despite some resistance,” the President said.
Indonesia’s tropical forests are the third largest in the world and are central to the country’s economy, environment and society.
In 2009, Yudhoyono pledged to cut Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020 — a vow only achievable if its forests are protected.
Abetnego Tarigan, the executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said the government should have focused on real action rather than attempting to hypnotize the public through ceremonies or using populist slogans.
“The government’s role in protecting and managing natural resources has been handed over to the market. This kind of economic model in approaching the environment has had significant implications for the population and may lead to ecological bankruptcy,” he said.
Separately, Danish supermodel Helena Christensen said the leaders attending the Rio+20 must commit to taking strong actions and making changes.
In her capacity as an Oxfam Global ambassador, she just finished a trip to Nepal, Peru and Kenya, where she witnessed the impact of climate change on people’s lives and their ability to produce food.
“Changes are so desperately needed to create a future safe from the risks of a changing climate, water, land and food shortages, and to set us on the path to a sustainable and prosperous future for everyone,” Christensen said in a statement.
“My images are intended to remind those discussing the fate of our planet that the future is not yet set in stone,” she said.”