Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar in April visited Denmark and Norway. In both country, the minister activily engaged himself in a dialogue with his counterparts and others discussing climate change issues and other environmental issues, where the Nordic countries could offer Indonesia their assistance.
In Denmark, Rachmat Witoelar was one of only four ministers – and the only one from Asia – attending a 36 nation environmental conference on climate change from 24-25 April. The other participating nations had sent either deputies or their ambassadors. In the final declaration from the meeting, the participants pledged to strengthen their cooperation to fight climate change, but stopped short of committing to a deadline for putting a new global treaty limiting greenhouse emissions in place to replace the current Kyoto protocol.
In Norway, Rachmat Witoelar during tbhe visit on April 26-27 met with Environment Minister Helen Oddveig and Minister for Development Cooperation Erik Solheim as well as Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
After the meetings, Indonesian Ambassador to Norway Retno L. Marsudi told the press that the Norwegian government will give Indonesia 500.000 US-dollars to help pay for the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCC) in West Java`s town of Bogor in October.
Ambassador Retno L. Marsudi said that the Norwegian assistance was a result of Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg`s visit to Jakarta on March 28-30, 2007. During this visit, Stoltenberg and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono witnessed the signing of an agreement between the two countries on energy and climate change and Stoltenberg said the cooperation on climate change was an important part of Indonesia-Norway`s bilateral ties.
In his meetings with Witoelar in Oslo, Stoltenberg indicated that he might himself attend the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change to be held in Bali next December.
At a meeting with the prime minister, the two sides agreed to discuss later concrete projects the two countries would be doing in connection with eco-friendly housing as suggested by the Kyoto protocol in 1997.
The technical teams of the two nations – Indonesia is represented by two special staffers and one expert staff of the minister – held talks to discuss the project on Friday.
The projects will be funded by private sectors from Norway.