Indonesia, Finland Get Together on Global Warming

Indonesia and Finland agreed on Monday to enhance bilateral cooperation in environmental issues to contribute to international efforts addressing global warming.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and visiting Finland President Tarja Halonen told a joint press conference at the State Palace that both countries had reaffirmed their commitment to engage in the issues.

“We have discussed our cooperation on climate change and forest management and we agreed that the Bali road map should be followed up so that in time we will have a new protocol that can facilitate greater and stronger cooperation,” Yudhoyono said after the signing of the agreement by Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar and Finland Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Vayrynen.

The two countries valued their existing cooperation in addressing environmental issues, particularly in the ongoing work of the Working Group on Forestry and Forest Industries, which has been meeting regularly since 1990. The next meeting of the Working Group will be in September.

“The Bali Conference is a new step through which we can all work together in order to save our planet. I hope we can have more and more practical forms of cooperation in sustainable development in forestry,” Halonen said.

“At the same time, we hope our cooperation can also enhance people’s welfare. There’s a link between climate change, energy security, sustainable forestry, sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

“Therefore, we stress the importance of cooperation in balancing the efforts on climate change, economic growth and development,” she added.

Both countries reiterated their commitment to promote sustainable forest management. They shared their experiences in forestry ownership through a meeting between Indonesian Forestry Minister M.S. Kaban and Finland Forestry Minister K. Tiilikainen in Bali last December.

Halonen said she was confident of the implementation of Bali road map. She said that although several large countries had not ratified the Kyoto protocol their contribution in the Bali meeting was still positive.

“We have to be effective enough in order to continue this global effort. I do hope we can engage both in regional and bilateral cooperation in order to encourage this process,” she said.

She said European Union countries had done their own part and were ready to do so independently to contribute to the global effort.

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