Sunday October 31st the Norwegian Ambassador, Eivind S. Homme, went for a bike ride with Jakarta’s governor Fauzi Bowo and US Ambassador, Scot Marciel, as a tribute to the good cooperation between Norway, Indonesia and the United States in combating climate change.
Every Sunday from 6 am to noon Jakarta celebrates “Car Free Day”. The initiative has been going on for several years and grows in popularity in Indonesia’s traffic jammed capitol. The amount of cars and motorbikes grows rapidly every year along with Jakarta’s population. The sporty Ambassador Homme biked together with thousands of others in Central Jakarta.
Homme reminded the media about the successful visit of Norway’s minister for environment and international cooperation, Mr. Erik Solheim, last week and about the Norwegian- Indonesian partnership to reduce green house gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Now the Norwegian Embassy is looking forward to receiving Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre, this weekend while Ambassador Marciel is gearing up to receiving a long planned visit from President Obama.
Ambassador Homme used the opportunity to sign an appeal to put in place measures to increase traffic security in Jakarta. Between 1100- 1200 people lose their life in Jakarta traffic every year. A suggestion to make separate bike lanes was also supported. Governor Bowo had invited the NGO Bike to Work to participate with the two ambassadors. They gave good advice on where to bike in Jakarta.
While most bicyclists were dressed in sports attire, some had chosen to wear batik shirts as Sunday also was a national celebration day for batik, now on the UNESCO’s cultural heritage list.