MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Sustainable Construction

Sweden has a long and very succcessful record of environmentally sustainable planning and construction, and is looking to share experiences and cooperate with Indonesia in this field. Tomorrow 14 June Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia HE Mrs Ewa Polano will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to this end with the Construction Development Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works. The signing will take place in the presence of Minister of Public Works HE Mr Djoko Kirmanto at the International Seminar “Toward Sustainable Construction in Indonesia” to be held at Hotel Bidakara Jakarta at 08.30-17.00.

This seminar is organized by the Ministry of Public Works of the Republic of Indonesia and opening remarks will be delivered both by H.E. Djoko Kirmanto and H.E. Ewa Polano. Also, speeches will be delivered by prominent experts, including the Honorary Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Environmental Scholars Prof. Dr. Emil Salim and the Head of Construction Development Agency Ir. Bambang Goeritno, M.Sc. In the afternoon, Swedish experiences and know-how on green construction will be presented by Mr Nikolaj Tolstoy, Civil Engineer and Senior Advisor at Boverket – the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.

“Sustainable construction is an area where Sweden has a clear comparative advantage, and where there is room for strengthened cooperation and partnership with Indonesia”, says Ambassador Polano. The cooperation envisaged in this MoU will play an important role in this partnership, in an area of great importance to both Indonesia and Sweden.

Background of the cooperation between Indonesia and Sweden (in the construction and  environmental field)

Sweden is in the international frontline in a number of areas, not least in the field of green cities, or Symbio City as the marketing concept is called. Sustainable construction is of course a key topic in urban as well as rural sustainable planning and infrastructure schemes.

Environmental sustainability and green growth is indeed at the core of Swedish priorities in international cooperation. This is also very much the case with Sweden’s development cooperation with Indonesia, focusing on mutually beneficial partnerships in areas where Sweden has comparative advantages and where there is an Indonesian demand. Environment and climate change is one prioritised area, in particular urban environment.

This is totally in line with Indonesian priorities. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono introduced a most ambitious climate change agenda in Pittsburgh prior to COP 15, with 26% GHG emission reduction with domestic resources, and 41% with international support. This is a significant challenge that requires a wide range of measures, and Sweden is happy to be able to contribute to this development via introduction of holistic urban environmental planning, advanced technology and sustainable policy formulation.

The Embassy is today very pleased to acknowledge extensive contacts and cooperation plans with the Ministry for Public Works. In 2009 the Directorate of Human Settlements, was invited to Sweden together with a delegation from Bappenas. One important theme of this study visit was environmental issues and among other things the Symbio City concept was introduced to the delegation.

Further to the visit, also in 2009 the Human Settlements Directorate and the Spatial Planning Directorate, were invited to a Symbio city seminar arranged by Sweden in Shanghai in connection to the World Expo. During the two days seminar Swedish know how, experience, policy formulation and clean technology were introduced by private companies, municipalities, cities and research institutes.

In February this year the Swedish Minister of Trade, Ms. Ewa Björling, visited Indonesia with a large Swedish business delegation and met with Ministry of Public Works, Vice Minister Hermanto Dardak, the Trade Minister Ms. Mari Elka Pangestu and the State Ministry of Environment, Minister Gusti Hatta. During the discussions with vice minister Hermanto Dardak, an overall MoU with Sweden was discussed, the Minister was invited to Sweden,  and a concrete cooperation on Symbio City issues was agreed upon. In addition a seminar was arranged with the theme “Green Growth for Indonesia” with an extensive participation from the private as well as public sector attracting significant interest in Swedish green solutions.

At present Indonesia and Sweden together have concrete plans for a Symbio City cooperation with the Directorate General for Spatial Planning at the Ministry of Public works,  now in the process of selecting relevant Indonesian cities. The two countries have also  recently decided upon a collaboration with the Ministry’s Directorate for Drinking Water Development at the DG for Human Settlements  on water leakage and water monitoring issues. Swedish water experts and a Swedish municipality water company will visit Jakarta in September this year.

Swedish Ambassador Polano states that “Our contact with the Construction Development Agency of the Ministry of Public Works is quite new, and it is of course very positive to see that we have already come quite far in this dynamic cooperation. The Agency has been quite interested in Swedish models for green construction and Swedish policy formulation and today we are going to sign an MoU on sustainable construction with the Construction Development Agency. A study visit to Sweden this autumn is the next step.”

“I am convinced that this is contact between the Development Construction Agency and the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning is the first step in a constructive and fruitful cooperation between Indonesia and Sweden in the field of green construction,  and the signing of the MoU is an important landmark in our cooperation with the Ministry”, concludes Ambassador Ewa Polano.

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