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Indonesia’s forests are a global heritage, says VP

The vice president of Indonesia on Wednesday urged scientists and the broader international community to help Indonesia find a balance between conservation and natural resource use.

Addressing an audience of nearly 900 scientists and researchers attending the annual Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation in Sanur, Bali, Vice President Boediono called Indonesia’s forests a “global heritage” that benefits the entire planet. As such, he said the international community should provide technical assistance and support to help meet environmental and development goals.

“Indonesia has declared its commitment to reduce emissions by at least 26 per cent by 2020 and with the assistance of the global community we think we can obtain an even larger reduction,” he said.

“We would like to see an effective network of international expertise and support to help us with these goals.”

In May, Norway pledged up to a billion dollars by 2015 for forest conservation efforts in Indonesia. The United States followed on earlier this month with a $136 million commitment over three years for environmental initiatives. Indonesia pledged in 2009 to reduce emissions by up to 40 percent from a projected 2020 baseline provided it receive international support.

Still while Boediono highlighted the importance of conservation, he emphasized the government’s responsibility to improve the quality of life for people through economic development.

“This is a goal that we, as governments, need to fully accommodate, no matter what else we do in the field of environmental conservation,” he said, as quoted by the Jakarta Globe

“So we need to set the right course between the two goals. Here, I believe the scientific community will be able to help and guide us in our quest for the balance between conservation and exploitation of resources.”

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