Center for International Forestry Research

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at CIFOR in Bogor, Indonesia (Photo by Dita Alangkara/CIFOR)

Indonesian president makes a significant policy speech at the CIFOR campus

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the CIFOR campus on 13 June 2012, just days before the historic Rio+20 Summit, to make a pivotal speech on “sustainable growth with equity.”

Indonesia’s economy has changed from one in which forests were sacrificed in return for economic growth to an environmentally sustainable one, where forests are prized for the wide range of ecological services that they provide to society, the president said. He declared that by 2025, “no exploitation of resources should exceed its biological regenerative capacity” and that “Losing our tropical rain forests would constitute the ultimate national, global and planetary disaster. That’s why Indonesia has reversed course by committing to sustainable forestry.”

Climate change is manmade, and its solutions are also manmade. We must arrest the growing trend of‘ecological footprint’ deficit worldwide. We must avoid the dangerous trap of a waiting game. Consensus building – especially on global stage – will take time to build. We know the problems. We know the solutions. We must act now.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Indonesian President

The President cemented his visit by planting a tree on the campus, and then signing a memorial plaque that was inscribed: “Thanks CIFOR. Let’s save our forests for our future.”

Indonesia, where CIFOR is headquartered, is home to the world’s third largest area of tropical forests. The second longest expanse of mangrove forests in the world is stretched along its coastlines, which provide support to coastal fisheries and protect communities from destructive storm surges. Indonesia has 50 percent of the world’s tropical peatlands, which are an enormous storehouse of carbon.

The President’s speech attracted a large audience within Indonesia and globally, raising the profile of forestry issues and CIFOR’s research. It was broadcast live on Metro TV, a top-rated national news channel, and watched by some 675,000 viewers. The video was streamed live on the web, and the state national radio station, Radio Republik Indonesia, aired the speech on its lunchtime slot. More than 35 national and international print media outlets covered the speech, while CIFOR blog posts regarding the Presidential speech were read nearly 1,000 times and shared on Facebook more than 3,000 times.

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