Indonesia: Speech at climate seminar
First of all, let me say how happy I am to be here in Indonesia, on our first official visit to your country.
I am impressed by the political and economic development that Indonesia has undergone in recent decades. Indonesia is also known as home to some of the most magnificent forests on the planet. Unfortunately, the Crown Princess and I will not have time to visit the rainforest on this occasion. But the photos displayed right outside this conference room make us want to come back.
As a bridge to the topic of this seminar, I would like to bring to your attention a peculiar fact about Norway and Norwegians: We are actually rather obsessed with wood. In Norway, we have a wide range of metaphors with wood and timber involved. If we want to describe a person with integrity, we describe him or her as whole wood. A book about wood cutting, how to make up a fire etc reached the top of the bestseller list last year. Maybe this partly explains why forest is a priority for Norway on the international arena.
Now let me turn to the reason why we are gathered here today:
Indonesia is, like Norway, a country with exceptional natural resources and opportunities.
At the same time, there are challenges in relation to conserving biodiversity and halting climate change.
In Indonesia new partnerships are emerging between national and local governments, the private sector, civil society groups and indigenous peoples.
Only by working together can success be obtained to everyones mutual benefit. The signing of the declaration at this conference shows how different stakeholder groups can make a contribution to a globally important agenda. I salute the communities, the national park managers and the oil palm companies that have signed the declaration here today.
Without the kind of engagement you are showing, there is a risk that the impact of deforestation on climate change would only be addressed in theoretical, international discussions without the people who are affected by it being truly aware of the problem.
By signing the declaration, you are showing us all that emissions from deforestation and forest degradation are locally relevant issues that you are committed to finding solutions to.
Our two nations have developed a very strong partnership. Climate change mitigation and forest protection have become a key part of this partnership. Although climate change is a challenge for the whole international community, it is crucial that countries like Indonesia and Norway take bilateral responsibility and lead by setting a good example. REDD+ is exactly that.
If we together manage to ascribe an economic value to the carbon storage services provided by forests, via REDD+, we can ensure that forests are worth more alive than dead. And subsequently, in a wider context, we can together improve the health of the planet we all share.
Let me finish by congratulating you all on the declaration signed here today. I hope this conference will result in fruitful partnerships that stimulate green development and sustainable forest management.