High-ranking member of German parliament supports endorsement to Indonesia`s nature conservation. Dr. Christian Ruck, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, traveled in Indonesia from 14-20 August 2013. He is a confidant of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel who feels proud of the cooperation made between the two countries. Germany perceives Indonesia as a country with bio-diversity and supports it preserving its richness.
Germany and Indonesia have been working together to highlight cooperativeness on Germany`s aid in several sectors, such as economy and education; and for more than 20 years, the two countries have worked on natural preservation in Indonesia. Since the end of 1990s, German delegations have visited Indonesia and been eyewitness of its nature beauty; so far, one of the main visits was to Bukit Tiga Puluh in Jambi – Sumatra island. There, a collaboration to make concession to ecosystem restoration prevailed and instruments are needed to build it further.
Dr.Ruck happened to conduct discussions with the Ministry of Forestry in Riau and Jambi, and had the opportunity to deliver a thought of how Germany wants Indonesia to be able to keep strong in protecting existing forests as the world`s lungs. Advice and funding are two forms of assistance that Germany can provide, but not law enforcement.
To activate the World`s Lungs Protection program, German Parliament members had talked to colleagues in Indonesia. They were successful in reaching the provincial government, governer and regent. They emphasized the importance of forest preservation for the sake of the people or local community in the surrounding. It was assured that the economy should be developed very well in protected forest area, as it could be a potential place to make income. Germany would advise the local people on consumers` orientation, that wood and palm oil souced from defective forests are not preferable. If they keep it as protected forest, exporting the forest crop to Germany and Europe would be possible.
Funding the natural conservation in Indonesia was considered important to obtain support from Germany. Overall, an estimated €60-80 million was given to Indonesia – separated into several components with different progress of the use. Dr.Ruck explained that the fund is controlled carefully within this bilateral cooperation. The German government has a strict control system in managing any funds given; here, they apply step by step control together with guarantee to assure that whole contract is fulfilled as agreed. To Indonesia, the fund provided is a grant from Germany, not debt.
Germany hopes to work with reliable Indonesian partners, since the response to provide this funding would only be done if there is a request from trustable partners. Furthermore, money from the fund is used for agreed purposes only.
For the future, if the fund is used properly, there might be certain potential positive influences to the local community. When the national park – as one example – can be focused as a cooperation project between Indonesia and Germany, several advantages are to be obtained. Reforestation will be a way to create tourist attractions, and finally it will lead to income generation to the local society.
“Even animals from Indonesia are in Germany: orang utan, elephant and the last rhinos from Java and Sumatra. We believe this is also a proof of how these two countries are close”, Dr.Ruck looked optimistic about the two countries` potential collaboration.
Anisa Kirana | 2013 | Published on SOROTAN magazine – column: Highlights Germany-Indonesia (edition III/2013) | Photo credit: globalresearch.ca