Source: The Jakarta Globe – January 21, 2010
By Fidelis E Satriastanti
Indonesia plans to push for the inclusion of ocean issues at an upcoming United Nations forum on the environment in Bali, a member of the State Ministry for the Environment said on Thursday. The 11th special session of the Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the UN Environment Program will be held in Bali from Feb. 22 to 26 to discuss three major topics: international governance and sustainable development, green economies and biodiversity and ecosystems.
“Our main mission is to include ocean issues into the building blocks of adaptation,” said Liana Bratasida, assistant minister for global environmental affairs and international cooperation at the State Ministry for the Environment. Liana was referring to one of the four “building blocks” agreed to at the December climate change talks in Copenhagen.
“If we succeed on including the issue, then it would become one of UNEP’s working programs,” she said. The government will also push for assistance for developing countries in implementing low-carbon economic growth, she added. Meanwhile, Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said that unlike forests, oceans had been difficult to include at the climate change negotiations because there was still limited research on the issue. “There was lots of criticism of the Copenhagen Accord because oceans were not included, considering their great impact on climate change. But it has been thoroughly discussed in the adaptation section compared to in the mitigation section,” Gusti said.
In anticipation of the meeting in Denpasar, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has instructed district heads and mayors to intensify environmental programs such as the Clean Friday movement and to implement better waste management programs. Bali is expected to be named the nation’s first Green Province during the forum. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to open the forum, which is expected to involve some 5,000 delegates from 192 countries.