President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presented four national forest protection policies to preserve nature and the climate during his speech at the UN Climate Summit on forests at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber at the UN Headquarters in New York City on Tuesday.
"Based on our experience, we have four policies on forest preservation in Indonesia," he said at the session, which was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The President said that the first policy involved Indonesia's commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by 26 per cent by the year 2020.
Yudhoyono added that with international support, the reduction target could be increased to 41 per cent.
"The second one is that Indonesia has signed a memorandum of understanding related to the utilization and conversion of licenses aimed at protecting the more than 63 million hectares of primary forests and peatlands," he said.
He added that the Indonesian government had implemented the policy to protect its forests by involving all stakeholders, communities and several community-based organisations that were at the forefront of sustainable forest management efforts.
The fourth policy was the formation of a task force to protect forests and to ensure that everything was appropriately managed to achieve the goals set forth.
Yudhoyono pointed out two important issues related to forest management.
"The first issue is related to the preservation of trees and the second is how to balance environmental sustainability with community needs," he said.
He added that with regard to multilateral cooperation, Indonesia was of the viewpoint that all sides must intensify efforts to reach a binding agreement related to the 2020 framework for climate change policies.
"The agreement must also be linked to mitigation, adaptation and framework for its implementation," he said.
Yudhoyono and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg cochaired the plenary 2 session at the UN Climate Summit. Yudhoyono opened the meeting at 3:44 p.m. local time, after which Solberg spoke about his country's views on conserving forests and preventing their destruction as a result of population growth and plantation industries.
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Cargill CEO David MacLennan and Golden Agri CEO Franky Widjaja also addressed the plenary meeting.
Yudhoyono is currently in the US on the second leg of his three-nation tour, which includes Portugal and Japan. During his two-day visit to Portugal, he met with President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho and Parliament Speaker Mario da Assuncao Esteves.
Following the summit in New York, Yudhoyono will head to Washington DC to inaugurate the Indonesian Muslim Association at the American Center.
The President will then visit Japan where he will be awarded with an honorary degree from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.
While in Japan, he will meet with Indonesian economists, experts and others living in the country to exchange ideas about how to ensure mutually beneficial cooperation between the two nations.