41st Earth Day Exceeds 100 Million Acts!4/22/11 |
From sixth-grade Iraqi mine survivors planting trees without hands and Detroit school kids building a plastic bottle boat to Malays cleaning up their waterfalls, individuals and organizations from Delhi, Louisiana to New Delhi have racked up over 100 million Acts of Green in honor of the 41st Earth Day.
The achievement puts Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green campaign well on the road to success for delivering a billion Acts to world leaders at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to spur action against climate change. It is a fitting new chapter to Earth Day’s historic legacy of inspiring ordinary people to take action against Earth crises.
Earth Day India was one of our great highlights this year, as approximately 150 cities and towns in India held Earth Day events, with an enthusiasm rivaling the first Earth Day in 1970. Earth Day India 2011 partners included the million-member trade union Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA).
Globally, nearly 300 city and local elected officials are participating in Global Day of Conversation events with their constituents, in the U.S., China, Macau, Iraq, Mexico, UK, Albania, Italy, Uganda and South Africa.
Schools remained a huge contributor to Earth Day observances, with over 160 universities in the U.S holding over 250 events and 30 million elementary school students in over 60,000 schools receiving Earth Day materials as part of our Green Schools initiative.
Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project continues to make huge inroads against deforestation, as partners such as Trees for the Future, United Nations Environment Programme, Roots & Shootsin China, the Iraq Ministry of Agriculture and the African Rainforest Conservancy plant over 45 million trees across Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Finally, Earth Day Network just launched an “app” in collaboration with Facebook to help spread the Billion Acts of Green campaign. Go to: http://apps.facebook.com/billionactsofgreen
Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, Indonesia
27 – 29 April 2011
B4E, Business for the Environment, is the world’s leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment. Held in partnership with WWF and Global Initiatives, the Summit offers collaborative solutions to address the most urgent environmental and climate issues facing the world today.
Leaders from business, NGOs, international agencies and governments gather to discuss green investments, clean technologies and sustainable growth strategies. At the B4E Summit, delegates share and explore transformative solutions to tackle climate change and to protect and restore biodiversity and ecosystems. Partnerships are formed and commitments are made to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
via B4E Summit.
Keynote Address at The Business for Environment Global Summit 2011
H.E. DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC INDONESIA
THE BUSINESS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
GLOBAL SUMMIT 2011
JAKARTA, 28 APRIL 2011
Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Peace be upon us all
Your Excellency Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by welcoming all of you to Jakarta, and by expressing how honored we are to host this important conference.
You have picked the right place for a global conference on the green economy. We are now in the midst of an ambitious campaign to plant 1 billion – yes, 1 billion ! – trees nation-wide. If any of you are interested to plant a tree under your name, let us know.
Indonesia is also a hot spot for climate diplomacy. Indeed, it was in Bali 4 years ago that climate negotiators engaged in dramatic tussles during the UNFCCC COP-13 in Bali, which Alhamdulillah finally led to the historic Bali Road Map.
We have come a long way in the climate negotiations, but despite enormous efforts by the international community, a global climate treaty is still elusive. This is why your meeting here is so important to show that the climate issue is very much alive and that, despite tough economic challenges and problems in the Middle-East, we continue to press on to find common solutions to global problems.
The theme of your Conference this year “Leading by Nature: Delivering Transformative Solutions for Our Planet” – what a clever theme – is right on the mark.
It is time for us to think outside the box. It is time for us to think a new of imaginative ways to resolve the monumental challenges that we face today and tomorrow.
To begin with, even though globalization is said to promise a world of plenty, we actually face a world of increasing scarcity.
It is predicted that by 2050, the world population will reach 9 billion. The human race will need plenty of clean air, food, energy, water, and other resources. However, according to some estimates, by 2050 our energy resources will be short by 40 % and food supply by 60%.
Today, we continue to be addicted to oil, while non-fossil fuel energy sources are still struggling to catch up. The number of regions that are burdened by a condition of water stress are multiplying. The greenhouse gas emissions also continue to rise towards a dangerous tipping point without waiting for diplomatic solutions.
This growing scarcity is bound to produce stressful communities. According to the World Food Program, there are 925 million undernourished people in the world today. That means one in seven people do not get enough nutrition to be healthy and lead a productive life.
Meanwhile, our planet will see more disasters. A report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicates that climate-induced disasters are now on the rise, and around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related — up from around 50 percent from two decades ago.
So transformative solutions : we need plenty of that. We need solutions that will transform the way we live, produce, consume, work, travel and play. We need solutions that will place the environment and climate security at the heart of every public and corporate policy. We need solutions that will make economic growth and technology not the nemesis but the ALLY of our climate stability. And we need solutions that will serve the practical needs to slow, stop and reverse the process of climate change.
The case for transformation solutions is therefore compelling. I am convinced that we are NOT short of creative solutions; yet, somehow we ARE still short of political will in some nations.
What is certain is that Governments alone no longer have the solutions. To secure our climate future, we will need a GRAND SCHEME that will involve a combination of Government policies, international cooperation, market incentives, technological innovation, civil society participation, and corporate participation.
This is where you as captains of industry can make significant contributions. You do not have to wait for the multilateral negotiations to produce a new global climate treaty : you can start to act now to make a difference.
I am glad to see among us today leaders in various sectors;
• We have Business leaders that provide technologies using alternatives to fossil fuels;
• We have Leaders in engineering and design sectors that provide solution on green building technologies and designs;
• We have leaders that provide innovative and creative solutions to promote renewable energy,
• And we have Leaders in forestry, agriculture and food industry that can share best practice for sustainable agriculture and forestry management
Together, the private and the public sectors must collaborate further, and go beyond business as usual. You’re your resources together, and we will certainly come up with “transformative solutions to save our planet”.
In any transformative solutions, the question of financing is always key. There are no easy answers, especially as we anticipate tough times with the global economy in the short run.
At the UNFCCC COP 16 in Mexico, we have come up with an innovative idea to establish a Green Climate Fund to ensure the deliverables of funding for enhancing actions on climate change in developing nations. We fully support this initiative and will actively be involved in the process to establish the fund in Durban at the end of this year.
The big question is whether the developed and developing world can now move on and come up with transformative solutions.
Every year, in keeping with evolving economic and diplomatic circumstances, we kept modifying our ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We all remain committed to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability”. Yet, I also believe that developed countries must take the lead, and developing countries must also do more.
Finding that precise balance and right division of labor between developed and developing countries have not been easy, but without it, there can be no climate stability for our planet. We must uphold the new premise that, ultimately, our national interests and global interests are inter-twined.
We in Indonesia have long known that. We know that we are poised for higher growth and for an important role as part of the climate solution. Thus, our green economic mantra is called “pro-growth, pro-job, pro-poor, pro-environment” – and of course pro-business. Even though we posted the third highest growth among G20 economies, we have been very mindful of the need for “growth with equity”, and for an inclusive and sustainable development. It’s a lot of balls to juggle with, but it’s a necessary challenge.
Indonesia is never shy to push the limits of climate cooperation. And with the support of international business community, I believe Indonesia can implement green economy to achieve 7% economic growth and 26% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from business as usual scenario in 2020.
To achieve those goals, Indonesia is seriously developing forest schemes to reduce greenhouse gases emanating from terrestrial sources; such as from forests and peat-lands.
Indonesia has also established various funding initiatives to support the low carbon emission development. We have established the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund and Indonesia Green Investment (IGI) Fund. We have requested UNDP to facilitate a Financial Institutions that can manage the REDD Plus fund following the Letter of Intent between the Government of Norway and the Republic of Indonesia.
Let me elaborate more on what we have done with our forests. Indonesia as a country with one of the largest rainforest in the world, together with other forested countries, intend to play a significant role in reducing global carbon emissions.
At the global level, Indonesia has spearheaded greater cooperation to conserve and manage forests sustainability through the Forest Eleven Forum. This F-11 was established to ensure that forestry countries can collectively be part of the global climate solutions while also attending to their rightful economic and social development needs. I am pleased that the F-11 has produced several collaborative projects which can be complemented with other international deforestation emissions reduction initiatives.
We are also actively pursuing bilateral forestry cooperation. For example, Indonesia has promoted creative forestry partnerships with Norway, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, United States and other countries. These programs will add values to the current Sumatra landscapes program financed by a Debt for Nature Swap scheme. We invite all of you to join our endeavor in preserving and expanding these crucial carbon sinks and high biological diversity areas.
In the context of national policies, Indonesia has developed a REDD PLUS strategy that supports strong economic growth and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Our REDD PLUS actions goals will be attained through greater sustainable peat-land and forest management.
Working with our partners, we will protect Indonesia’s globally significant carbon- and biodiversity-rich tropical rain-forests. This partnership aims at helping local populations become more prosperous, and not impede their development aspirations.
Furthermore, REDD PLUS is an example of a new course for managing Indonesia’s natural resources without abandoning industries vital to the economy. It is about sustainability, for continued growth, enhanced human capital, ensured social equity while at the same time achieving our emission reduction goals.
Consistent with the REDD PLUS initiative, Indonesia offers to allocate the expansion of plantations and other economic activities to already degraded - or low carbon- areas.
Indonesia has more than 30 million hectares of degraded land which are critical to our sustainable economic growth. This means there is sufficient land available for economic productions including the future growth of palm oil and forestry. Allowing for expansion of palm oil and forestry into degraded land is one of the areas that the government is committed to and working on.
I am pleased to announce that my government will grant access to degraded lands for the industries that are serious in expanding or are planning to invest on these lands, for the welfare of our people and for the future of our planet.
In addition, new policies and incentives will also be on the table for those who would turn unproductive grasslands into high-yielding and productive assets.
Our basic policy is that utilizing the already degraded land for productive purposes while exercising best practices, of not expanding uncontrollably land use for agriculture for that is threatening for our environment.
The success of this program is critical to our success in pursuing a green economy.
Achieving a green economy will require collective vision, creativity, action and support from a broad cross-section of society, especially the business community. It will require sustainable consumption and production as part and parcel of a green economy.
You can step forward and play an important role in promoting green economy. You can come up with a new model that generates the business growth while reducing the overall environmental impacts.
The Government of Indonesia recently launched its economic corridor framework, which will be the roadmap for Indonesia’s sustainable economic growth. It is a plan for sustainable economic growth that would merge Indonesia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with clear and actionable steps for achieving strong and sustained economic growth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We all must play our part to secure our climate future.
We cannot lose steam at this late hour. We need to have faith on many approaches that may look trivial and small, such as use of recycled materials, planting trees in your back yard, and using energy efficient appliances.
If conducted with persistence, day-by-day, by millions of consumers around the world, these approaches will generate an enormous impact on the efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.
We must also keep in mind that addressing the climate and environment need not be a zero sum game. The poor and local communities must benefit from our effort to save the planet.
And in doing so, governments cannot do the efforts alone. As all of us move on towards low-carbon development, we will need the greater participation of civil society and business leaders as our partners to realize a robust green economy.
Therefore, let me once again invite all captains of industries here to contribute to the creation of a green economy and low-carbon future.
Finally, I wish you all productive deliberations and fruitful outcomes that should lead to transformative solutions for our planet—and our future generation.
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