In 2010, the United States and Indonesia launched a historic Comprehensive Partnership (CP) to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries for the long term. One component of this partnership is a bilateral effort to improve environmental policy and practice in Indonesia. The two presidents stated that they seek a partnership that “fully leverages the extraordinary talents of our strongest assets, the Indonesian and American people,” and placed strong people-to-people relations and dynamic public-private collaboration “at its core”, which includes public and private collaboration to confront issues such as climate change.
Indonesia has taken a leading international policy position on climate change, expressed in President SBY’s strong proposals at the G20 and recent Rio+20 Meetings, and reflected by his recent appointment as one of three co-chairs of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the post-2015 strategy for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Early CP environment project initiatives included the SOLUSI Partnership (Science, Oceans, Land Use, Society, and Innovation), the establishment of an Indonesia Climate Change Center, and supporting the Norway-Indonesia REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) partnership. More recently, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Indonesia Compact has included a major project expanding renewable energy and improving the management of natural resources.
On July 27, 2012, USINDO hosted an Open Forum panel discussion at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., featuring five distinguished speakers from the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and MCC, who hold key roles in the effort to meet climate change and environment challenges in Indonesia. The purpose of this forum was to discuss what happens and what still needs to happen under the environment and climate change component of the CP, which requires bilateral, public, private, and civic collaboration.