New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Climate change discussed at recent forum in eastern Indonesia

New Zealand Aid Programme Development Counsellor Kirk Yates at the Forum.

“Climate Change Adaptation and Small islands in Eastern Indonesia” was the title of a forum held recently in Lombok, Indonesia to discuss issues relating to climate change.  The forum attracted around 80 people from Indonesia’s central and local governments, donor communities, as well as local and international non-government organisations (NGO’s) from across the country.  Staff of the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) in Indonesia attended the forum given the NZAP's focus on eastern Indonesia.

The forum opened with the screening of a film called “There Once Was an Island” which depicted the impact that rising sea levels have had on the small island community of Takuu, a tiny low-lying atoll in the South Western Pacific. The inhabitants of Takuu have been evacuated to nearby Bougainville, an island to the east of Papua New Guinea, due to rising sea levels.

During the Forum’s three day programme, participants were divided into three groups and each group was tasked to discuss a particular issue related to climate change.

The eastern part of Indonesia is one of the focus areas of the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) in Indonesia, said NZAP’s Development Counsellor based at the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta, Kirk Yates.

“Considering the importance of this issue to the eastern and remote island sub-regions of Indonesia where some our program activities are targeted, and the very rare opportunity for officials from various part of Indonesia to gather in one place, this Forum has been of huge benefit to us all.”

Mr Yates’ team, Development Programme Coordinator, Gloriani Panjaitan and Development Programme Administrator, Ira Indirawati, met with government officials from provinces of NTB, Maluku and Papua at the forum.  These meetings covered New Zealand tertiary study scholarship opportunities and development priorities in eastern Indonesia.  Renewable energy, Disaster Risk Reduction/Disaster Risk Management (DRR/DRM), agriculture and scholarships are areas of focus for NZAP in this region of Indonesia.

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