EU and Switzerland bid farewell to Race for Water odyssey 2017-2021
EU announces the 3rd Indonesian Circular Economy Forum (November 2019, Jakarta)
The European Union (EU) aims to promote greater awareness and actions about environmental and climate change issues through policy dialogue globally. In Indonesia, the EU is keen to support civil society and youth-led initiatives. Thus, the EU Delegation to Indonesia, the Embassy of Switzerland, the Race for Water (R4W) Foundation, and the Greeneration Foundation come together today to celebrate innovation and cooperation across countries and across generations, to promote environmental awareness and action on resource efficiency, conservation of marine resources, and climate change.
“The partnerships we celebrate today provide a timely opportunity for the EU and Indonesian officials to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of integrating circular principles in the Indonesian economy, and for the EU to share key messages based on our own experience,” stated the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, Mr Charles-Michel Geurts. "One cannot seriously preserve the beautiful coastlines of Indonesia, without addressing the whole upstream economy that creates and consumes this plastic debris in the first place," he added.
The R4W main programmes (LEARN, SHARE and ACT) on plastic waste valorisation and waste management aim at knowledge-transfer and community empowerment. The R4W team also seeks partnerships towards an Indonesian feasibility study on the energetic, non-emissive transformation of unrecyclable end-of-life plastics into electricity, e.g. on small islands where access to recycling might prove challenging, which could be utilised eventually as reference to inform local policies.
The Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Switzerland, Mr Michael Cottier, added, “Switzerland supports measures against climate change and for the protection of water and the oceans. We encourage reducing subsidies to fossil fuels and looking at alternative energies. Innovation is a key part of the solution – and the Race for Water vessel is a pioneer showcasing how to circumnavigate the globe solely using renewable energy – a source of inspiration.”
The R4W project illustrates how the upcoming Indonesia Circular Economy Forum (ICEF) could act as a ‘learning vehicle’ for public and private decision-makers in Indonesia to advance the implementation of a circular economy, as promoted through the ICEF platform. The EU is also working with Indonesian officials to make sure the next budget and 5-year plan (RPJMN) will take advantage of all opportunities to develop low-carbon and low pollution business. The EU’s support for the 3rd ICEF in Jakarta (11 & 12 November 2019, Fairmont Hotel), confirms its commitment to accelerate a global shift towards a circular economy. This is demonstrated through its strategy on plastics and the new EU-wide rules which are phasing out 10 single-use plastic products most commonly found on Europe's beaches and seas. This forms part of a comprehensive package of 50+ measures supporting sustainable production and consumption.
Chief Programme Officer of the Greeneration Foundation (ICEF 2019), Mrs Syir Asih Amanati, said the 3rd ICEF is looking to define and achieve more tangible outputs and actions. “We are honored to partner with the EU. This year, not only we will see public and private partnerships, but also multilateral cooperation. We hope to benefit from the launch of new commitments and news about exciting future development and more sustainable projects,” she claimed.
The R4W vessel – docked in Batavia Marina Port, North Jakarta since 21 June 2019 (having sailed from Bali) - serves as a global ambassador of energy transition and marine conservation. “The boat will leave the Indonesian waters today, before setting sail (and solar panels!) once again on its 5-year odyssey, to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan before reaching its final destination, France, in 2021,” said the 2nd Captain of Race for Water, Ms Annabelle Boudinot. “We’ve carried out a great deal of work and research around energy transition in Indonesia, and I hope that the feasibility study will allow this work to continue long into the future,” she added.
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