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EU Ambassador visits Aceh
The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Mr Vincent Guérend, is on a three-day visit to the province of Aceh. The visit is aimed at obtaining first-hand impressions and information on recent developments in Aceh and to visit an EU-funded forestry management projects.
The EU Ambassador will meet a number of local stakeholders in government, parliament and civil society, including the Provincial Secretary, Mr Helfizar Ibrahim, Deputy Speaker of the Regional Representative Council of Aceh, Mr Teuku Irwan Djohan, and the Mayor of Sabang, Mr Nazaruddin.
“The EU has had a long-standing engagement with Aceh providing considerable funds for post-tsunami reconstruction, extensive support to the Aceh peace process and assistance to ensure the protection and preservation of large forest areas including Leuser National Park. The EU has worked very closely with Aceh, particularly in the support of climate change mitigation efforts through forest conservation and better planning so that Aceh can become a model showing that forest conservation and development can co-exist,” said EU Ambassador Vincent Guérend.
During the visit, the EU Ambassador will also announce the successful completion of the EU-funded project "Support to Indonesia's Climate Change Response" (6.5 million euro or 96.5 billion rupiah, 2016-2019). The activities included initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and contribute to the national efforts on climate change mitigation through low-carbon development planning and implementation. The project has facilitated the drafting of regulations, such as the Regent's decree in Pidie District allowing the utilisation of Village Funds (Dana Desa) for forest protection and conservation; as well as for Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), the first one ever adopted in Indonesia.
EU Ambassador Vincent Guérend will also visit the Forest Management Unit (FMU) in Sabang, Weh Island to further discuss about the results of the Dynamic Agroforestry (DAF) Approach which relies on the quality of natural forests. The DAF success stories in Sabang shows that economic development can be done in a sustainable way without harming or destroying Aceh's forest and supporting eco-tourism at the same time. The EU Ambassador expressed his hope that the DAF model can be replicated elsewhere in Aceh and in the whole of Indonesia to combat unsustainable agricultural practices. This project was complementary to another EU project in Aceh with Flora & Fauna International (FFI) involving civil society in harmonising environmental protection and economic development efforts.
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