The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Center for International Forestry (CIFOR) have launched a partnership to address critical environmental issues in Indonesia concerning forestry management and biodiversity protection. The partnership will include collaborative research and providing scholarships for emerging Indonesian leaders to attend U.S. universities.
The collaborative research will focus on producing solid scientific data and analysis that will help government, private industry, and non-governmental organizations develop better policies and strategies to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions caused by palm oil production. This effort is especially timely given the recent forest fires in Indonesia and resulting air pollution and destruction of wildlife habitat.
“We believe this partnership will help generate the unbiased science that decision makers can use to create solutions in improving forest sustainability,” said Andrew Sisson, USAID Indonesia Mission Director.
USAID has invested $5 million USD in the partnership. Half of the funds will be used for research; the rest will be used to send 15-20 Indonesians to the United States over the next four years to complete master’s degrees in specialties related to forestry management, biodiversity conservation, and land use planning. The first cohort will be recruited in late 2015 to commence study in 2016. USAID has asked CIFOR to develop and manage the scholarship program.
“We are very excited to be working with CIFOR at such a critical time. Environmental issues affect every Indonesian and, in terms of climate change, every person on this planet,” said USAID Mission Director Sisson.
“We are especially delighted to design a program that involves both research and capacity building for the next generation of Indonesian leaders,” he added.