Remarks by Ambassador Blake at “Green Future in Sumatra” Event, Jakarta

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you here today to launch the short film, “Building a Green Future in Sumatra.”

I understand we have journalism students here as well as members of the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists.  Thank you for coming.

The U.S. and Indonesia are cooperating in an increasingly wide range of areas under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive partnership signed in 2010.

One important and growing area of cooperation is our joint work to find effective solutions for environmental challenges such as climate change and wildlife trafficking.

We build partnerships with local governments, communities, and the private sector to improve environmental governance and management practices and expand equitable access to natural resources.

In 2013, the U.S. Agency for International Development invested $36 million in environmental programs in Indonesia to support these objectives.

One of the most important ways to generate grass roots awareness of and support for sound environmental stewardship is through various kinds of media, especially film.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual media such as pictures, short films and TV shows are often a very effective way of telling an environmental story, which can often be a complex topic.

The United States is proud to support this film “Building a Green Future in Sumatra.”  It was produced by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Sustainable Landscapes Partnership program.

Today, we will see a short clip of the film but you can watch the full version on Bumi Hijau TV network this week. I encourage you all to tune in to see the full movie.

This film will tell you the story of North Sumatra’s rich and beautiful natural heritage, which I have had the pleasure of experiencing first hand.

The film discusses the benefits this heritage brings to local communities, government, and even the private industries and companies operating in these areas.

The film also highlights the threats facing North Sumatra’s forests, rivers, and the unique biodiversity housed within them.

We hope this film challenges viewers to reconsider how business as usual is resulting in the destruction of unique ecosystems, and spark conversations on how to solve these challenges.

I understand there are several journalism university students in the audience.

I hope that the panel discussion helps to demonstrate why environmental issues are important, why it is important to manage these resources sustainably,  and gives you some ideas on opportunities to promote these topics through the media.

By working together, we can ensure that this generation and those in the future will be able to continue to benefit from incomparable Indonesia’s natural resources and live in a cleaner and healthier environment.

Thank you.


As prepared.