More than 40 members of the Indonesian justice sector and law enforcement agencies gathered together for the opening of a three-day Integrated Justice Sector Workshop on Managing Cases to Protect Indonesian Biodiversity at the Shangri-La Hotel on January 12, 2015. The conference is co-hosted by the Indonesian Supreme Court and the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake said in his opening remarks “Combatting forestry and wildlife crimes requires collaborative action and cooperation within thegovernment, as well as among non-governmental organizations, civil society, local communities, lawyers, and the private sector. Investigators, prosecutors, and judgeseach have a particularly critical role to play as guardians of justice — to safeguard a justice sector that is fair, transparent and accountable, and that protects Indonesia’s rich biodiversity.”
This workshop will focus on upholding Indonesian laws and regulations to more effectively protect forest resources, and the justice sector’s role in protecting Indonesia’s forests, wildlife, and citizens who depend on the diversity of the forests for their livelihoods. To date, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has invested 232 million USD in more than 40 countries including 32 million USD here in Indonesia, to conserve and better manage forests.
“As part of our reforms, the Supreme Court has already implemented competency and capacity-building programs for judges managing biodiversity cases, as set out in the Decree of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court No. 134/KMA/SK/IX/2011, on Certification of Environmental Judges. To date, the Supreme Court has certified 117 judges through a specialized training program on environmental cases at the first instance and appellate levels of the general and administrative courts,” stated Chief Justice, Muhammad Hatta Ali.
This workshop is just one of the U.S. Government’s Justice Sector initiatives in Indonesia, which demonstrate the breadth of engagement under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.