Amid the crisis, the U.S. has a plan to write off some of its receivable in Indonesia. It plans to wipe USD 40.8 million of Indonesia’s debts. At the same time, it request for Indonesia to strengthen its conservation efforts.
Indonesia and the U.S. government have just signed an agreement regarding Debt for Nature Swap with The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC last Thursday at Ministry of Economy department, Jakarta. Debt for Nature Swap is an agreement to write off some of a country’s debts in exchange of managing forest conservation areas.
Indonesia was represented by General Secretary of Forestry Protection and Ministry of Forestry Conservational Efforts, Hartono. There was also The Director of Debts and Portfolio of National Finance Department, Ayu Sukorini. The U.S. was represented by Deputy Chief Ambassador James Caruso.
Debt for Nature Swap enables countries with tropical forests to fund their conservational activities as an effort to protect their biological varieties. This pact is regulated in the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA). Inside the policy, the U.S. government will relocate debts of countries with tropical forests for conservation purposes.
According to Indonesia WWF CEO, Efransjah, this pact is a great step towards nature conservation in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Director of WWF Conservation, Nazir Fuad, stated that TNC programs have been launched twice. First was in mid July 2009 continued in September 2011 in Borneo, Kalimantan.
Regarding debt swap for nature purposes, in 2009 the U.S. has written off USD 20 million of Indonesia’s debts. This year only it has written off USD 28.5 million and the number has reached USD 40.8 million in total.
This program needs help from many parties mainly the society. It should take active roles as executors. Government will then help them by appointing an administrator. James Caruso thinks that this program is an example of goodwill of the U.S. government also a symbol of good cooperation for both countries. Thus, it needs to be wholeheartedly supported. “The U.S. government is very proud of this agreement and we really appreciate the trsong commitment from Indonesia,” he said.