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Forest Service International Programs lauded by Secretary of State

During the recent annual Comprehensive Partnership meeting in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indonesian Foreign Minister Natalegawa applauded recent initiatives supported by the U.S. Forest Service’s International Programs, including forest governance, environmental impact assessment, climate change mitigation, and the sustainable management of forests.

International Programs draws on the expertise of the entire agency to promote sustainable forest management overseas and to bring important technologies and innovations back to the U.S.  Through International Programs, the Forest Service advocates for U.S. interests abroad by engaging with numerous governmental and non-governmental partners to share best practices on a range of conservation issues.

The U.S. Comprehensive Partnership is a long-term commitment between the United States and Indonesia to broaden, deepen and elevate bilateral relations. Officials from both countries consult regularly on issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, climate change and the spread of communicable diseases.

Indonesia suffers an estimated $1 billion in potential losses each year from the release of carbon stored in its tropical forests’ peatlands. Improved land management could lower the peat carbon loss rate. Photo courtesy Indonesian Climate Change Center.

Indonesia suffers an estimated $1 billion in potential losses each year from the release of carbon stored in its tropical forests’ peatlands. Improved land management could lower the peat carbon loss rate. Photo courtesy Indonesian Climate Change Center.

With funding from the Department of State, the Forest Service is working with partners to support the development of the Indonesian Climate Change Center, and the work it is undertaking to map and slow the loss of peatlands, a key cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia.

“The Forest Service and the Indonesian government have a long history of collaboration that has yielded many benefits to both countries,” said Valdis Mezainis, director of International Programs for the Forest Service. “Forest Service work with the Indonesian Climate Change Center has charted this relationship towards a new course with global implications.”

From a U.S. Department of State statement: “During the past year, we have recognized the progress made by the Indonesian Climate Change Center in establishing itself as an effective convening entity that links scientific research to policy on strategic priorities in the climate change area.”

The center blends findings of Indonesia’s scientific community with technical inputs from international experts to address pressing policy priorities and a forum for two-way communication between the scientific community and decision makers. The center also encourages robust science-policy linkages in support of actions to deal with issues of climate change in Indonesia.

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