Al Gore and WWF unite to promote business solutions for forest conservation in the Heart of Borneo



Posted on 09 January 2011
Al Gore delivers a keynote address in Jakarta and shares his vision of the role of forests in a sustainable future. 9 Jan 2011, Jakarta.
© WWF Indoneisa / Saipul SiagianEnlarge
Jakarta, Indonesia - More than 600 hundred Indonesian government and business leaders joined former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore and WWF Indonesia’s CEO, Dr. Efransjah at a gala dinner to celebrate the United Nation’s International Year of the Forest and to discuss the role of business in finding forest solutions to the challenge of climate change.

Co-hosted by the Republic of Indonesia’s House of Regional Representatives (DPD), WWF-Indonesia and Global Initiatives (GI), the dinner was part of the 2011 Business for Environment (B4E) Forest Dialogue - the forerunner to the world’s leading international conference for business-driven action for the environment -the B4E Global Summit, organised by GI and scheduled for 27 - 29 April, 2011, in Jakarta.

As one of the world’s most influential voices on the environment and climate change, Mr. Gore delivered an exclusive keynote address sharing his vision for the role of forests in a sustainable future.

“The beginning of the U.N. International Year of the Forests is the perfect time to have the impressive collaboration that this dinner and forthcoming B4E gathering between the business community, government leaders and NGOs represents,” he said.

He went to outline the huge advantage for Indonesia to become the regional leader in the pursuit of a green economy in partnership with business.

“This may not be the easy choice today, but history will show that it is the right choice, morally, economically and environmentally,” he said.

Heart of Borneo - Green Business Network

WWF marked the event by launching a new initiative called the Heart of Borneo - Green Business Network (HoB-GBN). This network aims to get business engaged in delivering the Heart of Borneo Declaration, made by the governments of Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia in 2007, to conserve and sustainably manage the 22 million hectare of trans-boundary forests called Heart of Borneo.

WWF’s CEO, Dr Efransjah said: “we know the commitments under the Heart of Borneo Declaration cannot be achieved without the support of the private sector. Tonight, we highlight solutions for involving business in green growth and offer then a range of tools to help them to do that.”
 
Business Solutions in the Heart of Borneo: Report

A report also launched by WWF on the night found that only 54% of businesses in the HoB  had heard of the Tri-lateral government agreement - the ’Heart of Borneo Declaration - but that once they found out more information, many were willing to be involved and felt that business, as well as government, would have an important role to play.

“That’s why we’re launching the Green Business Network, to support business that wants to be part of the solution to climate change and environmental damage, not part of the problem,” said Dr Efransjah.

The report, ‘Business Solutions: Delivering the HoB Declaration’ was prepared for WWF with project assistance by international business consultants, PwC, and focused on engaging with businesses in the HoB. The firm’s global Sustainability and Climate Change team, including environmental specialists from the firm's Indonesia, Malaysia and the UK offices conducted research and analysis with 84 businesses in the region.

Malcolm Preston, global leader of Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC said:


"The report demonstrates that early progress has been made in realising the Heart of Borneo vision. Without business engagement, however, sustainable economic development will be an uphill struggle. This is about working with business to build capacity and include them in a green growth economy, rather than excluding them, so that everyone in the area benefits."

In 2011, the United Nations’ International Year of Forests, mean the eyes of the world will be on Indonesia as one the most forest rich nation on the planet and business will also be under the spotlight for their role in saving the remaining globally significant tropical rainforests. WWF hopes that HoB-GBN initiative helps to ensure that this is not a year of just further discussion of the problems but a real chance to start delivering solutions.

- ENDS -

For more information about the Green Business Network please contact:
Nazir Foead, Corporate Engagement Director – WWF Indonesia.
Tel +62 8119917857. Email: NFoead@wwf.or.id

Katie Stafford – Corporate Engagement Strategy Leader with WWF’s Heart of Borneo Initiative
Tel +62 8111806948. Email: kstafford@wwf.or.id

For general media enquires on the Heart of Borneo Green Business Network:
Christopher Greenwood, Int. Communications Manager, Heart of Borneo Initaitive, WWF
Tel: +60 128281214    E-mail: chris.greenwood@wwf.panda.org

For more information about the Al Gore (B4E) Forest Dialogue and Dinner, please contact:
Devy Suradji, WWF-Indonesia Marketing and Communication Director, dsuradji@wwf.or.id
Tony Gourlay, Global Initiative Chief Executive Officer, tony.gourlay@globalinitiatives.com

Notes to editors


2011 Business for Environment (B4E) Forest Dialogue
Former VP Gore was also joined at the gala dinner, held the Shangri-La Hotel, by speakers: Irman Gusman (Chairman of the Indonesian House of Regional Representatives), El-Mustafa Benlamlih (Resident Coordinator for the United Nations) and Gita Wirjawan (Chairman of the Indonesian National Investment Board-BKPM).

Deforestation and Climate Change
Deforestation is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and the vast forests of Indonesia can play a vital role in the fight against global warming. Indonesia has the opportunity to be a world leader in the pursuit of a low carbon growth economy which both conserves large areas of forest and ensures only sustainable development of remaining forest reserves.  With initiatives such as REDD+, payment for eco-system services (PES) and carbon trading, the global community is increasingly willing to make financial contributions towards a sustainable future for Indonesia’s forests. This Forest Dialogue marks Indonesia’s first steps during the International Year of Forests to further explore these issues.

WWF’s Heart of Borneo Initiative and its Green Business Network
WWF’s Heart of Borneo Initiative was established to support the three governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam in their development of the Heart of Borneo Declaration. The Green Business Network (GBN) and the Business Solutions report were developed with support from international consultancy PWC.

The International Year of Forests 2011
The International Year of Forests 2011 is the United Nations’ global platform to celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.


Global Initiatives
Global Initiatives promotes partnership solutions to global challenges through a portfolio of international events, television programmes and media projects. These initiatives bring together world leaders, CEOs, media and NGOs to advance multi-stakeholder action on some of the greatest challenges facing the world.

WWF- Indonesia
WWF as an international conservation organization in the world with the support of more than 5 million members faces a high challenge in implementing conservation programs and the challenges of encouraging environmentally friendly practices in the corporate world. WWF recognizes that support from all parties, both government, society and especially from companies operating in Indonesia is extremely necessary. So the partnerships with all parties are expected to reduce pressure on natural resources that are already in an alarming condition. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science should be able to bridge the conservation and corporate needs, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Please visit www.wwf.or.id


Al Gore delivers a keynote address in Jakarta and shares his vision of the role of forests in a sustainable future. 9 Jan 2011, Jakarta.
© WWF Indoneisa / Saipul Siagian Enlarge

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