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President Jokowi urges global action on climate change at 2023 Environmental Festival

President Jokowi warns of global climate change threats at the 2023 Environmental Festival, highlighting food crises and rising prices, while urging environmental rehabilitation efforts.

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INDONESIA – Indonesian President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, has called for worldwide vigilance in the face of climate change threats during the 2023 Environmental, Climate, Forestry, and Renewable Energy Festival (LIKE).

The event, organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, took place at the Indonesia Arena in the GBK Area of Central Jakarta.

In his address on Monday (18 Sep), President Jokowi highlighted the tangible and widespread impact of climate change, not limited to Indonesia but affecting nations globally.

He emphasized the escalating global temperatures, hotter weather patterns, and widespread droughts. These changes have led to a food crisis, with 19 countries halting their rice and wheat exports, resulting in food shortages.

“As a consequence of this scorching weather, we’re witnessing a food crisis.”

“Several countries are facing food shortages, including wheat and rice, commodities they usually export. Nineteen countries have now stopped or slowed down their rice exports,” President Jokowi cautioned.

Furthermore, President Jokowi pointed out that the food crisis has caused rice prices to surge in many countries, including Indonesia.

He urged caution regarding this development, acknowledging the potential hardships it could bring to ordinary citizens.

According to data from the National Strategic Food Price Information Center (PIHPS) of the Bank of Indonesia released on Monday (18 Sep) afternoon, the price of medium-grade rice varies across domestic markets.

South Kalimantan has the highest price at Rp17,000 (approximately US$1.1) per kilogram, followed by West Sumatra at Rp15,750 per kilogram, DKI Jakarta at Rp15,200 per kilogram, and North Maluku, West Kalimantan, and Riau each at Rp15,050 per kilogram.

To counter the rising rice prices, President Jokowi had previously instructed the Logistics Agency (Bulog) and the National Food Agency (Bapanas) to conduct massive market operations.

Additionally, the government plans to distribute 10 kilograms of rice as social food assistance to 21.3 million recipient families over three months, starting from October to November.

Illustration. Dry land (Photo: AsiaToday.id)

From forest rehabilitation to coastal protection

President Jokowi’s concerns extended beyond climate change to environmental degradation.

He called for a renewed focus on forest rehabilitation, emphasizing the importance of protecting tropical rainforests and mangrove ecosystems.

“Be cautious about environmental damage, whether it’s in our surroundings, our forests, or mangrove areas. I entrust environmental activists, traditional leaders, and educators to intensify forest rehabilitation efforts. The government, along with the community, will start planting trees when the rainy season arrives. Are you in agreement?” President Jokowi asked.

He also highlighted the melting ice caps in the polar regions and rising sea levels, which have already impacted small islands. In the Pacific Islands, many small islands have disappeared due to rising sea levels. In response, he called for mangrove planting along the coastlines.

Furthermore, President Jokowi emphasized that environmental degradation has brought suffering to communities, citing landslides and floods. To address these issues, the government is establishing a nursery in Rumpin, Bogor, to prevent landslides.

“It’s important to be cautious about environmental damage because it causes suffering. Landslides. That’s why we’re creating the Rumpin nursery in Bogor because landslides frequently occur in West Java. Floods. ”

“We see floods in Libya right now, with 11,000 people dead and 10,000 still missing. Floods, be cautious. Climate change haunts every nation,” President Jokowi concluded.

Additionally, Cabinet Secretary Pratikno stressed the need for businesses to join in environmental conservation efforts to improve the well-being of society.

He viewed the LIKE Festival as an opportunity to encourage companies and industries to play a role in sustainable environmental practices and inclusive growth.

Pratikno also applauded the LIKE Festival as a collective effort to address environmental challenges, especially as Indonesia prepares to showcase its real actions in addressing climate change at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Dubai.

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