Indonesia, Sweden to focus on four research collaborations

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Sweden will highlight four research collaborations following a visit by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) here, Monday.

"The two countries will hold collaborations, including in peatlands managements, social and business projects, and information and technology applications in the forestry sector," a CIFOR scientist Herry Purnomo said on the sidelines of the kings visit to CIFOR office in West Java Provinces Bogor City.

Purnomo stated Indonesia and Sweden will collaborate on research projects in the environmental sector.

"The King of Sweden is known to be a staunch environmentalist," Purnomo remarked, while adding that future collaborations would be focused on preserving Indonesian peatlands areas.

As a tropical country, Indonesia has several hectares of rainforests and peatlands. However, years earlier, the government struggled to fight against the haze from peat fires, which was caused by illegal logging and plantation activities in Kalimantan and Sumatra Islands.

"Peat fires give out a massive amount of emission because the areas are functioned to store carbon," he noted.

Beside peatlands management, the two countries will work together on improving the social forestry sector.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, earlier, committed to improving peoples well-being by devoting some 12.7 million hectares land for a social forestry project and 9 million hectares land for a land reform program.

During the event, Purnomo added the two countries would work together to improve a sustainable timber industry.

"Our question is how the Sweden household retailer IKEA can use Indonesian timber in its manufacturing process, because today the company still prefers to use Vietnamese wood," Purnomo stated.

The Indonesian government, according to Purnomo, needs to provide an international standardization and certification to the countrys timber sector, so the products can be used by international company such as IKEA.

"However, the most important step is how to transform these collaborations into concrete projects," he reiterated.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited CIFOR at 2.45 p.m. local time and had a closed-door meeting with the agencys chairman, Peter Holmgren.

Following the meeting, the Swedish King planted an ironwood tree (Eusideroxilon swageri) at the offices side backyard.

The king also attended an international seminar on sustainable forest and natural resources, which was attended by hundreds of participants, including researchers, academicians, businessmen and civil servants.(*)

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