Indonesia-Japan Agree to cooperate in Citarum river conservation

Indonesia-Japan Agree to cooperate in Citarum river conservation

Citarum River (ANTARA FOTO/Raisan Al Farisi)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Governments of Indonesia and Japan have agreed to cooperate in the conservation of the Citarum river in West Java to improve quality of the water of the river.

The largest river in West Java has been rate the most polluted river in the world.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment Arata Takebe here on Tuesday.

A joint press statement issued by the Japanese embassy here on Wednesday said the cooperation agreement would be followed up with a series of activities including Partnership in Water Environment in Asia for waste treatment, transfer of technology to support introduction and dissemination of appropriate technology for industrial waste processing.

In addition, intercity cooperation is created to improve administration capacity in water quality management such as legal compliance and to increase activities joint committee among regional administrations in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government said it appreciated cooperation in the mercury treatment with Japan and agree to strengthen the capacity in mercury research and observation, early implementation of the project of mercury waste management and to promote follow up activities in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) training.

Indonesia and Japan also agree to collaborate in reducing sea plastic waste ahead of the meetings of ASEAN+3 and G20.

In addition, the two sides have expressed satisfaction with the promotion of regional cooperation in research and observation of mercury in Asia Pacific.

Both sides exchanges information and agreed to push for collaboration in the management of media waste and acknowledged the importance of acceleration installation of technology to process waste into energy.

Technical guidelines of waste processing into energy would be developed this year.

"Indonesia and Japan are aware that proper processing of waste including waste processing into energy would contribute to improving the quality of the Citarum river water," the joint statement said.

Japan agrees to share information and exchange views in the bilateral workshop in the 17th World Lake Conference.

The two sides also discuss possible cooperation related to utilization of National Park and the Indonesian joining the Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP).

The next policy dialog would be held held in Japan next year.

The Citarum river, the longest and largest in West Java, has been rated the most polluted river the world. Over the years, successive governments have vowed to clean the Citarum river, but they mainly failed because such efforts were only partially done.

However, in February, after visiting the location, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) issued a seven-year Citarum cleansing program with a final goal of making the river water drinkable by 2025.

The program will also be supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), which in 2009 had already committed to provide $500 million to fund the Citarum?s rehabilitation.

The Indonesian army is involved in carrying out the program to clear garbage and to grow trees in the critical lands in the riversides. The riverside areas have been heavily affected by the rapid industrialization in the region since the 1980s.

Reporting by Yashinta Difa
Editing by A Saragih, Otniel T