"This first-ever conference involving soldiers in the handling of environmental security is very important for Indonesia," Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said here on Monday.
Also present at the conference are former RI's Environment Minister, and Minister of Defence, Juwono Sudarsono, US deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Josh Cartin, and United States Pacific Command Brigadier General Kevin O`Connell.
Balthasar added that conference attendees include the United States, China, Australia, Timor Leste, and all ASEAN member states except Brunei Darussalam.
The environment minister noted that his ministry had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Defense Forces (TNI) Headquarters in June 2010 to speed up the implementation of sustainable development in environmental protection and management.
He added that a variety of activities had been conducted as part of the actions called for by the MoU.
"We want to hold a similar conference again, as we hope the participants will get involved in the monitoring and protection of our forests and environment," Balthasar said.