"I see how Freeport is making unprecedented and much needed contributions to Papua, not only in terms of economic development and employing more than 30,000 people, but also to the local communities and local institutions," Blake said during his visit to Freeports facilities on Friday (June 13).
Blake planted trees at Freeports environmental reclamation area and observed how the company is re-vegetating the mine area and studying the agricultural potential of the area.
"Last year, the company invested over $100 million in support of Papuan education, malaria, HIV and other health programs, training, and entrepreneurship programs that have helped to create 120 Papuan owned and operated businesses," he noted.
The Ambassador then traveled up-river to survey a mangrove environmental management project supported by USAID.
USAID is working with local partners in Mimika to preserve 250,000 hectares of mangrove forest and wetlands and to collaborate on a sustainable management program that creates a triple-win for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Upon the conclusion of the mangrove visit, Ambassador Blake spoke with members of the local media about cooperation on development issues between the US government and local government, as well as civil society organizations in Papua.