Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was awarded the Champion of the Earth honor on policy leadership by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) recently.

This was revealed in a press release from the Indonesian Embassy in Washington received here on Saturday.

The award was presented to him on November 19 in Washington DC at a ceremony that was attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Yudhoyono did not attend the ceremony but was represented by his eldest son, Major Agus Yudhoyono.

In a video screened during the awarding ceremony, he apologized for his absence, stating that he was leading a meeting of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul, South Korea, which was his duty as the president and council chair of the GGGI Assembly.

Yudhoyono stated that during his tenure as the Indonesian president, he had implemented pro-environment policies, along with others that were pro-growth, pro-poor and pro-jobs.

Among concrete actions on environment protection that were implemented during his term were the moratorium imposed on the issuance of new permits for forest exploitation and the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent.

Yudhoyono also emphasized on the importance of international cooperation to face global environmental challenges such as climate change.

The UNEP believed that Yudhoyono, during his term as the Indonesian president from 2004 to 2009 and from 2009 to 2014, was successful in promoting sustainable economic developmental, emphasizing on the preservation of the environment. He was also the first leader from a developing country who voluntarily voiced his commitment to reduce gas emissions in Indonesia.

A similar award was also presented to the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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