Jakarta. Indonesia and Denmark have further strengthened government-to-government cooperation, this time with a specific focus on water and waste management to meet the archipelago's target of a 70-percent reduction in marine waste by 2025.
Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya and Denmark's Development Cooperation Minister Ulla Tørnæs witnessed the signing of an agreement with the Jakarta provincial administration on Tuesday (02/05), affirming Danish support for the Jakarta Waste Management Master Plan.
"In the 21st century, waste is too valuable a resource to simply discard. My hope is that our new partnership will help transform the perception of waste from a problem to a resource," Tørnæs said.
The cooperation will take the form of a transfer of both technology and expertise in water and waste management, facilitating partnerships between Indonesian and Danish authorities, as well as the private sector.
Siti and Tørnæs also signed a letter of intent on future cooperation on waste and water management.
In a press statement, Tørnæs said Denmark has been able to recycle up to 70 percent of its waste and incinerate almost all non-recyclable waste.
"Indonesia is still facing significant challenges in managing waste and water sustainability; this has negative effects on public health, the fishing industry and the economy," Tørnæs said.
She added that she hopes Denmark's proven public and private solutions can assist Indonesia to achieve its waste and water management goals.
Siti pointed out that managing water and waste sustainably has proven to be a challenge in Jakarta because of its dense population.
She said her ministry's initiatives have been focused on developments that will "shift the community's behavior to treat rivers in a sustainable manner, instead of treating it as garbage and waste disposal banks."
Despite Indonesia's pledge on the environment, which includes reducing the amount of plastic waste reaching the ocean, and the national ambition to achieve a trash-free country, it still has a way to go before achieving these goals.
Indonesia scored 52.19 in 2014 on the Water Quality Index, where a higher number is indicative of better water quality. The number deteriorated slightly to 50.2 in 2016, which Siti said was "far from good."
This Indonesian-Danish cooperation is the latest chapter in a decade-old partnership on the environment, which the two governments have built particularly on development cooperation.
Tørnæs arrived in Indonesia on Saturday for a four-day visit. She also launched a wind map and an energy study on Tuesday, aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy in the archipelago.