The United States government and the Indonesian government agreed to provide funds of 12 million dollars mainly aimed for tiger and rhino protection program and their habitat preservation. The funds are derived from the agreement under debt for nature swap between Indonesian government and the United States government. A number of funds that should be returned to the American government as part of debt payment is added to the special account of Tropical Forest Conservation Action Sumatera program (TFCA-Sumatera) which is currently underway in Sumatra with the same funding scheme.
At the launch event held at @america (1/10), Kristen Bauer, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States stated that the Government of Indonesia and the United States are equally concerned with the protection of endangered species in Indonesia, especially rhinos and tigers. “The reason why we focus on tiger because the tiger is suffering from unplanned strategy development program and illegal trade. Illegal trade not only affects the extinction of various species of animals but threaten border security, economic development and public health “says Kristen Bauer.
On this occasion, Raffles B. Panjaitan representing the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry said that the Indonesian government has been running a series of responses to the protection of Sumatran tigers. A total of 5 projects with various donors including the ASEAN countries and the United States has run a good conservation of tigers and their habitats through conservation in situ and ex situ.
The additional funds for species conservation in Sumatra will be channeled as grants to local NGOs. This agreement allows the two countries to work together to protect, including law enforcement for crimes against key species like tiger, rhino, orangutan and elephant through interventions at policy level, landscape level and community socio-economic level. Moreover, as already stated in the policies and procedures of grant disbursement of TFCA-Sumatera, the focus of activities give new impetus to cooperation between communities, NGOs, governments and the private sector in forest management and biodiversity.
Signing wildlife conservation commitment of 12 million dollars is part of a package of three cooperation agreements signed in the office of the Ministry of Forestry on 29 September 2014, namely: (1) Forest Conservation Agreement (FCA) between the three parties, that is the Ministry of Forestry, represented by Sekditjen PHKA Novianto Bambang Wawandono, and other two swap partners that is Conservation International foundation, represented by Vice President Ketut Sarjana Putra and KEHATI -the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation represented by MS Sembiring as Executive Director. (2) Debt-for-Nature Swap Agreement (DSA) is signed by the two parties, namely the Ministry of Finance, represented by the Debt Management Office, Robert Pakpahan and the United States Government, represented by Ambassador Robert Blake. (3) Swap Fee Agreement, signed by representatives from Conservation International Foundation Ketut Sarjana Putra and representatives of the Government of the United States, Ambassador Robert Blake.