Forests Asia 2014 – Stig Traavik, Day 2 Closing Plenary

Watch Stig Traavik, Ambassador to Indonesia, Royal Norwegian Embassy, speak on the second day of the Forests Asia Summit 2014.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014.

Forests Asia Summit, 5-6 May 2014, Jakarta, #ForestsAsia

Stig Traavik’s speech:

I think the most important thing that comes from, in a way, the title of the conference – looking at the landscapes, I think you’ve really done extremely well in drawing people together. So to de-silo a bit the discussion, because I think there tends to be silo discussions. So I think that we’ve had very good messages of hope on the global level, from the Peruvian minister. I think we need that. I think President SBY pointed to the importance of regional cooperation. I think we’ve pointed out the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation in government, and the triangle of course of government, civil society, and the private sector. I think you’ve done extremely well in that.

And yes, we are committed to stay the course. I think on finance, the best guarantee for success is to demonstrate that we are succeeding here. And I think Pak Heru and his team, they are in the process of proving that. We can and will produce success stories.

I think, in a way there is a bad and a good side to where we are at. This being a year of transition, also in Indonesia. In one sense you could say it’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to do even more, even though yes we had a commitment. The good thing is, of course, that 95% of the funding is available to the incoming government. So I’m pretty certain that we will be able to work as well with the incoming government as was done with the sitting government.

I think another important thing here – I mean, you need hope and boldness. You need finance. You need technology and entrepreneurship. We also need knowledge, and I think that’s where CIFOR has something very important.

Let me just share one little story with you about how wrong it can go. If you have both hope, boldness, finance, technology, entrepreneurship, but not knowledge. The vikings were very good at inventing things. They invented the best boats of their age. They had the finance to travel far. They had the boldness, they had the entrepreneurship, to set up farms. So they went all the way to Greenland. What they didn’t realize was that they didn’t have the knowledge about the landscapes of Greenland.

So they expanded, they expanded, and then suddenly somebody cut down the last tree. From there it went very quickly downhill. So the – we expanded there for 300 years, and then it took fifty years before you had to leave the place because of lack of knowledge. So I hope that that is something that you are providing us with here, to let us make sure that we are not going to be those vikings.

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