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Bali to Host U.N. Climate Change Conference

Environment Minister: Bali United Nation's Conference on Global Climate Change Can Determine the Fate of the World.

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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has enthusiastically welcomed the selection of Bali as the venue for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change set to be held in December 2007.

Expected to be attended by 189 countries, the Bali conference will be officially opened by President Yudhoyono.

Commenting on the conference and quoted in the Indonesia-language Bali Post, Indonesia's Minister of the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said: "That Indonesia has been chosen to host (this conference) is very special and represents a special mandate for us. Indeed, the latest scientific evidence over the past year shows the world situation to be in a critical state that needs to be discussed globally."

The Minister went on to explain that Indonesia is currently suffering a number of environmental problems affecting every level of society. The Minister cited problem of smoke, landslides and floods affecting the Country and the region which his Department is asked to address.

The Environment Minister said the conference will discuss steps to halt the destruction of the natural environment, depicting the Bali meeting in December 2007 of having the potential of "determining the fate of the world."

Commenting separately, Indonesia's Minister of Forestry, M.S. Ka'Ban said climate change was a direct result of the degradation of the forests and jungle areas with Indonesia's remaining 120.3 million hectares of jungle all that remains following deforestation affecting 59 million hectares.

According to the Minister of Forestry, ongoing efforts by the Government programs dating from 2003 have successfully reforested some 4 million hectares of forest lands.

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