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EU Ambassador visits Papua Province

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Mr Vincent Guérend (KalderaNews/Ist)
JAYAPURA, KalderaNews.com - The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Mr Vincent Guérend, is on a four-day visit to the province of Papua, including to the provincial capital Jayapura as well as Wamena. The visit aims at obtaining first-hand impressions and information on recent developments in the province, including on key issues such as economic development, forthcoming local elections, good governance, human rights and environmental protection. This is the second visit of Ambassador Guérend to Papua since taking up his duty in Indonesia in September 2015.

The EU Ambassador will meet with a wide range of stakeholders in local government, parliament, religious leaders and civil society, including acting Governor Soedarmo, Police Chief Boy Rafli Amar, Deputy Speaker Fernando Tinal, as well as the local government in Wamena.

“The EU enjoys excellent relations with Indonesia. We cooperate in a wide range of areas, such as trade, climate change, good governance, democracy and human rights. Many of the EU's development cooperation programmes in Indonesia directly benefit the province of Papua and its people, for instance in the areas of health, education, supporting climate change mitigation efforts and sustainable economic development,” said EU Ambassador Guérend.

In addition to discussions with local government, EU Ambassador Guérend will consult civil society, particularly in the areas of environment and climate change – about the need for future support to capacity building and advocacy. The EU is planning to launch a call for proposals later this year to support civil society in Indonesia, particularly targeting disadvantaged regions. The EU is also exploring the protection of the Sulu Sulawesi Coral Triangle and helping small scale palm oil producers to produce more sustainably.

EU Ambassador Guérend will visit ongoing and previous EU-funded project in Papua in the areas of education, health and forestry.

A € 2.5 million contribution to the ParCiMon (Participatory Monitoring by Civil Society of Land-Use Planning for Low-Emissions Development Strategy) Programme contributed to green economy-based development in Papua. This project was implemented by World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in three districts (Jayapura, Merauke and Jayawijaya districts), addressing both capacity building of local community on the sustainable use of natural resources and access to environmental services while ensuring buy-in by local communities into Government development plans to which the communities directly contributed.

The EU Ambassador plans to visit a hospital in Wamena to become more familiar with efforts by the Government to deliver "AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria" quality health services to the population.The European Union and its Member States are a main contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) providing 44% of the resources allocated to Indonesia. Ambassador Guérend will enquire about efforts of the provincial and district's health programmes to effectively deliver health services.

EU Ambassador Guérend will visit the Santo Stevanus Wouma Elementary School, a good example of the success of EU-funded education programmes. The Minimum Service Standards Capacity Development Partnerships (MSS CDP), with a total EU contribution of EUR 37.30 million supported 108 districts throughout Indonesia, including 8 districts in Papua and 7 districts in West Papua. This programme aims to attain the basic education Minimum Service Standards (MSS) at schools and districts level. It provided training and capacity building to teachers, headmasters, school supervisor, education district officials and parliament members, to develop their plans to achieve MSS. Each participating district received an allocation of EUR 200,000 grant to conduct MSS socialisation, training and capacity building to education stakeholders.

The Ambassador will meet participants of a training conducted in Jayapura this week by the joint EU-UNDP funded SUSTAIN Project which among other activities aims at enhancing integrity, transparency and accountability of judicial services and also provides training to judges tasked with considering criminal and civil cases of environment crimes. The programme gathers judges, prosecutors, Environment Ministry officials and civil society organisations to focus on civil cases and how to enhance the results of civil cases brought against polluters to force them to pay adequate compensation for the major damages – sometimes irreversible – they inflict to Papua unique forestry and water resources. (JS)

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