Plant Our Planet in City Forest of Pondok Rajeg, Bogor

The diplomatic cooperation between Korea and Indonesia has been a long story, encompassing various fields of cooperation, including climate and forestry. As we are aware, climate issues have become a global concern. To address this, a campaign named “Plant Our Planet” or known as “POP” was held. The POP campaign focused on forestry and took place on Thursday, 15 June 2023, at the city forest of Pondok Rajeg Bogor, West Java. The event was hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Indonesia and sponsored by the Korindo Foundation, Korea-Indonesia Forest Cooperation Center (KIFC), and the Regional Government of Bogor Regency. The objective of the event was to strengthen cooperation between both countries in addressing climate change and, at the same time, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Korea-Indonesia diplomatic relationship.

The POP campaign involved planting trees virtually in the metaverse (meta-universe), which was then implemented in reality. As of 11 June, a total of 650,000 Indonesian people had participated in this campaign. This event was the second actual event, following a previous one held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Indonesia was chosen as the location due to its biodiversity in forestry, with one of the largest mangrove and peatland forests in the world. The selected location in the forest city of Pondok Rajeg is also significant as it has been transformed from a landfill into a city forest, aimed at land revitalization and greening efforts.

Several VIPs attended the insightful event in Pondok Rajeg, including Mr. Lee Sang Deok, the Korean Ambassador to Indonesia; Mr. Seung Eun Ho, Chairman of Korindo; Ms. Dyah Murtiningsih, Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry; Mr. Tri Tharyat, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Nani Hendiarti, Deputy of Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, along with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, and the head of planning of UNICEF Indonesia. This event was also enlivened by elementary school students and the “Sahabat Korea” social media community for the Korean Embassy. In total, approximately 300 people attended this event.

The event was inaugurated by Mr. Lee Sang Deok, the Korean Ambassador to Indonesia. In his remarks, he emphasized that efforts to restore the landfill into a forest can serve as a great example for restoring other environments around us. By nurturing the newly planted trees, it is hoped that the relationship between Korea and Indonesia can advance further over the next 50 years.

Indonesia plays a crucial role as a partner in addressing climate change due to its vast forest ecosystems. The Korean side will collaborate with the Indonesian government and Korean institutions to strengthen bilateral cooperation on climate change. KIFC is one such institution actively participating through various forestry cooperation projects in Indonesia, including peatland restoration, ecotourism, and other sustainable forest management efforts. These green initiatives can be replicated and expanded for even greater impact.

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