Siak, Vice President (VP) Jusuf Kalla asked all elements of society to improve and conserve the environment as it is not just for today but for the future generations to come.

“Cities that get Adipura Cleanliness Awards must continue to maintain the environment. Environmental preservation should be done coinciding with economic development,” said the Vice President while attending the event highlighting the World Environment Day 2016, at the Palace of Siak Sri Indrapura, Siak District, Riau Province, on Friday (July, 22).

According to the Vice President, heads of region should make policies that can create a harmony between environmental preservation and economic growth. He also reminded that Indonesia should learn from the mistakes of the past, when a country rich in natural resources experienced disasters due to environmental mismanagement.
“Do not repeat the mistakes of the past due to the greed of people and employers, resulting in drought and fire!” he firmed.

The Vice President then emphasized that if we maintain the plants, animals, and environment well, then life will be good.

The Vice President hoped, the World Environment Day that is for the first time held outside the Presidential Palace would become an evaluation for all elements of the community about what should and should not be done in maintaining the environment.

Earlier, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya in her report to the Vice President said that it is very important to foster morale and inspiration for all the people regarding environment and forestry. To that end, she continued, the government gave appreciation to individuals and community groups who demonstrate pioneering and made their contribution to the environmental maintenance.

In the event, the Vice President had the opportunity to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of Environmental Education by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Minister of Education, represented by the Advisor to the Minister, and the Minister of Religious Affairs, represented by an echelon I official of the ministry.

The Vice President also handed over Kalpataru Awards to 10 winners, Nirwasita Tantra Awards to 8 winners, Adipura Awards to 99 cities and regencies, and Adiwiyata Mandiri Awards to 23 schools. The award is an appreciation to the eco-warriors, regional leaders who succeeded in environmental management in their regions, and as schools/teachers who care about the environment.

On the occasion, Vice President Jusuf Kalla also signed a postage stamp cover of the Environment Day 2016 and an inscription inaugurating Zamrud National Park which is the 52nd national park in Indonesia and has an area of 31 480 hectares. The Vice President also had the opportunity to release (restock) 60,000 fingerlings of patin fish (catfish) in the Siak River and to plant a Mentega tree at the palace of Siak Sri Indrapura.

Vice President who was during the event wearing the traditional cap Tanjak and typical Siak sarong were accompanied by the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara, and Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education M. Nasir.