Visit to Asia

Vocational training and palm oil production – Minister Müller starts visit to Indonesia

Federal Minister Gerd Müller and Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister for Planning in Indonesia, at the sigining of the agreement on a new vocational training programme in Jakarta, Indonesia

Press release of 12.05.2017 |

JAKARTA – At the start of his visit to Indonesia, German development minister Gerd Müller has launched a new vocational training programme. Over the next three years, up to 10,000 young people are to be given the opportunity to complete a dual vocational training programme that is based on the German model. German and Indonesian experts are planning to involve more than 1,000 small and medium-sized companies in the programme. Müller signed an agreement on the programme with the Indonesian Minister of Planning.

Moreover, Minister Müller will launch a palm oil initiative. For the first time, a sustainable procurement region will be established in West Kalamantan Province in Borneo. Smallholder will receive training on farming practices that help to preserve the forests and learn how to process their products locally. This will create added value and secure farmer’s incomes. Indonesia is the world's largest palm oil producer. Two thirds of all plantations are on former forest areas.

Commenting on this phenomenon, Minister Müller said: "It is simply unacceptable that the growing palm oil demand in our industrialised countries for biofuels, food products or cosmetics destroys the livelihoods and the unique natural environment and biodiversity in that region. The damages this causes do not only deprive millions of people of their source of livelihood but also impact the world’s climate. That is why Germany is helping to establish deforestation-free supply chains. We need to include effective sustainability standards for palm oil cultivation into the EU free trade agreement with Indonesia. We can provide incentives through tariff advantages for certified palm oil. In Germany, we must increase the share of certified palm oil from 50 to 100 per cent at an even faster pace."

Every year, an estimated 1.6 million hectares of forest are destroyed for palm oil cultivation in Indonesia. Widespread slash-and-burn farming have made Indonesia one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters in the last two years.

Germany not only supports Indonesia in the field of environmental and biodiversity protection but also in using renewable energies. Without Indonesia switching from its largely coal-based energy supply to renewable energies, achieving the internationally agreed climate targets will be impossible.

Minister Müller said, "Indonesia is of key importance for solving global challenges. Germany supports the people in Indonesia in making their energy supply and economic growth sustainable. If this does not happen, climate change will be unstoppable and cause floods, droughts and hunger around the world."

Germany has been engaged in development cooperation with Indonesia for almost 60 years. During that period, the island state with its more than 250 million inhabitants has developed into an emerging economy and is today a member of the G20. There are significant disparities in development between regions. A little more than 8 per cent of the population live on just under two US dollars a day. More than a third of children under five are stunted by malnutrition. 

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