Indo-Pacific relationships on show at the World Water Forum

The Australian and Indonesian governments reaffirmed their commitment to protecting precious water resources at the 2024 World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia.

The Australian and Indonesian governments reaffirmed their commitment to protecting precious water resources at the 2024 World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia.

Both governments announced an ambitious plan for water resource projects under a Memorandum of Understanding on sustainable water resources management, signed by Minister Plibersek and Minister Suharso Monoarfa in 2023.

The renewed agreement builds upon years of collaboration under the previous MoU involving numerous projects that shared water management learnings and best practice approaches in Indonesia and Australia.

This next phase of cooperation will prioritise key areas of lake management and the development of water sensitive cities.

Both nations are taking steps to adopt water-sensitive urban design principles and prepare their cities for coping with extreme water events.

The agreed work plan includes projects such as CSIRO’s AquaWatch pilot project in Lake Tempe, the largest lake system on the island of Sulawesi.

This project will leverage cutting-edge technology to enhance our understanding of the lake’s health and develop effective management strategies.

The Australian Government committed $83 million on World Water Day last year to expand this ‘weather service for water quality’ across Australia and with partners worldwide.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Patrick Gorman represented the Prime Minister at the Forum, joining from the Republic of Indonesia, President Ir. H. Joko Widodo and Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Dr. M. Basuki Hadimuljono, of the Republic of Indonesia in celebrating the ongoing cooperation between both countries.

Held from 18 to 25 May, the Forum enabled countries to share expertise, challenges, and opportunities in water resource management in a changing climate and improve relationships to better tackle mutual issues.

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Quotes attributable to Dr. M. Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing of the Republic of Indonesia:

“The governments of Indonesia and Australia are confident that this renewed partnership on water resources will lead to significant advancements in managing this vital resource.

This joint work plan is a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.

Through open dialogue, shared expertise, and a commitment to sustainable development, we remain confident in our ability to address the water challenges of the future.

Lakes are vital in sustaining ecosystems, livelihoods, and community well-being.

Recognising this importance, lake management is central to our agreed forward work plan.

This focus aligns perfectly with the upcoming celebration of World Lake Day, as endorsed in the Ministerial Declaration of the 10th World Water Forum.

By working together to address the challenges faced by Indonesian lakes, such as Lake Tempe, we aim to contribute towards a more sustainable future for freshwater resources globally.

As both countries’ populations continue to grow and urbanise, water management within rapidly expanding cities becomes increasingly critical.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“We welcome the long-standing cooperation and collaboration with Indonesia in water resources management under the Australia-Indonesia Water Memorandum of Understanding.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. We know first-hand how climate change impacts water availability and how hard it is to adapt to an increasingly variable climate.

I thank the Indonesian Government for their ongoing and collaborative conversations. Together, we can be world leaders in protecting water resources, at home and globally.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman:

“When we were elected, our government set clear goals about how we would work with our friends and allies to protect our environment.

Nowhere is this relationship more crucial than with our neighbours across the Indo-Pacific.

Working together for these international agreements does both our countries a great service while also keeping the door open for ongoing discussion.

I thank President Widodo for being an excellent host, and I am encouraged after hearing and seeing the work Australia and Indonesia are progressing together in lake management, designing water sensitive cities, and using state of the art Australian technology to measure lake water quality.”

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