Jokowi laughs at hearing activists walked out on his speech at COP28 in Dubai

CNN Indonesia – December 7, 2023
President Widodo speaking at COP28 conference in Dubai – December 1, 2023 (YouTube)

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has laughed upon hearing that environmental activists walked out on him on December 1 when he was giving a speech at the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Widodo said that he was not concerned over the news saying only that he conveyed a number of actions taken by Indonesia to respond to climate change.

"Ha ha ha ha, the most important thing is we are doing real things in the context of resolving, taking part in reducing matters [related to] climate change which all, all countries are worried about", said Widodo at the Jakarta Convention Center in Thursday December 7.

Widodo said that Indonesia has already pushed down the rate of deforestation and put the brakes on forest and peatland fires.

In addition to this, the government has established a number of seed nurseries and believes that these actions are a real way to confront climate change.

"We have built nurseries with a production of 75 million [seedlings], both in Rumpin in Bogor [West Java] and mangroves in Denpasar [Bali], then rainforest seedlings at the Mentawir [nursery in Penajam Paser, East Kalimantan], and there in Labuan Bajo [Flores]", he said.

The walkout during Widodo's speech was highlighted by a number of social media users. X user @Paltiwest for example, said that COP28 conference participants walked out when Widodo was giving a speech. The posting linked this to Widodo's food estate policies.

"When I went to Dubai, speaking at the COP28 environmental conference, on the occasion Jokowi gave a speech, the audience left, most of whom consisted of global NGO [non-government organisation] delegations such as Greenpeace, Walhi, Save Borneo and other NGOs", read a posting on the account on Wednesday December 6.

"They were protesting Jokowi's policies related to food estates that are seen as having failed while hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest land were cleared destroying Kalimantan's forest environment", they added.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) referred to Widodo's speech at COP28 as being "full of dreams and contradictions". (dhf/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Jokowi Tertawa Dengar Isu Aktivis Walkout Saat Pidato di COP28 Dubai".]