IRI Indonesia launches new provincial chapter in East Kalimantan

On April 9th, IRI Indonesia launched its second provincial chapter in East Kalimantan. The launch event included the participation of 50 leaders from religious organizations, NGOs, indigenous peoples’ groups, government and academia, all coming together to launch a new platform for action on the protection and restoration of East Kalimantan’s forests. The opening ceremony included a traditional Dayak dance and introductory remarks from Professor Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of IRI Indonesia’s Advisory Council. The Governor of East Kalimantan presided over the event and shared remarks endorsing the launch of the new IRI Indonesia chapter in the province.  A declaration committing all participants to the protection of East Kalimantan forests as a moral and ethical priority was read aloud by the Regional Chair of Nahdlatul Ulema (NU) and a banner was signed by all leaders in attendance to show their commitment to the work ahead. The launch also included a keynote address by Professor Rizaldi Boer, Director of the Centre for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management in Southeast Asia and Pacific (CCROM-SEAP) on forest protection as a priority strategy in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.  All participants were presented with IRI Indonesia Resource Guides and Sermon Books for their respective faith tradition. A press conference was held with 23 journalists and the event was widely covered in the media and on national TV.