Jakarta - Before the official start of the State Visit, a Joint Steering Committee Meeting on the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands in the water sector was held on 9th March 2020. This bilateral cooperation has been transferred to the newly signed MoU on water management, circular economy, and water quality.
One of the important outcomes is that the Joint Steering Committee agreed upon the development of cooperation between the East Java Province and the Netherlands on river basin management. Two projects have been approved aiming at the development of an integral masterplan for the Welang River with a focus on future flood prevention and a Healthy River Challenge for students.
The Province of East Java has expressly requested the expertise and innovative solutions from the Netherlands for these challenges of river water quality, water retention and flood control, the latter which was the subject of the second part of the discussion with a focus on the Welang River.
The importance of bilateral cooperation through multi-year collaboration between Indonesia and the Netherlands is needed now more than ever. The problem in Welang River is a complex mix of issues, such as pollution, sedimentation, limited discharge and infiltration capacity, tidal effects and competing community interests.
We hope through the Healthy River Challenges, we can harness the creativity and independent thinking of the next generation to generate ideas and solutions for the Welang River and also to engage young people – university students and young professionals – from across Indonesia to learn about the complex issues faced by the Welang River, to understand the importance of healthy rivers that support and benefit all stakeholders and to have the opportunity to develop and present their own ideas contributing to a prosperous and sustainable Indonesia.