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Indonesia and The Netherlands Collaboration in East Java: Making Things Happen on the Ground

Indonesia and the Netherlands agree to extend cooperation in water management. East Java Province was selected as one of the priority locations for this water cooperation. The commitment towards this cooperation is shown by numerous official delegations visits to Surabaya in 2023, several collaboration projects which are being planned, and the appointment of The Water Agency as a Local Liaison to bridge and facilitate the cooperation between two countries in the province.   

After an official visit made by Mrs Ardi Stoikos-Braken, as the Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Indonesia on 5 April 2023, now it is a turn for delegations from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to visit Surabaya on 4-6 May 2023. RVO was represented by Ms Wendele van der Wiele as the ‘Partners voor Water’ Program Coordinator and Mr Simon van Meijeren, as the ‘Partners voor Water’ Program Advisor for Indonesia. During this visit, both RVO delegations were accompanied by two representatives of The Water Agency as the Local Liaison Team, Ms Carrina Lim and Ms Tri Octiviani.   

As a bridge between two countries, Local Liaison supports on-the-ground coordination and discussions between local stakeholders and communities. They make sure that all of the projects resulted from this cooperation will bring tremendous benefits to the communities in the province. During this visit, there are various meetings and activities, including a high-level meeting with the Vice Governor of the East Java Province and site visits to upcoming project locations.  

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Photo: Mr. Emil Elestianto Dardak, the Vice Governor of East Java Province and Ms. Wendele van der Wiele from RVO.

The delegations were warmly welcomed by Mr Emil Elestianto Dardak, the Vice Governor of the East Java Province, in his office. The meeting is aimed to inform the East Java Provincial Government regarding the status of an upcoming project in Welang River (broadly known as “Welang River Masterplan Phase 2”), update the result of a ‘Building with Nature’ study in Sidoarjo, and explore other possible collaborations. The East Java Provincial Government is keen to collaborate to solve water issues in Kali Mas, Surabaya.   

In this meeting, the Provincial Government was also represented by representatives from local government units (LGUs), such as the Public Works and Water Resource Agency (DPUSDA), the Environmental Agency (DLH), the Regional Planning and Development (BAPPEDA), and the Regional Development of the East Java Province (SEKDA). Besides discussing current and potential projects, both parties are enthusiastic about sharing the lesson learned from this water cooperation at the World Water Forum 2024, which will be held in Bali.   

The Local Liaison team will continuously support and facilitate the project team and local stakeholders to ensure impactful collaborations between Indonesia and the Netherlands in the East Java Province. 

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Photo: East Java Province Stakeholders Meeting with RVO Delegation