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U.S. EPA Partners with Indonesia to Improve Public Health in Jakarta

Release Date: 02/23/2010
Contact Information: Dave Ryan (News Media Only) Ryan.dave@epa.gov 202-564-7827 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with the government of Jakarta to improve air quality and public health through the “Breathe Easy, Jakarta” program. EPA will provide an initial investment of $450,000 to launch this initiative.

“The U.S. recognizes Indonesia as an essential partner in strengthening global environmental protection,” said Michelle DePass, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of International Affairs. “It is our hope that this program will lead to noticeably improved air quality that will benefit anyone who lives, works, or travels to this important capital city.”

The program aims to better understand Jakarta’s air pollution problems and to develop cost-effective strategies for improvement. EPA and its partners will provide technical assistance and training for developing air quality monitoring and emissions inventories.

In Indonesia yesterday, DePass met with Fauzi Bowo, Governor of Jakarta, to discuss the details of the program. Her visit follows EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s October visit to Indonesia, in which she offered technical assistance to the Jakarta government. DePass will also meet with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to discuss other opportunities for environmental partnerships.

One of the first steps in launching “Breathe Easy, Jakarta” will be to create a stakeholders group to determine key priorities and develop a strategy. Stakeholders will include government officials, technical experts, local NGOs, and the public.

This initiative is just one example of the successful partnership between EPA and Indonesia to address pressing environmental and public health issues. In the past, the bilateral collaboration has worked to phase out lead in gasoline and evaluate air emissions from forest fires.

More information on the partnership: http://www.epa.gov/international