Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley) Head of the Hawaii-Sister State Delegation, today announced from Bali that the 3 days of talks between Hawaii and Bali have successfully ended.
“We have agreed to cooperate in 3 areas to make sure Hawaii and Bali remain the two most beautiful places in the world,” Rep. Ward said.
Working under a theme suggested by Bali’s Vice Governor, Ketut Sudikerta, of “Clean and Green”, the Hawaii delegation will be launching three projects that will assist their Bali counterparts, with cleaner beaches, disaster preparedness, and waste to energy projects.
“The 800 pound gorilla in the room during these talks was the mile long and 100 feet high mountain of garbage along the ocean front in Bali’s tourist mecca,” Ward said.
Trash collection and disposal is in its infant stage in Bali and the government is keen to learn from Hawaii how we keep our beaches and environment so clean.
The sister state meetings coincided with the arrival of the Hokule’a and Captain Nainoa Thompson was a special guest at the meeting with the Vice Governor where he presented his global theme of “Malama Honua” (caring for the environment) that fit perfectly with the sister-state theme of the meetings.
Henk Rogers, founder and CEO of Blue Planet was also a temporary member of the Hokule’a and also addressed the sister-state delegations with a challenge to Bali – like Hawaii’s goal of ending dependency on fossil fuel by 2045. He also expressed serious interest in forming a “Blue Planet-Bali” to get more pressure on Bali legislators to stress renewable energy projects and legislation.
For this purpose talks between a member of Hawaii’s provincial legislature, Representative Tjokorda Gede Asmara Putra Sukawati, who attended the meeting, and Representative Gene Ward have agreed to begin immediate follow-up discussions to the Bali conference to get policy-maker buy-in and cooperation with such groups as a Blue Plant-Bali or other NGO groups wanting to clean up Bali and push renewable energy.
The talks concluded with a signed Action Plan between the Hawaiian Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, President David Day and the Governor’s office in Bali.
It is anticipated that a follow-up meeting to maintain the momentum and the accountability of the sister-state agreement will be held in Hawaii in December 2015 and will host the Governor of Bali who is presently working on re-establishing a direct flight between Bali and Hawaii on Garuda (Indonesian) Airlines.
“The agreement concluded today holds forth much promise and keeps both us accountable to each other to maintain and lead with world class standards for our environments. This is truly an historic event and we were fortuitously blessed by the simultaneous arrival of the Hokule’a and its ‘Malama Honua’ cargo,” Ward concluded.