Ambassador Blake’s talk and its connections to bilateral activists

Ambassador Blake represents a figure from the international sphere of politics and resources. He has access to¬† U.S. and worldwide intelligence, research and networks. For instance Blake was tasked with figuring out how to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas production. Yet, at the time, Indonesia was in its last year of an administration, so there was no possibility of any radical environmental initiatives being announced from the government. So, Blake analyzed what his team could to since the administration would be of no help. It turns out that palm oil companies are a main contributor to deforestation in Indonesia, and Blake turned to the private sector to sort this problem out.

Blake was able to call up the Chairman of the Board of Wilmar International, the largest palm oil company in the world, and then met with this chairman. This chairman agreed to only harvest palm oil from already disturbed lands in Indonesia. Blake repeated this process with various other palm oil companies in Indonesia and many were committed to this idea of protecting primary forests.

Although Blake and his team did a lot of work to forward this initiative, Blake elected the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce to head the project. This is where bilateral activism comes in. The Chamber of Commerce has deeper connections to the domestic sphere of Indonesia. They can communicate with the general population and spread Blake’s initiatives faster than Blake would be able to otherwise.

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