Jesse Kuijper was the first Chair of the Board of INS (2012-2021). Under his dedicated chairmanship and with the support of involved trustees the INS Board positioned INS in the forefront of the Dutch bilateral relations with Indonesia.
Jesse Kuijper explains: “In 2007 I visited Indonesia for the first time. Over 20 years of involvement with the Protection of Tropical Forests brought me to the heart of Borneo/Kalimantan, where both the people and the landscape show an enchanting beauty.
At that time, former president Yudhoyono stimulated and supported the ambition to develop the country economically and socially. The ‘new’ Indonesia had to become an outward looking, strongly developed and self-assured nation. Also in the field of my expertise – the control of deforestation and protection of primeval forests – high ambitions were declared.
In the last fourteen years much has changed, and by far the most of it for the best. Through an intensive cooperation with stakeholders and the government, my foundation The Borneo Initiative (www.theborneoinitiative.org) was enabled to bring an area of 8 million hectare into a permanent and sustainable rule and to protect it for future generations.
My enthusiasm at the beginning of my relation with Indonesia since has developed into a long-lasting friendship. It is for that reason that in 2012 I full heartedly committed myself to the goals of INS. With due modesty we can look back upon the results achieved by INS, knowing that still a lot has to be done to maintain and extend the relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands in present and future years. A fruitful and important task!”