At the end of a state visit to Malaysia, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid tribute to the Southeast Asian country’s efforts to protect the environment and climate. The issue is “taken very seriously” by the government there, Steinmeier said on Saturday on the island of Borneo. Conflicts, such as in the extraction of palm oil, would not be concealed either. “My impression, our impression after the talks, is that the task is not only taken seriously, but also tackled.” This includes the government’s promise to leave at least 50 percent of the country’s area forested.

At the end of their three-day visit to Malaysia, Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender visited a national park in the state of Sarawak on Borneo. The two also hiked through the rainforest. Malaysia’s government bears the responsibility “to preserve this rainforest in the service of mankind,” said the Federal President. Borneo is the third largest island in the world and twice the size of Germany. It is divided among the three states of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Sarawak in the northwest is the largest state in Malaysia in terms of area.

Steinmeier had previously visited Cambodia. On Sunday he returned to Berlin.