Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Twelve new springs appear around Buyan Lake, Bali

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - At least 12 new springs have appeared suddenly around Buyan Lake, Buleleng District, which is located around 55 km north of Denpasar.

Local farmers are now using water from the new springs for irrigation, Bali provincial forestry service head Made Sulendra said here on Saturday.

Some 4.93 sq km wide Buyan Lake is one of four lakes on Bali Island which have become tourist attractions.

Sulendra said it was believed the new springs had formed thanks to the massive regreening programs launched by the Bali provincial administration last year. Bali planted at least seven million trees last year, including in areas surrounding Buyan Lake.

Indonesia to triple rice seed budget to lift output

Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:12am EDT

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to spend 6 trillion rupiah ($651 million) this year to provide farmers with rice seeds, including high-yielding hybrid varieties, to boost output, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Saturday.

Authorities in Indonesia have been trying to take measures to cushion the impact of soaring food prices, particularly for the staple rice, amid concerns over social cohesion in the world's fourth most populous country.

Farmers harvest paddy in Gowa regency of Indonesia's South Sulawesi province April 24, 2008. Indonesia plans to spend 6 trillion rupiah ($651 million) this year to provide farmers with rice seeds, including high-yielding hybrid varieties, to boost output, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Saturday. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad

"The use of hybrid rice should continue, so we will be able to meet demand," Kalla was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying. The amount allocated this year is triple last year's budget.

Indonesia has long sought to become self-sufficient in rice, but experts say this has been hampered by a lack of high-yield seeds and fertilizer.

The government also planned to allocate 11 trillion rupiah this year to subsidize fertilizer prices, said Kalla, who was in South Sulawesi.

The vice president said that by lifting output Indonesia could go some way to becoming a rice exporter.

For decades, Indonesia has been importing rice as output has not been sufficient to meet spikes in demand during disasters or when crops fail.

Indonesian rice production is expected to be more than 34 million tonnes this year, or about 2 million tonnes higher than domestic demand.

Many Asian countries are looking for ways to address a near tripling in the price of the world benchmark, Thai 100 percent B grade wide rice, which was triggered when exporting nations curbed shipments to cool domestic inflation.

Indonesia has also started to crack down on rice smuggling along its borders, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu told Reuters in an interview this week, and is providing temporary subsidies for the poor, equivalent to 50,000 rupiah ($5.43) a month.

(Reporting by Telly Nathalia; Editing by Ed Davies and Alan Raybould)

Related Stories:

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RPT-INTERVIEW-Indonesia says has ample rice, no risk of unrest

Floods hit Siberut Island, three dead, more displaced

Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang | Fri, 04/25/2008 12:11 PM

Floods on Siberut Island, Mentawai Islands regency, West Sumatra, over the last three days have claimed the lives of three people and swamped three villages.

When the banks of the Sikabaluan River burst, as many as 205 homes in Monganpoula village, 140 in Sotboyak villages and 174 in Sikabaluan village were flooded. Farms located along the river growing bananas, yams, ground nuts and other cash crops were destroyed.

"Some houses have been submerged up to their roof," a resident from Muara Sikabaluan, North Siberut, Bambang Sagurung, 24, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Three people reportedly drowned in the Sikabaluan River on Tuesday. Jheki Cheli, 16, from Muara Sikabaluan, drowned when the motorboat he was in capsized at the mouth of the Sikabaluan River.

"His body was found on a beach at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. We will send his remains to his parents," North Siberut district chief Sahad Pardamaian said.

The two other victims, Martina, 27, and her son, Riko, 3, of Sotboyak, also drowned after their boat tipped over in the Sikabaluan River on Tuesday afternoon. They were returning home from their farm with Togat, 30, Martina's husband, when the accident occurred.

"The boat lost control and later overturned because of the swift river current. Mother and son were pinned between the boat and a sago trunk tied to the boat," said Bambang.

Sahad said floods had been prevalent in the three villages since 2003.

Bambang said during the search for Jheki, many tree logs were seen scattered in the area. The logs, likely felled by timber companies, drifted into the river.

"We're not sure whether or not the logs were legally felled," Sahad said.

Mentawai Islands Regent Edison Saleleubaja banned logging activities on Siberut two years ago, while the Andalas Madani Cooperatives' forest concession area in North Siberut is still operating.

RI climate turns Fonterra off investing in dairy facilities

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 04/24/2008 12:25 AM

New Zealand-based milk producer Fonterra Group says it is unlikely to invest in processing facilities in Indonesia as the climate and environmental conditions are less than ideal for breeding cows and milk of its desired standards.

"We choose to expand our investment in countries which have cooler climates, such as China, Australia and North America," managing director for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mark Wilson said Tuesday.

He said in those countries there was no need to spend extra money feeding the cows as grass was always abundant. In Indonesia, most cow farmers have to buy grass to feed their cattle.

"It doesn't mean that we are closing the door on investment here, but efficiency is still our main consideration," he said.

The multinational company was established by groups of farmer cooperatives comprising 11,600 cow farmers. It produces milk for the Anlene, Anmum and Boneeto brands.

It also supplies butter and other milk-based products to international food companies, such as Pizza Hut and Bread Talk.

Fonterra Brands Indonesia president director Maspiyono Handoyo said the company's investment in the country was in the form of marketing, not in processing.

"We cooperate with local industry in processing the raw materials, most of which are still imported," he said.

According to Maspiyono, Indonesia is one of the biggest Fonterra markets in Asia and the Middle East despite a milk consumption rate that is lower than other countries.

He declined to provide the company's exact market share here.

Last year, Indonesia's milk consumption reached nine liters per capita, up from 7.7 liters a year earlier. That is still lower than in the Philippines, China, Malaysia and Thailand.

However, Maspiyono is optimistic the national market for milk had a bright future, as it is projected to grow by 13 percent annually.

Eco-friendly timber firms want incentives

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Hanoi | Fri, 04/25/2008 12:15 PM

Forestry companies producing eco-friendly timber pleaded at the Asia-Pacific forest conference on Thursday for incentives to help with rising operating costs while demand for sustainable wood-related products remains sluggish.

The Hanoi conference is the leading regional meeting on forestry, attended by more than 600 participants including decision makers, governments, firms, foresters and activists.

Indonesian listed timber company PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya said that operating costs for producing much-promoted sustainable timber were up about 30 percent.

Sumalindo president director Amir Sunarko told the conference, "When we started logging 16 years ago, we made a commitment to adopt sustainable forest management but during that time we never received incentives,"

Sunarko said government should reduce the burden for "eco-producers" by simplifying red tape while importing countries should reduce tariff barriers for sustainable wood products.

Sumalindo, which operates in natural tropical and plantation forest covering 448,986 hectares in East Kalimantan, has been certificated by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for sustainable forest management of the firm's 267,000 hectares.

He said that since adopting sustainable forestry management, Sumalindo, a member of Singapore-based forestry group Samko Forest Holding, had improved market sales.

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for over half a billion hectares of forest, have long promoted sustainable forest management aimed at slashing poverty, particularly for communities living near forest areas.

Countries importing wood products in the region have adopted policies aimed at restricting illegal logging and promoting sustainable forestry management and eco-timber products.

However, experts said few Asian timber firms were applying for sustainable forest management certificates since local and foreign buyers continued trading in illegal timber products.

Hugh Speechly of the British Department for International Development's (DFID) Forest Governance and Trade Program said sustainable forestry management was not just an environmental goal, but raised social, political and economic issues.

"Sustainable management of forests in Asia is not just the responsibility of Asian countries but also of developed countries whose seemingly insatiable demand for timber products often drives illegal logging," he said.

"This demand impacts heavily on economies of developing countries and livelihoods of rural communities," Speechly said.

He said timber-producing nations lose more than US$15 billion a year from uncollected royalties due to illegal logging.

"Trade in illegally procured timbers is estimated to depress world prices by up to 16 percent, making it difficult for legal operators to compete," he said.

"The UK's Forest Governance and Trade Program is confronting this problem by harnessing market leverage in timber consuming countries to encourage governance reform in producing countries."

The Danish-owned timber company Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman (DHL) operating in Vietnam said that support for domestic demand for sustainable forest products was also important in promoting eco-friendly products.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

RI is "environmental superpower": US envoy

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In observance of Earth Day, US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume has written an article titled "Indonesia: Environmental Superpower". Following is his article sent to ANTARA on Tuesday:

Anyone who happened to go by the U.S. Embassy over the past few days might have noticed changes. On Saturday, a group of Indonesian children helped put the finishing touches on seven different murals depicting some of the flora and fauna of Indonesia. I am proud to have their paintings displayed outside the Embassy, and glad to see that they are thinking of the environment at a young age. Today is Earth Day, and it is important to take stock of what we are doing to protect these children`s future environment.

Indonesia was a fitting host for the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, in part because its rich biodiversity and natural resources are unsurpassed. Indonesia possesses the highest marine biodiversity on the planet, and one of the largest and most biodiverse tropical forests in the world.

Indonesia is an environmental "superpower," and a natural leader in global efforts to protect the environment. Yet the country faces tremendous challenges to ensure that the next generation will inherit these vast environmental riches. Indonesia is the world`s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due mainly to large-scale deforestation. Illegal logging is widespread. Energy needs and emissions from power generation and transportation are rising fast. The destruction of coral reefs, overfishing, and other unsustainable practices threaten the livelihoods and welfare of tens of millions of Indonesians who depend on the ocean`s resources, as well as irreparable damage to Indonesia`s unique ecosystems.

Indonesia is taking steps to face these challenges. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Government of Indonesia are cracking down on illegal logging and taking action to improve forest governance. They are in the process of implementing a new timber legality standard that will constrict trade in illegally harvested timber.

They have launched a National Climate Change Action Plan and a National Action Plan for the Orangutan Protection. Recognizing the importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability due to climate change and unsustainable exploitation, President Yudhoyono also launched the regional Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) during the Bali conference. Fittingly, 2008 is the International Year of the Reef.

Much work remains. Protecting our planet is a long-term, cooperative endeavor. The United States can be Indonesia`s "super-partner", and President Yudhoyono has invited increased U.S. environmental partnership. We already collaborate on anti-illegal logging activities, and support the Heart of Borneo Initiative to protect the forest habitat in Kalimantan. We work together to protect endangered orangutans. Our two governments are negotiating a large fund to conserve tropical forests, under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. We already fund marine programs in Indonesia and the region, and have pledged initial support of over $4 million to the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Indonesia needs electricity to grow, but it should use clean-coal and renewable energy technologies to meet its rapidly increasing energy needs. Indonesia can retrofit existing "dirty" electricity-generating coal plants, build new, cleaner ones, and harness Indonesia`s potential 27,000 megawatt geothermal capacity. The Clean Technology Fund that President Bush announced last year, and which the United States is developing in cooperation with the World Bank, Japan, the United Kingdom, and other partners, has the potential to be an important tool in dealing with the clean energy challenge.

Working together, we can protect rainforests, conserve biodiversity, avoid the collapse of global fisheries, and combat climate change. The challenges are great, but our cooperation shows great promise for the future

On this Earth Day, let us remind ourselves that we are all connected. How Indonesia and the U.S. treat their forests and oceans will affect the rest of the world, and all of our children`s futures


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Farmers in Banyumas turn to organic fertilizer

Banyumas (ANTARA News) - A number of farmers in Banyumas district, Central Java, have started using organic fertilizer after finding out that it can increase their paddy crop.

"Unlike non-organic fertilizer, organic fertilizer can increase paddy crop," Suwarto (61), a farmer in Kemutung Lor village in Baturaden sub district, said on Saturday.

Suwarto admitted he had used organic fertilizer for two seasons and the result was satisfactory.

He started to use organic fertilizer after he had been advised by agriculture counselors and a team from Purwokerto Muhammadiyah University to do so.

The farmer added that when he used non-organic fertilizer on 0.25 hectares of his rice field, the got only 5 kilograms of paddy but when he turned to organic fertilizer, he got 5.5 kilograms of paddy.

He said after finding out that the result was satisfactory, a number of his colleagues started to follow his example in using organic fertilizer.

"Their eagerness to use organic fertilizer is not only because its result is satisfactory but also because it is more efficient and less expensive in comparison with no-organic fertilizer," Suwarto said.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bandung students learn from farmers in nature, cultural tour

Slamet Susanto & Tarko Sudiarno, The Jakarta PostKulonprogo, Yogyakarta, Wed, 04/13/2005 12:35 PM

Bandung International School students get hands-on experience at planting rice in a paddy

Plowing, growing rice and cooking with wood stoves are part of the daily routine for rural people. For students of Bandung International School (BIS), however, thesetasks are a rare, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This not surprising, because most of the 45 BIS students following the nature and cultural tourism program in Sendangsari village of Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, are foreign nationals with accustomed to a modern lifestylenot the life of hardship and toil in rural Indonesia.

Bandung International School students get hands-on experience at planting rice in a paddy (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

"Enough, enough!" yelled Sabina, who had been driving a cattle-pulled plow for less than five minutes. The student from Denmark was shouting for help as she tried to get down from the plow. She was apparently disgusted at the sight of the cow peeing and emptying its bowels right in front of her.

"It's all right, miss,natural manure, beneficial to plants," said the plow driver while helping Sabina to descend.

But Sabina expressed her pleasure at taking a leisurely walk around the village and observing the cultivation process while familiarizing herself with local farmers' traditions.

Forgetting the cow dung, Sabina joined her classmates to try her hand at planting rice. "It's quite interesting. I once saw this in Sukabumi (West Java)," she said. 

Tyler, a BIS student from Canada, looked at the muddy field intently, then plunged into the mire and gestured as though he was swimming.

"It feels like snow. The difference is that mud is warm and makes the body dirty," he remarked.

"Help me, help me.!" still another student cried as his legs slid down into the mud to his knees. Some of his friends came near but instead of helping, they jostled each other before finally falling together into the sludge, laughing.

Apart from learning local crop planting methods, the students were also introduced to rural community traditions, such as the use of the bedug, a big drum, as a means of communication to signal the start of a village meeting.

"In the city, residents keep their money at banks and can withdraw it any time through an ATM. Villagers save their money by raising cows," the students' guide explained. "Cattle constitute a form of savings for rural people and will be sold when they have urgent needs, just like in a bank transaction."

Greening and replanting various plants, as well as an introduction to different wildlife species of Indonesia in the Yogyakarta Wildlife Rescue Center (PPSJ), were also part of the BIS students' village tour program.

They were taught how to feed animals, take care of them and release them back into their natural habitat. The animals were originally confiscated by authorized government agencies and placed under the PPSJ's care.

Jonas, a BIS history teacher, said the stroll around the village was very conducive to building a close relationship between teachers and students. He said this helped teachers to better understand the students' needs to create the best method of teaching.

"Such close association and awareness of what students want contribute to their learning process," stressed Jonas, who has been in Bandung since 1998 and has two children with his wife, who is from the area.

Observing traditional activities, he added, made students conscious of what it really meant to struggle for life.

"So far, (the students) have lived in big cities and most of them come from established families, enjoying pleasant living conditions and never before knowing the toils of life," he pointed out.

The village experience will increase their knowledge in addition to the science subjects they learned in class.

"After graduation, I hope they will have a broader perspective," Jonas said.

The educational benefits of the village tour were deemed extremely valuable to the students' education that it has been made into a regular activity.

"This program is part of the school curriculum and is regularly carried out to broaden students' horizons," Jonas said.

Meanwhile, PPSJ director Sugi Hartono revealed that the wildlife center, in cooperation with relevant agencies and local communities, was promoting cultural tourism in rural areas.

As we are in the hilly region of Menoreh, we call our cultural and nature tourism zone Menoreh Green Land," he said.

A BIS students rides a traditional plow as a farmer assists the team. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

According to Hartono, Menoreh Green Land offers genuine rural tourism covering crop planting methods and local traditions. Visitors are also served typical foods that are unique to the area. The land's extensive hills and rapidly flowing rivers for rafting are also open to exploration in their natural conditions.

Since its founding in 2003, the PPSJ has accommodated 4,194 animals representing 54 species, of which 2,873 have been rehabilitated and released back to the wild. Among these animals are sea hawks (Haliatus leocogaster), pig-snout tortoises (Carettoscelis insculpta), bondol hawks (Haliastur Indus) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus).

Four hectares of the PPSJ's 14-ha area are reserved for wildlife conservation and the remainder for a variety of outbound games.

"We also aim to nurture a love of wildlife among students at an early age so that they will become a succeeding generation that cares for the ecosystem, rather than one that only exploits nature as is the case today," Hartono said.

He also hoped an increase in tourists to the area would help improve the community's welfare.

"Local people can make extra income from their food stalls, homestays and the sale of handicrafts as souvenirs," continued Hartono.

"Although not all villagers are aware of the importance of tourism, through dialogs on its direct economic benefits, we are sure they will come to fully support the effort," he said.

Related Article:

President to attend grand rice harvest in Purworejo

Indonesia overtakes Malaysia as top palm oil producer: minister

Kota Kinibalu, Malaysia (ANTARA News) - Indonesia likely overtook Malaysia as the world's top palm oil producer in 2007, due to dramatically increased planting there, Malaysia said Monday.

"From preliminary figures in 2007 it looks like Indonesia has already overtaken us in terms of production," Plantation and Commodities Minister Peter Chin was quoted by AFP as telling reporters.

Chin said Malaysia was still the world's top exporter but that Indonesia was "very close behind" and would probably claim top status in 2008.

"We do not aspire to be number one all the time," he said on the sidelines of a conference on sustainable palm oil production, in Sabah state on Malaysia's Borneo Island.

"Now Indonesia is coming up strongly, we acknowledge that they have more land, more estates and therefore they should logically be a bigger producer and bigger exporter. We will accept that," he said.

Malaysia produced 15.82 million tonnes of crude palm oil last year, and earned 45.2 billion ringgit (14.1 billion dollars) in export revenue.

Palm oil plantations account for 1.2 million hectares (2.97 million acres) of Malaysia's 4.2 million hectares of land allocated for agriculture. Some 30 percent of the country's palm oil is in Sabah.

Malaysia and Indonesia together produce 85 percent of the world's palm oil which is enjoying a boom on the back of strong global demand and tight supply.

Chin said with limited opportunities to expand agricultural land, palm oil producers will focus on increasing yield from existing crops by efficient growing techniques and replanting with better seedlings.

Friday, April 11, 2008

RI requests Malaysia take action against illegal logging

The Jakarta Post

Antara, Jakarta | Fri, 04/11/2008 6:11 PM

The Indonesian government has asked Malaysia to take action against illegal logging along the border between the two countries, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Friday.

"Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban has filed a protest to Malaysia and we ask Malaysia to take action immediately," he said.

"We are expecting bilateral meetings to solve illegal logging activities. We have taken action and it is expected that Malaysia will follow suit."

Kalla also expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police for their efforts to curb illegal logging in the border areas.

Indonesia's provinces of West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan border the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on Kalimantan island.

TNI chief Gen. Djoko Santoso said the two countries had agreed to increase cooperation in securing their border.

"We discussed a number of issues during the Malindo general border committee meeting, including the construction of new border posts as well as joint posts," he said.

"TNI will build 14 more posts along the border."

RI, UNODC hold meeting on combating illicit trafficking in forest products

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and the United Nations shrugs and crime agency UNODC organized an international experts group meeting on International Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Illicit International Trafficking in Forest Products, in Jakarta, recently.

The forest products included timber, wildlife and other forest biological resources, according to a press statement of the Indonesian forestry ministry here on Friday.

The meeting was attended by 47 experts from 15 member countries and observers from ASEAN-WEN, AFP, FLEGT, UNEP, UNFF, World Bank, and CIFOR.

In the two-day meeting officially opened by Indonesian Forestry Minsiter MS Kaban on March 26, the participants emphasized the importance of international cooperation in combating and preventing illicit international trafficking in forest products.

The international cooperation in environmental crime could be carried out by using legal instruments of the UN Conventions against Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption (UNCTOC), the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), or the UN model Treaties on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance.

The (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Center for International Crime Prevention, UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kampung residents go green and make money

he Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Fri, 04/04/2008 1:17 AM

Piles of garbage dumped by residents in a field near Kampung Toplang in Tegal Alur subdistrict, West Jakarta, used to be burned or left to rot, polluting the area and harming the kampung children who play in the field.

But last year, a group of unemployed men from the kampung built a bamboo hut on the field, where they make compost out of the organic waste and sort the nonorganic recyclable waste to be resold.

The men, who call themselves "Perkumpulan Hijau" (Green Club), have not only been reducing the waste piles in the area -- they have also been making at least Rp 1 million (US$109) a month from their kampung's waste.

One Green Club member, Abdul Radi, had only been interested in making some money at first but was later amazed they could turn more than 80 percent of the kampung's daily waste into useful compost and money.

"I started to think we could actually clear away piles of garbage throughout all Tegal Alur, and even throughout the whole city," he said.

A few months ago, Radi asked the Tegal Alur subdistrict chief to allow the Green Club to give simple training to residents in the area so they could do the same in their kampungs.

The chief did not give a positive response. Rather, he told the club to stop their activities because they were using other people's land.

"The chief didn't understand our point. We plan to keep on going, but it's not going to be easy spreading the message because people tend to listen to their leader," said the father of two.

Radi resolved to continue his club's campaign, planning to run in the next election for chief of the community unit.

"By becoming a leader, I can reach many more residents," he said.

The Green Club was pioneered by Berkah Gamulya and Jamaludin. The two, who are better known as Mul and Jamal, were concerned about the waste problem and wanted to help the poor people in the area.

They had been working together advocating on behalf of the city's poor at the Urban Poor Consortium in the early 2000s. They met again in late 2006, when Jamal was running a waste recycling business in Tegal Alur.

"Jamal told me about the situation in the kampung and together we started to build the kampung people's awareness of the waste problem," said Mul, a 29-year-old man from Dumai, Riau.

"We started by approaching those in the community with the most urgent problem, (that is) the need for money. We hung out with young unemployed men, and once in a while in our conversations, we raised the idea of making money from the garbage," said Jamal, who is in his 30s.

In early 2007, a dozen young men got interested in the idea and with Jamal and Mul built the bamboo hut, which they call Rumah Kompos (Compost House).

They make compost from the waste using the simplest and cheapest technique they could find on the Internet. They put chopped waste into piles and turn them upside down once every three days, turning the waste into compost in 45 days.

The club gives the compost to residents to use in their gardens, and they make money by selling the nonorganic waste, such as paper, glass and cans, to Jamal.

After several months Jamal and Mul handed the club over to the residents, who have gained confidence in asking local households to pre-sort their garbage and offering to buy the waste.

"The plan was for the residents to become self-sufficient in saving their environment. Now, we only give advice once in a while," said Mul.

He said his dream was to reduce waste as much as possible, especially in areas where poor people live, and free the city from piling garbage.

"There are many organizations and communities doing the same, on an even larger scale and using more sophisticated techniques than us," he said.

"Together we can all clean the city, it's not impossible." (dre)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sara Lee Foodservice Debuts Good Origin Sustainable Coffee in The U.S.

Sara Lee Partners with Comprehensive Global Certification Program UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside to Offer Proven, Sustainable Coffee Solution to U.S. Foodservice Customers 

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Building on its position as the third largest coffee roaster in the world and its success in driving sustainability in its European beverage business, Sara Lee(R) Foodservice is introducing Good Origin sustainable coffee to the U.S. market. 

"The introduction of Good Origin builds on our winning European formula and helps us incorporate sustainability as part of a viable business strategy for coffee producers," said Mike DePriest, senior brand manager, Sara Lee Foodservice. "Taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability through our partnership with UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside(R) makes good business sense for both our customers and our company. It provides consumers with great-tasting coffee that they know has been produced responsibly - by balancing people, planet and profit," said DePriest. 

Sara Lee is the world's largest buyer of UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside sustainable coffee. During the past four years, Sara Lee has achieved an eight-fold increase in its sustainable coffee volumes: from 2,500 tons in 2004 to the 20,000 tons it has committed to procure in 2008. Sara Lee has introduced its Good Origin brand in countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark, where consumer demand for sustainable coffee is growing rapidly. 

According to UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside, worldwide sales of its certified sustainable coffee have increased ten-fold over the last five years. The organization credits the evolution of consumer attitudes, which increasingly reflect a desire for quality coffee, along with concern for how coffee production impacts local communities in coffee growing countries. 

"While Sara Lee has acted responsibly in the coffee market for many years, partnering with UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside demonstrates its increasing commitment to sustainable quality," said Graham Mitchell, general manager, U.S., UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside. "In fact, Sara Lee is showing its commitment by doubling its purchase of certified sustainable coffee from 2007 to 2008." 

Good Origin Sustainable Coffee is targeted to a wide variety of U.S. markets including colleges and universities, business and industry, healthcare, lodging, national restaurants, convenience stores and commercial food operations. The new, UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside coffee is available in three varieties under the Good Origin Premium label (Moyobamba Peru, Terrenos Gemelos and Copita Madura Decaf) and three varieties under the Good Origin Gourmet label (Pluma de Oaxaca, Tres Joyas and Copa Oscura Decaf). Each variety is packed in a NaturalBox carton, made with 100 percent post-consumer-recycled-materials. 

UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside's worldwide certification program sets the standard for responsible coffee production and sourcing. It offers a market-based business model, supply chain transparency and credible program requirements that address economic viability, social responsibility and environmental protections. With UTZ certification, Good Origin coffee is traceable from farm to cup: consumers can visit and select the source code printed in black on the front of the bag in the drop-down menu to identify the coffee's specific origin. 

For more information about the Sara Lee commitment to sustainability, visit