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)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Walhi Condemns Forest Conversion

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 30 December, 2009 | 14:56 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Bengkulu:The Bengkulu branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has condemned the Bengkulu Provincial Government’s plan to convert 99.272 hectares of forest in Bengkulu into plantations.

Walhi Bengkulu director Zenzi Suhadi said on Monday that the areas to be converted included the Taman Buruh Semidang Bukit Kabu, Sanggul Hill in Seluma regency and the Mandara protected forest.

The Bengkulu Forestry and Plantation Office chief, Chairil Burhan, said the Bengkulu’s forests only cover 46,54 percent of the total province area. If it is converted, Bengkulu will have 41 percent of forests. There are 38 points that have been recommended to the Forestry Department to be studied before the conversion.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Indonesia to Relax Forest Protection Rules for Some Infrastructure Projects

The Jakarta Globe,

Indonesia will allow some infrastructure projects deemed in the public interest such as toll roads and geothermal energy plants to operate in protected forests, the chief economics minister said on Wednesday.

Under Indonesian law it is currently forbidden to undertake any kind of activity that could impact on a forest conservation area.

But chief economics minister Hatta Rajasa told reporters that the government would issue a new rule to allow some development in forests after discussions between relevant ministers.

“For the public interest such infrastructure projects and geothermal projects can use protected forests,” Rajasa said.

The users of protected forests would have to compensate by setting aside twice as much land within another part of the province for use as forested land, he added.

The minister said the regulation would give investors certainty and denied it would disturb forest conservation.

“We know that there are many geothermal projects located in protected areas. That’s why this regulation is part of the government’s 100-day program,” he said.

The administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who started a second term in October, has set 100-day programs focused on removing bottlenecks that have stalled investment and infrastructure development in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Overlapping regulations on the environment and resource development frequently complicate plans to develop projects in Indonesia, although green groups also complain that firms are sometimes wrongly given permission to exploit forests.

Indonesia also currently has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world that threatens to swiftly erode its dwindling untouched tracts of tropical forests.

At the same time, the developing nation desperately wants to speed up spending on airports, roads, ports and other infrastructure to help reduce inefficiencies and speed up economic growth in order to reduce poverty and unemployment.

On energy, Indonesia has established two crash programs to increase power generation by 10,000 megawatts (MW) in a bid to resolve chronic power shortages in the country.

The first program, which is due to be 40 percent complete by the middle of next year, relies on coal-fired power stations, while a second program, due to start next year, has nearly half, or 4,733 MW, of power slated to come from geothermal sources.

Abadi Poernomo, president director of Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PHE), said previously the company planned to increase its geothermal capacity but had been blocked by the conservation law.

PHE, which is a unit of the country’s state oil and gas firm Pertamina, planned to increase its geothermal capacity to 1,342 MW in 2014 from 272 MW currently. Pertamina already operates geothermal projects in West Java and North Sulawesi. Indonesia is hoping to tap alternative sources of energy to meet rising power demand and cut consumption of expensive crude oil as its own reserves dwindle.

The vast archipelago, with hundreds of active and extinct volcanoes, has the potential to produce an estimated 27,000 MW of electricity from geothermal sources.

However, most of the potential remains largely untapped because the high cost of geothermal energy makes the price of electricity generated this way expensive.


Poachers still continue to hunt Sumatran tigers

Antara News, Wednesday, December 30, 2009 05:47 WIB

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Poachers still continue to hunt the remaining Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris) in the Bengkulu forest, conservationist Radius Nursidi of the Profauna nature conservation organization said.

"Based on its survey in March, Profauna found at least 12 tiger traps in the Seblat Elephant Conservation Center (PKG) in North Bengkulu," Radius said here on Tuesday.

He said that Profauna conducted the survey only in one area, namely around the PKG forest park where it found at least 12 tiger traps." he said.Poachers also hunt elephants in the Seblat forest park, he said.

Due to the illegal hunting of elephants and tigers in the Seblat PKG forest park in Putri Hijau subdistrict, North Bengkulu, the population of the protected species was increasingly threatened.

"Since 2004, Profauna has recorded that at least eight elephants have been killed," he said.Tiger and elephant poaching in the Bengkulu forest was a serious threat to the population of the protected animals, he said.

Indonesia denies Japan's accusation on 2,4-D content on cocoa 2009-12-29 20:03:55

JAKARTA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry rejected Japan's accusation that cocoa from Indonesia contained dangerous chemical compound at more than dangerous level, a senior official of the ministry said here Tuesday.

In March, Japan lodged a complaint on Indonesia over the country's cocoa exported to Japan from Singapore, saying that it had 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D) at the level of more than 0.01 ppm (parts per million), which is dangerous for health, according to the ministry.

Director General for Plantation of the ministry Achmad Manggabarani said that Indonesia followed up the dissatisfaction and established some tests on the commodity. The result of the tests showed that the 2,4-D content was very small and it was not at dangerous level.

The director said that his ministry would deliver the result soon to the government of Japan and would conduct a government-to-government approach.

"Although our cocoa exports to Japan is small, but, we must clear this issue, this is about the image of our products. We must manage the good image at the international market," he said.

Indonesia's cocoa export to Japan from January to July this year was about 1,136 ton, according to the data from the ministry.

Indonesia also exports its cocoa to the United States, Brazil, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

The country exported 350,000 tons of cocoa in 2008 and the figure is predicted to be flat this year and next year.

Indonesia is the world's third largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Justice for all

The Jakarta Post | Tue, 12/29/2009 8:22 AM

Grandma Minah, a villager living near Purwokerto, Central Java is embraced by actor Butet Kertaredjasa after receiving a cacao seedling from the anticorruption organization Kompak in Jakarta on Monday. The woman, who made newspaper headlines after a local court sentenced her to 45 days in jail for stealing three cacao pods from a plantation company, was named one of Kompak’s People of the Year. JP/Nurhayati

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The beauty of eruption

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press | Tue, 12/29/2009 1:25 PM

The beauty of eruption: In this photo taken Monday, lava flows down the slopes of Mayon volcano during its mild eruption as viewed from Daraga township, Albay province about 500 kilometers southeast of Manila, Philippines. More than 47,000 people living within a 8-kilometer danger zone around the volcano have fled to evacuation centers since it began spewing ash and spilling lava over two weeks ago. AP/Bullit Marquez

Jambi ready for reforestation efforts, gubernatorial election

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jambi | Mon, 12/28/2009 9:14 AM

Jambi is one of Indonesia’s vast forest provinces, with about 1.2 million hectares of forest. As concerns about the effects of climate change and global warming increase, Jambi is formulating reforestation efforts. The Jakarta Post’s Irawaty Wardany recently spoke to Jambi Governor Zulkifli Nurdin about the issues as well as preparations for the 2010 gubernatorial election, as Zulkifli will end his tenure in August.

Question: As one of main issues in Jambi is forestry, what is the provincial policy on forestry?

Answer: I’ve just returned from Copenhagen (the United Nations Convention on Climate Change) where I accompanied President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. At the meeting we could see there was much interest from various countries. We knew that China did not agree with policies made by other countries. That meant there was no agreement made by countries throughout the world to reduce emissions, which is a really serious problem.

In Jambi we want to maintain our existing forest. We have decided to allocate 100,000 hectares of land to be included in the restoration forest program (including the Harapan Rainforest project).

In the era of Pak Kaban (former forestry minister) the program did not materialize, but with Pak Zulkifli Hasan (current forestry minister), we are in the process of making 100,000 hectares for the forest restoration program available. We will preserve elephants, tigers and much more.

There will also be another 120,000 hectares provided for restoration, but we do not know yet who will back up the program. There are many (countries) that are interested in the program because they all realize that forests are the key to filtering greenhouse effect and reducing emissions.

We spoke to the Forestry Minister in Copenhagen and we agreed that no matter what the result of the Copenhagen meeting, we would not change our plans to maintain our forest even though we lack funds.

So our goal is how to reduce emissions and Jambi’s policy is how to restore the forest without disturbing local residential areas because the main goal of the administration is how to make the people prosper.

What is your total target for the reforestation programs? How many hectares of forest will be restored and for how long? How much financial support will be provided by the Jambi administration?

We have not discussed the amount of hectares of forest that will be restored, or the exact budget, but I’ve spoken to the President about that and I said that it was impossible for us to finance the program, so we need (financial) aid both from the central government as well as from foreign sources.

This is our forest, so we must maintain it together.

I have reported to the President that if this program is fully handled by the provincial administration, it will not be effective because we have to provide infrastructure that will absorb a large amount of our provincial budget.

We have to focus on infrastructure development to support Jambi’s economic development.

Sometimes we even have to allocate our budget for other programs and infrastructure programs.

Take for example the fertile area of Cilangkap. Crops and harvests from the area cannot be sold due to infrastructure problems. That is why we need to focus on infrastructure.

We have developed a port in Samudera Muara sabak as well as a 2.3-kilometer bridge to the pier from the city (of Jambi) and 155 kilometers of road. We built them to increase our economic growth.

Jambi’s growth during 2008-2009 was 7.16 percent. That’s the highest growth rate in Sumatra and we are ranked third nationally.

How will Jambi balance reforestation and infrastructure programs?

We have spatial design plans that designate which areas can be developed and those that cannot. We will stick to that to ensure well-designed development.

Jambi’s branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said that deforestation in the province reaches 24,000 hectares annually, how can you catch up with the rate of deforestation with your restoration program?

Deforestation is mostly caused by outsiders who go into the woods,cut the trees and establish fields in the area. If they can’t sell the wood, they just work on the fields, but mostly those people are not from Jambi.

So deforestation is mostly caused by humans, beside of course, fires that occur during dry season, which always cause forest fires, especially in peat land. If we have a long dry season, the peat land usually becomes really dry. So there are two main causes of forest fires, some are caused by people, while others arise form natural causes.

Peat land burns easily because it consists of rotten wood and tree roots that create hollow spaces beneath the earth, as well as dry bushes that can be set alight by strong rays from the sun.

We haven’t found a way to extinguish them yet. All we can do is spray water into the earth, but we never succeed because the fire is always below the earth’s surface. Often it only emits an excess of smoke.

In 2006, we had really bad smoke from forest fires that both Malaysia and Singapore complained about. I explained to them that we could maintain the forest together, rather than just complain, but we all must learn how to maintain the forest on a limited budget.

How can we finance the Manggala Agni (forest firefighters) and how can we finance the fire extinguisher equipment?

Now we have 340 Manggala Agni officers, but they cannot handle 1.2 million hectares of forest. I estimated that we would need up to 1,000 firefighters throughout Jambi province, but it all depends on how much money we have.

Jambi, with its 1.2 million hectares of forest must also face illegal logging, how do you deal with that matter?

Currently, the Forest Concession Rights (HPH) are issued under strict regulations.

Even if we issue the HPH, the holders must provide some reforestation funds that are distributed to the province where the forest was utilized. However, according to my experience, no reforestation funds have been received by the province or regions even though hundreds of hectares of our forest has been utilized. Most of the funds for reforestation flow to the central government and have not yet benefited our region.

Jambi is one of the provinces that will have a gubernatorial election in 2010, how are the preparations so far?

The preparations have been quite settled, we have not had any problems as yet. The general elections in 2004 and 2009 and the regional elections all went well. We haven’t had any riots or anything like that. Therefore we expect the upcoming gubernatorial election will go smoothly also.

You’ve been the governor since 1999, will you participate in the upcoming gubernatorial election?

No. I can’t and I won’t.

During your period, what do you consider as your achievements and failures?

As I said earlier, the economic growth rate this year was 7.16 percent, which is the highest in Sumatra and the third nationally. Secondly, income per capita has improved from Rp 450,000 (US$47) to Rp 2 million.

In trade, there are many mining companies that are now investing in Jambi. I hope my successor will continue to serve the people’s basic economic and development needs that I started.

Monday, December 28, 2009


The Jakarta Post, Mon, 12/28/2009 5:20 PM | National

Hundreds of farmers from Rengas village, South Sumatra stage a protest in front of the governor’s office in Palembang. They demanded the governor audit and the land permit of state plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara, which has allegedly expired and return the land to the farmers. (JP/Khairul Saleh)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ministry Offers Indonesia's Forests for Investment

The Jakarta Globe, Arti Ekawati

The Ministry of Forestry is offering 44.3 million hectares of forest for industrial development and hopes to bring in more than Rp 1.6 trillion ($170 million) in revenue.

Hadi Daryanto, the director general of forest production at the ministry, said the forest areas will be available between 2010 and 2014. Developers will be able to use the land for plantations, logging or eco-tourism.

“Information about the areas can be seen on the ministry’s official Web site if investors are interested in developing the forest area,” Hadi said.

There are about 150 million hectares of forest across the country, with 36.8 million hectares earmarked for industrial use.

In 2008, the government received Rp 2.5 trillion of non-tax revenue from forest concessionaires and other companies in the forestry sector. In 2009, the government only targeted Rp 2.3 trillion because of the economic crisis.

Hadi added that investment in the forestry sector has a bright future, especially as it can help to reduce carbon emissions. He cited South Korea’s plan to build a wood-chip factory in Central Kalimantan. These chips can be used as a raw material for producing paper or as a substitute for coal.

South Korea is trying to replace 5 percent of its coal consumption with wood chips. The South Koreans are searching for overseas sites where they can plant the acacia other eucalyptus trees that are needed to make these chips.

South Korean Ambassador Kim Ho-young said Indonesia is a good place to start investing in the forestry sector. He encouraged cooperation between South Korean and Indonesian companies in planting trees.

“If South Korean and Indonesian companies work well together, this will become a good model for companies from other countries to invest in Indonesia,” Kim said.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan plans to plant one billion trees starting next year to help reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020.

The minister has launched a program called “one man, one tree”, which encourages citizens to plant at least one tree during their lifetime.

“However, aiming to reduce emissions, the president asked me to increase the amount of trees into one billion trees to be planted in one year starting 2010,” Zulkifli said. The trees are expected to be planted in one million hectares of dry land across the country.

The ministry will also a launch monitoring, reporting and verification system, using a satellite data system, to supervise the planting of trees during the program.

The monitoring program will cost Rp 15,000 per hectare.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Low Output a Wake-Up Call For Indonesia's Coffee Industry

The Jakarta Globe, Arti Ekawati

Indonesia’s coffee sector is struggling with low productivity due to aging trees and under-capitalized farmers, hampering the ability of the country to lift coffee exports.

According to figures from the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (AEKI), one hectare in Indonesia produces an average of 700 kilograms of beans a year, less than a third of the 2,500 kilogram of beans per hectare produced in Vietnam.

AEKI executive secretary Rachim Kartabrata said on Tuesday that low productivity was limiting the country’s ability to boost coffee exports.

The country exported about 350,000 tons of coffee this year, up from 325,000 tons in 2008. Around 80 percent of exports were of robusta. The rest were arabica and various special varieties.

“The export volume of arabica this year is about the same as the export volume last year,” Rachim said, adding that it will be difficult to increase export volumes if there were no productivity improvements.

Sumarkum, chairman of the Indonesian Coffee Farmers Association (APEKI), said most domestic coffee farmers did not use fertilizer or have proper irrigation systems.

Most coffee plants were more than 25 years old, and some even dated back to the Dutch colonial period, while the ideal age for a coffee plant is no older than 20 years, Sumarkum said.

“It would be great if the government could help farmers to rejuvenate plants by providing seeds and fertilizer,” he said.

Coffee growers in certain areas should also try to plant speciality varieties of coffee such as mandailing, java and toraja to increase returns, he said.

“The price of speciality coffee is much higher than average arabica and robusta prices,” Sumarkum said.

“So, although the productivity is low, farmers can still earn more profit.”

There are about 1.3 million hectares of coffee plantations in Indonesia. Most of the nation’s coffee is grown in Sumatra, with Lampung, Bengkulu and South Sumatra provinces accounting for about 80 percent of total national production.

Local coffee growers have also been hit by a worldwide drop in prices due to the global economic slowdown. The price of a kilogram of robusta beans in the London market has dropped from $2.20 last year to $1.40 now.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, global coffee production is expected to fall to 125 million 60-kilogram bags in 2010, from 127.8 million bags this year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Climate Conference a Winner for Indonesia: Official

The Jakarta Globe, Fidelis E Satriastanti & Ulma Haryanto

While last week’s Copenhagen climate talks may have been considered as a lost opportunity to reach a binding agreement to slow down global warming, Indonesia stands to gain more than it bargained for, Rachmat Witoelar, executive chair of the National Council on Climate Change, said on Wednesday.

“[The conference] was not a failure and Indonesia was satisfied with the accord because it reflected our five major demands, as delivered officially by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,” Rachmat said. He was referring to the president’s speech at the convention in which he demanded a strong commitment to reduce emissions, significant funding from developed countries and the continuation of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) scheme.

Rachmat said there was still time for the accord to be transformed into a legally binding agreement at next year’s climate talks, which are expected to be held in Mexico.

“The agreement, however, is morally binding and Indonesia still has the chance to play a more significant role with our middle-ground solutions,” he said.

Around 190 countries gathered in Copenhagen from Dec. 7 to 18 to engage in crucial climate talks that were supposed reach a new emissions reduction agreement from developed countries to replace cuts agreed to in the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012.

However, the meeting was deemed a failure by environmentalists because its outcome, the Copenhagen Accord, was not a binding document ratified by all parties. The 12-paragraph document, instead, only tells world leaders to “take note” that the world’s temperature should be kept from rising two degrees Celsius, to commit to funding vulnerable countries — up to $30 billion from 2010 to 2012 and up to $100 billion a year by 2020 — and to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD-Plus.

Rachmat said Indonesia was fortunate to have been able to hold several bilateral meetings with developed countries, including Norway, Britain, the United States, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and Italy.

Norway committed to interim funding for REDD, which would be implemented as soon as possible. Britain and the United States also pledged funding to assist Indonesia in reducing emissions from the forestry sector.

The United States has said it would mobilize $3.5 billion for 2010 and 2011, which would be disbursed to three forested countries, representing three continents. Britain has raised $25 billion in funding from developed nations to reduce deforestation by 25 percent by 2015.

Raja Siregar, of Oxfam GB, said it looked like Indonesia would not get much in adaptation funding, but could receive funding for mitigation in the forestry sector.

“However, because it was not a legally binding [agreement], then it will be different from the previous assumption that we would get funding just by keeping our forests intact in order not to emit more carbon,” Raja said. “It seems now that we will have to first compete to get mitigation funding and then make a commitment on how much forest we can preserve using that funding.”

Raja said Indonesia had made a political pledge to reduce its emissions by 26 percent, most of which would come from the forestry sector. “At the moment, however, it is not clear how much funding we will get,” Raja said.

“[The funding] could be enough or not. REDD, as a [carbon trading] market, is also based on getting incentive [funding] to match the [cost] of preserving forests. But now those conditions don’t apply,” he said, adding that the funding was still well short of Oxfam’s prediction of $50 billion to $70 billion per year for adaptation alone.

“Competition between vulnerable countries to get a share of the funding will be strong,” he added.

A much stronger reaction to Yudhoyono’s Copenhagen speech came from Greenomics Indonesia, which said it was in stark contrast to the country’s forestry land use plans.

“Some 18 million hectares of forests have been earmarked for [commercial] use,” said Elfian Effendi, the executive director of Greenomics Indonesia.

“If the plan [to convert these areas] goes ahead, then the 26 percent emission reductions promise is just rhetoric … because one of the biggest emissions culprits is converting forest into non-forest areas,” Elfian said.

Rachmat, however, said the “One Man One Tree” national replanting program could be beneficial if the government could inspire enough people to get behind the project.

“[The government] plans to plant four billion trees over five years,” Rachmat said. “There were discussions about disbursing $100 billion for this effort. But this was only going to happen if there was a binding agreement in Copenhagen. When that’s affirmed, the funds will be disbursed.”

Reducing carbon emissions 26 pct needs Rp83.3 trillion

Antara News, Thursday, December 24, 2009 02:31 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Secretary of State Minister for National Development Planning/chief secretary of the National Development Planning Agency Syahrial Loetan said reducing carbon emissions 26 percent by 2020 would need Rp83.3 trillion.

"Our plan is that to reduce carbon emissions to 26 percent needs Rp 83.3 trillion up to 2020," he said in Jakarta Wednesday.

He said that to achieve the projected carbon emission reduction, the government has seven priority sectors.

The priorities include that the energy used would reduce carbon emission by one percent. The transportation and industrial sectors will support the reduction of carbon emissions respectively by 0.3 percent and 0.01 percent.

The agricultural sector is expected to reduce the carbon emissions by 0.3 percent, forestry by 13.3 percent, waste management by 1.6 percent, and peatland management by 9.6 percent.

He said that any donor institution with a commitment to take part in reducing carbon emissions in Indonesia, the government will raise the projected emission reduction to 41 percent by 2020.

"Donors with a contribution, our Corporate Social Responsibility may be set at 41 percent," he added.

Up till now, he said, commitments to the emission reduction program have yet to be better arranged. He said many countries had expressed interest in taking part in the program in Indonesia.

"As Indonesia has been assumed at one of the world`s lungs, but since we have yet to be arranged better, such as what had been offered for the program, the measures to be submitted, how to monitor them, we will try to see that all of them are transparent and accountable," he said.

Prosecutor demands four years in jail for tiger killer

Antara News, Wednesday, December 23, 2009 23:31 WIB

Jambi (ANTARA News) - Samsudin alias Udin Bolu, suspected of killing a stealing Shela, a Sumatra tiger (panthera tigris Sumatrea) at the Jambi city zoo here some time ago deserved four years in jail, prosecutor said.

Public prosecutor Erma Herawati at the district court in Jambi Wednesday in reading out her demand said that the accused deserved a sentence of four years in jail and a fine of one million rupiah, or a four months confinement.

In her demand, the prosecutor said the accused had been proven guilty to have committed a criminal offence of keeping and displaying the dead tiger.

The prosecutor also said that this was not the first time that the accused was involved in crime, he has a history of other crimimal offences.

The accused, not flanked by a lawyer, did not object to the prosecutor`s demand, although the presiding judge had given him a chance to file a written or oral defense.

After the prosecutor read out her demand, the court was adjourned until January 7, 2010, in which the judge will announce the sentence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

RI secures climate supports through bilateral deals in Copenhagen

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 12/23/2009 10:16 PM

The outcome of the Copenhagen climate change summit may be only “morally-binding”, but the Indonesian delegation hasn't come home empty-handed.

Rachmat Witoelar, alternate head of the Indonesian delegation to the summit, told a press conference here Wednesday that Indonesia had successfully secured support from a number of countries and international organizations to help it mitigate climate change.

Rachmat said the pledges of support were secured through bilateral meetings conducted on the sidelines of the summit in Copenhagen.

“[The pledges of support] are very significant; the funds are huge,” the former environment minister said, though stopped short at specifying the figure.

Norway, the US and Britain, for example, have stated their willingness to provide financial support for efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation.

Germany, meanwhile, has agreed to help Indonesia preserve its forests with technical assistance, and New Zealand will develop global partnership in climate change research in the field of agriculture.

Other countries that have inked deals with Indonesia in terms of climate change mitigation cooperation are Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Two international organizations following suit are the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The UNEP has agreed to develop its partnership with Indonesia on oceanic issues (blue carbon) and Technology Need Assessments follow-up, while the WMO for the preparations of an intergovernmental meeting in mid January to form the so-called High Level Task Force Team, which will formulate work concept for the Global Framework for Climate Services.

“Prof. Emil Salim has been proposed to be a member of the team,” Rachmat said, referring to another former environment minister.

Rachmat further explained, although the only outcome of the Copenhagen climate summit, which is a document called the “Copenhagen Accord”, was only “morally-binding”, not legally-binding, Indonesia is quite satisfied with the substance.

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Reducing carbon emissions 26 pct needs Rp83.3 trillion

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Norway launches country group to fight deforestation

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Colombia's 'Bamboo' architect wins Prince Claus Prize

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 22 December 2009 - 5:12pm | ByAlejandro Pintamalli

"Stronger than oak, lighter than steel", was the headline - in Dutch newspaper Trouw - above a picture of Colombia's 'bamboo' architect, Simón Vélez. He was recently awarded the main 2009 Prince Claus Prize for his designs using bamboo. The prize provides an opportunity for him to introduce his work to the Netherlands. Plans to construct an open-air podium in North Amsterdam are already at an advanced stage.

Mr Vélez combines modern architecture with traditional building materials. He has designed over 200 buildings using bamboo. Most of them are in Colombia, but his work can also be seen in Brazil and even India and China.

The Prince Claus Fund says Simón Vélez' work promotes sustainable development, introducing new ideas on ecological issues and questions. The citation describes him as an architect "whose aesthetic and technical innovations have considerably expanded the possibilities of bamboo as a building material, providing a challenge to prevailing architectural trends".

Bamboo is native to nearly all the world's continents, with the exception of Europe. It is lighter than steel and stronger than concrete. In addition, bamboo constructions have been shown to withstand earthquakes better and to be more energy efficient than other buildings.

Norway launches country group to fight deforestation


OSLO — Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday he would put together a group of the world's most important rainforest countries in order to fight deforestation.

The group, initiated "as part of our efforts to reach a binding climate agreement in Mexico in 2010," will consist of "the most important rainforest countries, among them Brazil, Indonesia, Guyana, Gabon, Papua New Guinea and others," Stoltenberg said in a statement.

"Developing countries represent 17 percent of the total emission of greenhouse gases," he said, adding "efforts related to rainforests may lead to one third of the emission cuts needed by 2020."

Norway, one of the world's leading oil and gas exporters, has made the fight against deforestation one of its top climate change priorities.

The Scandinavian, non-EU country argued Tuesday that reducing deforestation may lead to the "largest, quickest and cheapest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions."

At the UN Climate summit in Copenhagen, Norway said it would unblock one billion dollars as part of a 3.5 billion dollar aid package to fight deforestation, put together by the United States, Britain, France, Australia and Japan.

The Norwegian prime minister, speaking at his bi-annual press conference, said the deal reached in Copenhagen had "great weaknesses" but that it was an "important step" in the fight against climate change.

Stoltenberg said two of the greatest weaknesses of the last-minute deal reached in Copenhagen were the lack of numbered targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the absence of a legally binding agreement.

He however lauded the international consensus of world leaders to tackle climate change, the involvement of emerging countries, developed countries' financing promises and control measures.

6.1 Quake in Indonesia's West Sumatra Triggers Panic Among Padang Residents

The Jakarta Globe

A 6.1 earthquake shook Padang, West Sumatra, on Wednesday morning sparking panic among residents who are still traumatized after a 7.9 quake caused widespread destruction in the province three months ago.

According to the Geophysics, Climatology and Metereology Agency, the quake struck at 8:11 a.m. The epicenter was located 56 kilometers southeast of Siberut Mentawai, West Sumatra.

Juniar, a Padang resident owner, told the Jakarta Globe that she ran out of the house when she felt the tremor.

“My neighbors were also running out of their houses, we were very scared,” she said.

There were no reports of damage or injuries.

Around half an hour later, a 5.3 magnitude aftershock occurred, with the epicenter 46km southeast of Siberut Mentawai.


Jambi's Orang Rimba: Indonesia Forest Dwellers Fighting to Survive the Crush of Modernity

Jambi' Orang Rimba family, Sumatra.
(Photo: Tiger Patrol unit / WWF Indonesia)

Indonesia’s future is all about expansion. More power plants, toll roads, coal mines and palm oil plantations bring business, jobs and higher living standards, while contributing to the drive for modernization.

All of that is fine, unless you’re left out — or in the case of a small group of forest dwellers in central Sumatra, fighting a losing battle to prevent your culture from disappearing.

Such is the plight of the Orang Rimba, an indigenous, semi-nomadic tribe in Jambi. Their people number about 3,000, but with rapid conversion of land and rampant deforestation occurring, tribal leaders say they’re being squeezed out of their traditional home and losing their identity.

With the modern ways of the outside world thrust upon them, the Orang Rimba have created a two-faced identity to survive. The Jakarta Globe visited the tribe in its homeland and chronicled its members’ daily battle for food, clean water, proper health care and education for their children — all while trying to maintain ancient traditions.

Orang Rimba are easily recognized by their features and dress, with their long, ruffled hair and loincloths. The women mostly go topless. This ancient attire, nomadic life and lack of hygiene is mocked by outsiders as backward, earning slurs from non-indigenous villagers and transmigrants.

Though fed up with their treatment, the Orang Rimba still try to adjust to the modern world in some ways. Some wear T-shirts and pants, ride motorcycles and own cellphones.

However, more and more of tribe’s younger generation are being drawn toward modern life, even renouncing their animist beliefs and converting to Islam.

“We can’t avoid this, and it’s very likely we will lose this battle,” laments Tumenggung Tarib, a tribal leader.

Read our stories about the Rimba: