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, January 31, 2010

Bali produces 3,850 tons of cashew nut last year

Antara News, Sunday, January 31, 2010 22:26 WIB

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Bali province last year produced 3,850 tons of cashew nut, up 25 tons from the year before, a plantation official said.

"The cashew nut production last year is 50 tons higher than the target of 3,800 tons," Head of the Bali Provincial Plantation Office Made Sudharta said on Sunday.

Nearly 2,600 tons of the cashew nut were produced by farmers in Karangasem district on the eastern tip of Bali island and the rest by farmers in Klungkung and Buleleng districts, he said.

The province now has 10,630 hectares of cashew nut plantation.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

LIPI launches beyonic technology for organic fertilizer making

Antara News, Saturday, January 30, 2010 22:48 WIB

Bogor (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has launched microbe-based Beyonic technology for organic fertilizer making.

Such a technology was launched by Research and Technology Minister Suharna Surapranata before LIPI chief Prof Umar Anggara Jenie at Bogor`s Cibinong Science Center in West Java on Saturday.

LIPI Biological Institute Deputy Prof Endang Sukara in his presentation on the Beyonic technology said the application of such a mechanical sciences was one of the solution to the problem of soil quality decline caused by excessive use of commercial fertilizer.

"The use of microbe should be a good alternative that can be developed continually to increase agriculture productivity by reducing excessive use of commercial fertilizer," Endang said.

According to him, the government in 2010 would allocate Rp11.86 trillion subsidy funds for the production of 11.76 million tons of organic fertilizer.

But unfortunately the organic fertilizer subsidy was used largely by big producers and a little by the farmers.

"Therefore, LIPI wants the farmers to be self-reliance in producing organic fertilizer by using Beyonic technology," Endang said, adding the microbe used in the technology was safe.

"The microbe used in such a technology is the local one which is safe and pure because it is kept by Biotechnology Culture Collection which has been registered at the World Federation for Culture Collection (WFCC)," Endang said.

He said a lot of imported microbe was not absolutely reliable and was even feared to destroy our environment.

According to Endang, several types of organic fertilizer such as BioPoska, Kompenit, Biomat, Biorhizin, Kedelai Plus, BioVam and Katalek had been marketed.

Meanwhile Research and Technology Minister Suharna Surapranata said the technological innovation result should immediately be exploited by technical department in order to make Indonesia free from relying on foreign industry.

"If such a beneficial technology failed to be synergized with technical department, it would be useless," the minister said, adding that development in Indonesia was in great need of technological products.

He admitted that a number of technical departments had yet to understand that the results of technological research at home had been able to meet national demands.

Environmental problems threaten food security program

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 01/30/2010 9:06 PM | National

Various environmental problems have put the government’s bid to maintain food security at risk, a minister says.

Agriculture Minister Suswono said Saturday limited water supply resulting from rampant illegal logging activities and conversion of productive land into commercial use were among the major challenges facing the government in its effort to meet the national rice production target.

"We must work hard to prevent agricultural land from being affected by industrial development," he said.

The government has enacted the 2009 law on protection of agricultural land to curb conversion of rice fields the country needs to ensure its food resilience.

The national rice production this year has been set at 66 million tons, up by 3.2 percent from the 2009 mark.

Suswono urged regional governments to support the move to expand rice fields in accordance with the national food self-sufficiency program by 2014.

Related Articles:

Indonesia pledges to `feed the world'

New military command in Kalimantan to guard border areas

Study says military complicit in illegal logging

Churches step in to protect indigenous people’s rights

Arghea D. Hapsari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 01/30/2010 9:43 PM | National

Mimika councilor Athanasius Allo Rafra shakes hands with a representative from two tribes during an attempted peace deal at Mambruk complex, Mimika, Papua on Monday. (JP/Markus Makur)

A forum of Catholic churches has stepped in to fill the gap left by the government’s tardy responses in protecting the rights of indigenous people, especially in Papua and Kalimantan, where exploitation of natural resources is rampant.

A public seminar was held on Friday to mark the start of the forum’s 6-month journey to advocate in the recovery of the people’s rights. Other activities will include focus group discussions involving mass organizations, churches and indigenous people in the two natural resource-rich territories. A national advocacy is slated for June.

The forum’s chairman, Mgr. Agustinus Agus, said Saturday the national advocacy program was aimed at enhancing public’s understanding of the indigenous people’s real conditions.

“We also want to invite concrete national and international supports to join the fight for justice and peace and restore the people’s rights,” he added.

The Social Services Ministry has registered 229,479 families of indigenous people living in 2,650 locations in 30 provinces across the country.

Some Dayak people acquire traditional hand-tapped tattoos to express their tribal and cultural identity. (Photo courtesy of Aman Durga Sipatiti)

Related Article:

KWI to fight for indigenous land rights

Indigenous people get ‘20%’ REDD money

Govt likely to accept tribal communal rights

A Night of Dayak Culture

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)

From the Past to the Future

The Jakarta Post, WEEKENDER | Fri, 01/22/2010 4:02 PM |Profile

A professor of geology and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Jared Diamond is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel, a scientific analysis of the history of civilization. His other, perhaps more important message is to never forget the lessons of history. Hana Miller interviews him.

“I have often asked myself,” Jared Diamond writes in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, “What did the Easter Islander who cut down the last palm tree say while he was doing it?”

At a time when the future of the planet and the life it supports has come to the forefront of popular media, Diamond’s message about learning from the mistakes and the choices of past civilizations in his recent Collapse becomes especially pertinent. Referring to the analytical model he uses to examine various different societies and how they adapted to – or ignored – the actualities of their circumstances, Diamond shares with us his thoughts on the factors that put Indonesia’s future most at risk, raising critical points about the direction in which we are knowingly leading ourselves.


In my book Collapse, I discuss the successes and failures of past societies at solving their environmental problems – such as the successes of the Japanese, New Guinea highlanders and Tikopia islanders, and the failures of the Polynesians on Easter Island in the Southeast Pacific, the Mayans of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and the Anasazi Indians of the Southwest United States.

In the past, when societies on different continents around the world were largely isolated from each other, the success or failure of one society didn’t affect distant societies. For example, it had no effect whatsoever on Indonesia when the Easter Island society collapsed, or when the Mayan cities collapsed. It also had no effect on Indonesia when Japan in the 1700s solved its forestry problems sustainably.

Today, however, in our globalized world, anything that any country does has the potential to affect any other country. For example, with global warming, greenhouse gases emitted in the United States or China or Russia contribute to global warming that affects Indonesian reefs. Globalization also means that Japan, a populous rich country that’s very good at protecting its own forests, succeeds in doing so by destroying the forests of other countries, such as Indonesia.

International business and the environment

Among the most important relationships for Indonesia are those involving Southeast Asian and worldwide businesses that import raw materials from Indonesia, especially tree products (timber and paper materials), fish and other sea products, oil and minerals.

My impression is that some of these international businesses operate in Indonesia according to standards that are not up to the highest international ones. For instance, much is known about how to manage forests sustainably to extract wood and wood products at a rate no higher than the rate at which new trees grow. Thus the forest can be exploited for the indefinite future. Japan and Germany are examples of densely inhabited countries that have been managing their forests sustainably for around 400 years. Even after centuries of exploitation, visitors to Japan and Germany are stunned to see how large a fraction of the area of those countries is still covered by forests: about 76 percent in the case of Japan!

As a result, there is no ongoing deforestation in Japan and Germany: new forests are planted or grown at a rate at least equal to the rate at which mature forests are cut down, and the extent of forests in Japan is actually increasing. In Indonesia, however, these international standards for sustainable forestry are in many or most cases not followed by international wood and pulp and paper companies. That’s a tragedy and a big economic loss for Indonesia: as things are going now, Indonesia will not continue to enjoy forest income for the indefinite future.

An added tragedy for Indonesia is that much or most forest products are exported in the raw form of unfinished logs. But most of the value of forest products is added after the trees are cut, when the logs are worked into finished timber and paper. This added value is much greater than the value of the unfinished logs. In effect, most of the profits from Indonesia’s timber are not received by Indonesia, but by the countries to which it exports its timber.

Similar problems arise with fisheries. There are well-established international standards for managing fisheries sustainably, so that fish are caught at rates no higher than the rates at which they can spawn and grow to maturity. Sustainably managed fisheries provide an income for the indefinite future. Examples of these include the Australian rock lobster fishery and the American wild salmon fishery. But most fisheries in Indonesia are not managed sustainably. That, again, is a tragedy for Indonesia, which loses a source of income that could continue for the indefinite future – if only it were managed properly.

It is entirely within the power of the Indonesian government to obtain a good economic deal with regard to foreign exploitation of its raw products. Other countries already insist on getting a good deal for their raw products. All that the Indonesian government would have to do is license only foreign companies that meet accepted international standards for managing fisheries and forests, and insist that most of the added value of Indonesian forest products be added in Indonesia rather than in Japan or China or Taiwan or Malaysia. Sadly for Indonesia, this is not happening at present.

The Five-Point Framework

In assessing whether a country is succeeding or failing at solving its major problems, I go through a checklist of five sets of factors: human impacts on environmental resources; climate change; effects of friendly trade partners; effects of hostile neighbors, and a country’s social, political and economic conditions that either help or hurt the country in recognizing and solving its problems.

Of these five factors, it seems four are critical for Indonesia. The one that is not critical – at least at present – is hostile neighbors. Although Indonesia has had problems with other countries in the past, that’s not the case today.

But the other factors all apply to Indonesia. With regard to the first factor, I mentioned above the overexploitation and decline of Indonesia’s rich forests and fisheries. Climate change affects Indonesia, especially through the harmful effects of global warming on the country’s rich reefs and through the increased frequency of extreme climate events such as cyclones, droughts and floods.

Friendly trade partners are another problem: Indonesia has friendly relations with Japan, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, but those countries are now partly the cause of the problems in Indonesia’s fisheries and forests.

Finally, as regards the fifth factor, political considerations in Indonesia are important for understanding why the economy and the people enjoy only a small fraction of the benefits they would otherwise receive from the country’s fisheries and forests.

Societal Response

My experience is of conflicts of interest, of two types. One set of conflicts involves those I mentioned above, between international interests – which make money by exploiting Indonesian resources unsustainably and add most of the value outside the country – and Indonesia’s own interest.

The other set of conflicts is between short-term and long-term interests within Indonesia itself: many Indonesians, just like many other people around the world, pursue short-term interests to the detriment of long-term ones. An extreme example is the use of dynamite fishing in coral reefs. This yields more fish for sale in the short run, but destroys the reef and hence reduces potential fishery income in the long run.

Factors for hope

At least four sets of factors make me hopeful. One was the serious discussion of climate change that took place in Copenhagen and is expected to continue elsewhere. The second is the role of big businesses, not all of which are destructive: some international corporations have been major forces for hope for the world’s future, by managing resources sustainably.

A third factor for hope is the recent change in attitudes about environmental issues in my country, the United States, which under the Bush administration pursued shamefully ignorant and destructive environmental policies. It’s also a promising sign that the Chinese government is taking some, but not all, environmental problems seriously.

Finally, a factor for hope is exemplified by The Jakarta Post – by which I mean not just the Post itself, but world media in general. Thanks to the Post and other media, including newspapers, TV, radio and the Internet, people in one part of the world can quickly learn about what is happening in other parts.

I shall never forget being at a small, remote airport in the Indonesian province of Maluku, where passengers could watch TV while waiting for their plane. And playing on the screen while I was there was a Michael Jackson video! While the late Michael Jackson is enjoyable, there are other things one can see on TV may be more important for understanding what is going on in the rest of the world.

As a result of the Post and other media, Indonesians now have the means to understand what’s going on in other countries. Some of those things are good and admirable, and some are terrible and destructive. Through the Post and other media, you have the opportunity to watch and learn from and imitate the policies of other countries that you believe promote long-term economic success, and you also have the opportunity to see destructive things that other countries are doing and you can avoid repeating those same mistakes in Indonesia.

Indonesia pledges to `feed the world'

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 01/30/2010 12:54 PM

Indonesia has reiterated its commitment to becoming a major global food producer by boosting the production of 15 key food commodities.

Fransiscus Wilerang, head of the Permanent Committee for Food Resilience at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said Friday that the successful implementation of the program could contribute at least US$101.5 billion to the country's revenues for the 2010-2014 period.

The 15 food commodities, Fransiscus said, included four "strategic" ones - rice, corn, sugar and soybeans - and six "key" commodities, consisting of palm oil, tea, coffee, cocoa, tuna and shrimp.

Other categories are "nutritious" (beef and poultry), and "local popular" products (mangos, bananas and oranges).

The 10 strategic and key commodities are part of the government's 2009-2014 road map for food development.

The plan aims to, among others, allow domestic crude palm oil (CPO) producers to expand their plantations from the total 7.9 million hectares as of the end of 2009, to 9.7 million hectares by 2015.

The expansion is expected to help boost CPO production to 36.6 million tons.

Production of another key crop, coffee, is expected to reach 737,000 tons this year, or 142 percent more than domestic consumption.

Under the road map, the 433,000-ton surplus will be exported.

Coffee exports are expected to increase by 4.69 percent annually until 2020, when 636,000 tons of the total production of 973,000 tons is expected to be exported.

"Considering Indonesia's potential to achieve food self-sufficiency, we have to see the global food crisis as an opportunity and participate in efforts to supply food for the world," Fransiscus told hundreds of participants at the "Feed the World" seminar, organized by Kadin.

"We've agreed to develop the idea into a concept of food self-sufficiency and supply food for the world, or *Feed the World'."

At a press conference after the seminar, Kadin deputy chairman Franky Widjaja said the revenue from the 15 commodities could amount to $101.5 billion.

"If we manage to promote this at the downstream level in the next five years, this could more than just a dream," he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who officiated the seminar and subsequent expo, said it was important for Indonesia to help address the world's food security issues, pointing out the consequences for not doing so could include the incitement of conflicts, as with water or energy issues.

He said to help achieve the "Feed the World" goal, the government would continue the first wave of its farming, plantation and fishery revitalization programs, lasting from 2004 to 2009, with the second phase set for the next five years.

Yudhoyono added that while Indonesia needed to maintain self-sufficiency in rice and corn production, it needed to achieve the same self-sufficiency in sugar production while reducing its dependence on imported soybeans.

He also reminded businesses not to neglect demand from the domestic market for the sake of more lucrative markets overseas.

"Why feed the world if we still have problems with food supplies and price instability at home," he said.

"The program **Feed the World'* should be understood as *Feed Indonesia, then feed the world'."

Investment Coordinating Board chairman Gita Wirjawan told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the government would categorize main staple foods such as rice and corn among the types of commodities that foreign interests would be restricted from investing in.

"These commodities are key to our national security, so it is within our interests to protect them," he said.

President: Revitalized must be further developed

Antara News, Saturday, January 30, 2010 05:32 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said after Indonesia`s agricultural, plantation and fisheries sectors had been successfully revitalized, they needed to be further developed to reach a higher performance level.

"The first revitalization wave in agriculture five years ago has been accomplished. We acknowledge it has been successful but we will not stop at this point. We will carry out a second revitalization program over the next five years," the President said in Jakarta on Friday.

The second wave of agriculture, plantation and fisheries revitalization would be done to enhance self-sufficient and sustainable food security and can come to be reserves or food supplies for the world, he said.

To achieve the goals the President mentioned eight keys of success, which are devising a strategy and adopting the right policies, such as selecting qualified commodities which are given priority development.

The 15 commodities selected by the Chamber of Commerce and also used by the government consisted of four strategic commoditiesm, namely rice, corn, sugar and soybeans, and six superior export commodities such as palm, coffee, tea, cocoa, tuna fish and shrimps.

There are other two commodities to support public health consisting of cows and chickens meat, also three other popular commodities of mangoes, bananas and oranges.

"These 15 commodities are very important, but we still have to maintain rice and corn self-sufficiency and surplus, immediately fill the sugar self-sufficiency, reduce dependence on soybean imports, and increase the adequacy of cows meat supply," he said.

The President also called for improved research and technology development, by seeking new production enhancement innovations without opening a new field.

Keeping the environment is also mandated by the president, to run the agriculture, plantation and fishery development are environmentally friendly.

"Indonesia`s spatial must be done correctly. Businessmen and farmers should not only pursue profits. I expect the field fire to be stopped. We`ll help the local communities not to easily burn their field to farm," he said.

The President also reminded to continue to improve the farmers, planters and fishermen welfare and not to make them only as a production factor, because they are the state`s assets, owner and the national economy.

Beside production increasing, the President also expected the basic food commodities prices remain affordable to the people.

Related Article:

President : Listen to farmers

Hello Bambi

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 01/29/2010 11:06 AM

Timorese deers are seen huddling at the Gunung Baung Natural Park in Pasuruan, East Java, on Thursday. Seven deers were handed by the East Java Natural Conservation Office to the park management as part of a pilot project to breed and protect the animals. However, local people are allowed to exploit the animals for commercial purposes. JP/Wahyoe Boediwardhana

UK pledges £50m to tackle Indonesia deforestation

The £50m will help educate Indonesians on climate change

The UK is to contribute £50m ($80m) to a project in Indonesia in the hope it will tackle climate change.

Large-scale deforestation makes the South East Asian country the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US.

The money will be used to encourage palm oil manufacturers to grow new plantations on land already degraded instead of clearing new forest.

The Indonesian president has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26% by 2020.

President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has said Indonesia could cut emissions by up to 41% if the country was given international help.

The UK Department for International Development (DfID) said the funding was part of a £1.5bn ($2.4bn) commitment to a $10bn-a-year "fast start" global financial package to help developing countries address climate change and its impacts, which was agreed in Copenhagen last month.

The five-year partnership aims to educate the Indonesian public on how the forests in the country are used and to help them adapt to climate change.

It will also give palm oil companies money to help them offset extra costs from growing on less fertile, degraded land.

The equivalent of three football pitches of rainforest have been cut down every minute in Indonesia, which lost a third of its forest cover in the past 20 years, DfID said.

Protecting vital resources

Indonesia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, with millions of people living in low-lying coastal areas and a high dependency on agriculture and natural resources.

It also has one-fifth of the world's coral reefs, which are threatened by rising sea temperatures and greater acidity caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said: "The impacts of unchecked deforestation in Indonesia will be felt across the world for years to come.

"Through this partnership the UK will stand side by side with the Indonesians to help manage their forests, protecting this vital resource for future generations."

Related Articles:

Indonesia Hopes to Complete Climate Action Plan Next Month

Indigenous people get ‘20%’ REDD money

Friday, January 29, 2010

Study says military complicit in illegal logging

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 01/29/2010 10:02 AM

A research conducted by the University of Indonesia revealed that military personnel were involved in illegal logging practice in border areas.

A team from the Center for East Asia Cooperation Studies (CEACoS) at the University of Indonesia, uncovered the military’s many roles in the illicit business from coordinating to monitoring and investing.

The research covers the period between 1999 and 2006 in East Kalimantan, where illegal logging practices have been reportedly rampant.

“[The military’s involvement in this practice] was structural; low-ranked soldiers to territorial commanders received a share,” CEACoS executive director Tirta N. Mursitama, head researcher, told the The Jakarta Post.

The research found three types of higher-ranked personnel contributing to the illegal logging business.

“There were those who only received shares from their subordinates.

“Other high-ranked personnel kept close relations with the cukong [tycoons], the godfathers in this business,” he said.

The third type includes those who invested directly in the business.

Rear Admiral T.H. Soesetyo, defense director from the Directorate General of Defense Strategy at the Defense Ministry, acknowledged there were certain personnel who were involved in illegal logging practice.

He, however, refused to name the practice as military business.

“Life at the border areas can be difficult for soldiers,” he said.

“Their salaries are not enough to live in such areas, especially as daily goods are expensive.”

Tirta said his team found that the military operated using two modi operandi.

The first method was bribery. The military received tributes for its role in getting forestry agencies to issue permits, allowing illegal logging.

These tributes take the form of stakes in certain companies.

The other method was the misuse of wood utilization permits (IPK), which are issued by the Forestry Ministry or local forestry agencies.

Military cooperatives that owned IPKs usually hire local people to cut trees and sell the logs to private companies, Tirta said.

But in some cases, tree cutting did not stop within the area covered in the permits.

Koesnadi Wirasapoetra from research center Borneo Institute has spent more than 10 years observing Kalimantan and its rampant illegal logging business.

He said military cooperatives or private companies with the IPKs would cut trees that grew along river banks.

The companies would then export the logs to Malaysia.

Exporting logs is illegal in Indonesia.

“Both methods recognize the role of a cukong who funds the whole system, enabling it to function,” Tirta said.

“The cukong distributes money to private companies or military cooperatives.

“The latter two then distribute the money to people in several institutions including the military, the governor [regional government] and the Forestry Ministry through the forestry agencies,” he added.

Soesetyo said he welcomed CEACoS’ research.

He added, however, that “We cannot simply believe it.”

He also said that the military had fined some of its personnel who were involved in illegal logging practices.(adh)

Related Article:

Indonesian Military 'Deeply Involved' in Forest Destruction: Report

Indonesia's military fails to monitor illegal logging and is actively involved in it, a new study has found. (AP Photo/Environmental Investigation Agency/Telapak, HO)

Indigenous people get ‘20%’ REDD money

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post | Fri, 01/29/2010 10:23 AM

At least 20 percent of revenue from the forest carbon scheme should be transferred to indigenous people who play crucial roles in protecting the forest to avoid emission leakages, a minister said.

State Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said that much revenue from the carbon trade was needed to ensure the sustainability of emission reduction in tackling climate change.

“Giving indigenous people a fair share also acknowledges their rights,” Gusti said.

He said the government could not leave the indigenous people behind in projects relating to the forest as they were at the forefront of environmental preservation.

Gusti said that indigenous people had great knowledge about how to protect the forest.

“The traditional people have long been conscious of the environment. It is important to include them in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation [REDD] projects,” he added.

REDD was expected to be an alternative to emission cuts from forests, which contributed about 20 percent to global emissions.

Under the scheme, countries that protect their forests can receive financial incentives through the carbon trade from rich nations.

However, debates on land and forest rights have been a hot topic at both national and international levels, mainly concerning efforts to mitigate global warming.

Activists said the unclear status of indigenous people and tribal communities managing forests would hamper the implementation of REDD programs.

The State Ministry for the Environment signed a memorandum of understanding with the Alliance of Archipelagic Indigenous People (AMAN) on environmental protection on Wednesday.

Gusti also inaugurated 35 indigenous people, also AMAN members, as the country’s ambassadors in protecting the environment.

AMAN secretary-general Abdon Nababan welcomed Gusti’s statement. “But our main concern is not on the percentage of revenue. We want the government to acknowledge the rights of indigenous people,” Abdon told The Jakarta Post.

There are currently 1,163 tribal communities in AMAN.

AMAN claimed that of Indonesia’s 210 million population, between 50 million and 70 million were part of customary communities earning their livelihood from forests.

Abdon said that the government continued to ignore communal rights by allowing natural resources of customary land and forests to be exploited.

Gusti said that about 20 percent of money from REDD projects should also be allocated to local administrations that controlled the forests.

“The remaining expected revenue from forest carbon trade will be for investors.

“Ten percent will go to the central government,” he said. The REDD scheme was expected to take effect in 2013.

Related Articles:

Indonesia Hopes to Complete Climate Action Plan Next Month

Govt likely to accept tribal communal rights

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Indonesia Hopes to Complete Climate Action Plan Next Month

Jakarta Globe, Fidelis E. Satriastanti, January 28, 2010

Yudhoyono committed to reducing carbon emissions through land use change and better forest management to avoid fires. (Photo: Michael Booth, AFP/IFAW)

Indonesia will complete its national plan of action for emission cuts before February 20, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajarsa said on Thursday.

During last year’s G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a pledge to cut the country’s emissions by 26 percent by 2020 and said that with international assistance the country would aim to reduce its emissions by 41 percent.

“We are determined that this should be finalized before February 20 to show that Indonesia is very serious about its emission plans,” said Hatta, who is also the deputy head of the National Council on Climate Change.

He added that the council had a detailed breakdown on how to reach the 26 percent target from each sector.

“We have all the details, such as what the forestry sector and energy sector need to do, and how much it will cost,” he said, adding that the government would also be preparing for the nation’s emissions to be able to be measured and verified as being in agreement with those from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Meanwhile, Rachmat Witoelar, executive head of the Council, said Indonesia will send its notification to be a part of the Copenhagen Accord following December’s international climate talks, but will deliver emission details at a later date.

“The submission deadline on the Accord is a soft deadline, we’ll say that we associate with the accord but details will follow later,” he said, adding that developing countries are not obliged to submit any details concerning their emission cuts.

Eka Melissa, deputy chair of a working group on international negotiations at the council, said that there were no sanctions if parties were not able to submit anything by the January 31 deadline.

“Based on the Accord, developed countries are supposed to submit their targets for emission cuts, while developing countries only have to submit their action plans for mitigation, called NAMAs,” Eka said.

“However, we have just finished meeting with the coordinating ministers and just got the national plans from Bappenas (the National Development Planning Board), so it will take time to coordinate with each sector (about the details to be provided to the UNFCCC).”

She said that they will try to submit on the due date, but still need the approval of cabinet before submitting to the UNFCCC.

“We are also still pursuing the UNFCCC on the mechanisms of this submission, but we’re serious (about the emission cuts). However, we won’t be giving that many details to the UNFCCC,” she added.

13 Asian Nations Meet to Save Tigers

Jakarta Globe, January 28, 2010

Asian tigers are severely threatened by habitat loss and poaching. (AFP Photo)

China and other Asian nations should shut privately run tiger farms as they are inhumane and fuel demand for the endangered big cat's bones and skin, the World Bank said Thursday.

The call came as governments from 13 countries where tigers exist in the wild met in Thailand to discuss their conservation and how to boost tiger numbers.

Tiger farms are found principally in China, as well as Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Owners claim rearing the cats in captivity will help reduce the illegal trade in tiger parts which are used in traditional medicine, but environmentalists say it only stimulates further smuggling.

``Our position is that tiger farms as an animal practice are cruel. They fan the potential use of tiger parts. That is extremely dangerous because that would continue to spur demand,'' said the World Bank's Keshav Varma, who is the program director for the Global Tiger Initiative, a coalition formed in 2008 with the Smithsonian Institute and nearly 40 conservation groups. It aims to double tiger numbers by 2022.

``The Global Tiger Initiative as well as the World Bank are in favor of shutting down these farms,'' he said by phone from the sidelines of the conference in the beach resort of Hua Hin.

Wild tiger numbers have plummeted because of human encroachment, the loss of more than nine-tenths of their habitat and poaching. From an estimated 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the number today is less than 3,600.

China alone is believed to be home to 5,000 domestic tigers, and farms thrive despite the government banning the trade in tiger parts in 1993. It has imposed stiff sentences on offenders and ordered pharmacies to empty their shelves of tiger medications purported to cure ailments from convulsions to skin disease and to increase sexual potency.

The first tiger farms started before the ban, but others sprang up afterward because speculators thought the ban would be temporary. The government says the farms have been developed to attract tourists but critics say they are used to harvest tiger parts.

Despite lobbying from influential businessmen for the ban to be lifted, China last month announced it would take stronger law enforcement action on the trade in tiger parts and products. It also promised stricter regulation of captive breeding.

Conservationists like the group TRAFFIC welcomed the new measures but continue to call for tiger farms to be shut down. They say allowing trade in tiger parts would fuel poaching because it is cheaper to kill a wild animal than to raise a tiger on a farm. The parts are indistinguishable.

Varma said tiger farms had yet to be discussed at the three-day ministerial meeting that began Wednesday, attended by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.


Related Articles:

Indonesia, 12 Other Asian Nations Draft Plan to Save Tigers

Activists against tiger adoption program