Indonesia in Focus
With its high rate of growth, high yield and low water consumption, the potato has become the world’s fourth major food crop in the world, but its prospects in Indonesia face many challenges, a representative for Indonesia’s chapter of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says. While speaking at a seminar help by the UN’s FAO in Jakarta on Wednesday, ManHo So said certain challenges, related to the vegetable’s biology and planting requirements, had to be overcome to achieve its potential in the country.
There’s a war being waged in the oceans of Indonesia with death and destruction to be found along the vast coastline of this country. Cyanide and explosives are being used by unscrupulous fisherman to extract sea life for commercial gain. Trawlers from Taiwan, China and other foreign parts are stealing the nation’s fish. Some of the country’s most precious marine life is being threatened with extinction. Invaluable mangroves are being ripped out and replaced with shrimp farms. An alarming amount of precious species living in our oceans are endangered. Coral reefs, rich in biodiversity, are being destroyed.
Palm oil companies operating in Indonesia pledged to stop expanding plantations into forests in response to growing global criticism about deforestation and to promote more sustainable products. Executive director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), Didiek Hadjar Goenadi, said here Monday palm oil companies would focus on utilizing idle land, including former forest concession areas, to maintain Indonesia as the world’s largest crude palm oil producer.
In the last five decades, environmental awareness among people has increased worldwide, but the focus of attention has shifted from time to time. In the 1960s and 1970s, pollution got the most attention from the public, especially in Western countries. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published in 1962, which depicts the effects of pollution on animals and humans, was one of many books inciting environmental awareness among Americans. A few years later, the world was horrified with the news of deadly diseases occurring in Minamata Bay in Japan caused by mercury pollution.
Conservationists say protected wild orangutans in Central Kalimantan may be extinct in three years unless the government acts to stop the expansion of oil palm plantations. Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) research shows the orangutan population is falling fast as forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations.
This May we are commemorating the 10th anniversary of the May 1998 tragedy, which is better known as the May 1998 riots. This historic incident is an important life-changing milestone in many people’s lives, whoever they are. I lost my innocence in May 1998, politically and spiritually. In a few fast-paced heart-racing days, I realized many unthinkable and unimaginable things, including what human beings are capable of doing to fellow humans, which could have happened to a person like me: the targeted rape of Chinese women, the burning and looting of properties belonging to Chinese owners and the denial of such incidents by those in power.
Ten years ago, Soeharto’s New Order began to be replaced by the world’s largest New Democracy. It is time for an evaluation. By 2003, Demos (The Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies), with the University of Oslo, developed and applied a framework for comprehensive democracy assessment by senior activists around the country.
To garner more visitors for Indonesia’s tourist program dubbed Visit Indonesia Year 2008, the government should grant more foreign airlines increased flight frequencies into Bali and other tourist destinations, an industry leader said. “If the government wants to be totally committed to making (the program) a success, it should start wooing other foreign airlines besides Singapore Airlines,” Tengku Burhanuddin, Secretary General of the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA), said.
The Public Works Ministry has announced a government plan to construct 17 large dams, including the Nipah and Bajulmati, East Java; Ponreponre in South Sulawesi; Peusangan 1, 2 and Keuliling in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam; Lebak Karian in Banten; Asahan 3, 4 and 5 in North Sumatra; Lore Rindu and Sulewana in Central Sulawesi; Mamberamo in West Papua, and the 45-year-old plan for the Jatigede dam in West Java. At the end of a six-day trip to Beijing last year, Vice President Jusuf Kalla confirmed the Jatigede project (to be the second largest dam in Indonesia after Jatiluhur) would soon be built by China’s largest dam building company, Sinohydro Corp.
A year before the 2009 election, the Indonesian media community faces a stifling prospect. A clause in the 2008 law on legislative elections states “print mass media (must) provide fair and balanced space and time for election coverage, interviews and campaign ads for election candidates”.
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- Timor Leste
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