Sabtu, 10 November 2018

CHINA LIFTING TIGER BONE BAN FEARED TO AFFECT SUMATRAN TIGERS by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 10, 2018  (Antara) - China's decision to reverse the 25-year ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horns has triggered an outcry from various conservation groups internationally and considered the move a regress in wildlife conservation efforts.
        In response to the move, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued a statement in Beijing on October 29, 2018, expressing its profound concern over China's announcement on the same day that it has legalized the use of tiger bones and rhino horns from captive-bred animals by hospitals and domestic trade in antique tiger and rhino products.
        "It is deeply concerning that China has reversed its 25-year-old tiger bone and rhino horn ban, allowing a trade that will have devastating consequences globally," Margaret Kinnaird, WWF Wildlife Practice Leader, affirmed.
        A similar concern was voiced by Greenpeace Africa's Senior Political Advisor Fredrick Njehu, saying that China's decision to reopen trade of rhino horns and tiger bones will not only reactivate the demand for rhino products but will also contribute to a rise in poaching and other illegal activities
   WWF and Greenpeace Africa urgently call on China to not only maintain their 1993 ban on tiger bone and rhino horn trade but to also extend it to cover trade in all tiger parts and products, regardless of whether they are from captive-bred or wild animals.
        An Indonesian environmentalist has also expressed his concern over China's decision to legalize tiger bone use for medicines, as it has the potential to trigger the poaching of Sumatran tigers.
        "For us, this is a regress and leads to bad impacts on conservation efforts in countries having wildlife. China has been viewed as an illegal importer and export destination of protected wildlife so far," Osmantri, coordinator of the Wildlife Crime Team, a working unit of the WWF program in Central Sumatra, stated in Pekanbaru, Riau, recently.

Jumat, 09 November 2018

WARNING OF HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL DISASTERS ISSUED DURING RAINY SEASON by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 9, 2018 (Antara) - The rainy season has set in quite late over certain regions but has already induced floods and landslides, claiming more than 25 lives, particularly in parts of Sumatra and Java Islands.
        Since October 2018, floods have reportedly hit many villages in several provinces, such as West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Riau, Aceh, West Java, and East Java.
        At least 22 people were killed and 15 missing due to flooding in North Sumatra and West Sumatra, while in West Java, floods claimed six lives and rendered one missing recently.
       Indonesia is indeed prone to hydrometeorological disasters, such as flooding, landslide, and whirlwind, in the rainy season and wildfires or severe drought during the dry season.
       Hence, the Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has warned of possible floods, landslides, and whirlwind during the current rainy season.
        "Entering the rainy season, the possibility of floods, landslides, and whirlwind increases," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the BNPB spokesman, noted in a statement on November 8, 2018.
         Precipitation will continue to increase, and the rainy season will peak in January, so the disaster threat is higher.
         In Riau, Sumatra Island, floods submerged a total of 4,384 homes located in 44 villages in 11 sub-districts in Indragiri Hulu (Inhu) District on Nov 7.
        The affected sub-districts were Pasir Penyu, Rengat, Kuala Cenaku, West Rengat Barat, Lirik, Lubuk Batu Jaya, Peranap, Rakit Kulim, Batang Peranap, Kelayang, and Sei Lala, Edward Sanger, head of the Riau disaster mitigation office, said on Nov 8.
        The flooding was triggered by incessant heavy rains that caused the Kuantan River to overflow its bank.

Senin, 05 November 2018

TOUR DE SINGKARAK 2018 FACES GREATER CHALLENGES by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 5,2018 (Antara) - Indonesia's most famous international cycling race and sport tourism event, Tour de Singkarak (TdS), is more challenging this year because of heavier rains and longer race track.
          Bad weather in the current rainy season has become a real challenge because downpours are expected to fall in several regions along the route of TdS, which is being held from Nov 4 to 11, 2018, in West Sumatra Province.
         The West Sumatra provincial capital of Padang, in fact, was flooded on Nov 2, 2018, killing two children, destroying two bridges, and submerging some 1.4 thousand homes in seven sub-districts.
       Deputy Governor of West Sumatra, Nasrul Abit, concurrently chairman of the TdS 2018 organizing committee, officiated the TdS 2018 in Kantin Square, Bukittinggi District, on the evening of Nov 3.
         The TdS' theme this year is "One Decade for All," in order to mark a decade of the organization of the cycling race classified by International Cycling Union (UCI) as 2.2 category race and listed in the UCI Asia Tour calendar of events.
         Besides having to brave heavy rains, participating cyclists have to ride longer because the TdS' race track this year is extended to 1,267 kilometers, from 1,250 kilometers in the previous year, although its stages are reduced from nine to eight stages.
         A total of 224 cyclists, grouped in 21 cycling teams from 26 countries, including four domestic teams and one local team, are participating in this year's TdS, with total prizes worth Rp2.3 billion to be won.  

Sabtu, 03 November 2018

LION AIR JT 610 CRASH RENEWS AVIATION SAFETY CONCERN by Fardah

  Jakarta, Nov 3, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia, which was still grieving the devastation caused by powerful earthquakes and tsunami in Lombok and Palu, was once again shocked by the crash of a Lion Air flight JT 610 plane on Oct 29, 2018, which claimed all 189 people aboard.
         The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but the Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft that plunged into Tanjung Karawang waters in West Java Province, after some 15 minutes taking off from Jakarta en route to Tanjung Pinang, Bangka Belitung, was relatively new.
         The ill-fated aircraft joined the Lion Air fleet in August 2018 and had 800 hours of flight time, according to National Committee of Transportation Safety (KNKT) Head Soerjanto Tjahjono.
         Corporate Communication Strategic Officer of Lion Air, Danang Mandala, remarked that the crashed Boeing 737 Max 8 plane was airworthy and had been operated by the airlines since Aug 15, 2018.
         The aircraft departed from Jakarta at 6:20 a.m. local time and was scheduled to arrive in Pangkalpinang at 7:05 a.m. local time, according to the Depati Amir Airport authority in Pangkalpinang.
         Before it lost contact, the aircraft had sought permission to return to Jakarta due to a problem.
         The aircraft carried 178 adult passengers, including an Italian national; three infants; six crew members; as well as an Indian pilot and an Indonesian co-pilot. 
    Among the passengers were tens of civil servants including 20 officers of the Finance Ministry, six legislators of Bangka Belitung, and three police officers.
    Few hours after the accident, the plane's wreckage and several body parts were found floating in the sea not far from Jakarta.
         The same aircraft, while serving Denpasar-Jakarta flight the previous day (Oct 28), had encountered a technical problem, which was later reportedly resolved.

Rabu, 31 Oktober 2018

PALESTINE HOPEFUL OF INDONESIA'S UNSC NON-PERMANENT MEMBERSHIP by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 31, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia will officially fill the non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), starting January 1, 2019.
       Indonesia will serve for two years along with other non-permanent members: South Africa, Dominican Republic, Germany, Belgium, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru, and Poland, as well as with five permanent members of the UNSC: the United States, China, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom.
          At the same time, Palestine will chair the Group of 77 developing nations at the UN as of January 2019. As the chair of the G77, Palestine will be able to act more like a full UN member state.
         Palestine gained de facto recognition as a sovereign state after being approved by the UN General Assembly in 2012, upgrading its status as a UN non-member state.
        Being the G77 chair, Palestine's status will be further upgraded, allowing the nation being colonized by Israel to make statements, submit and co-sponsor proposals and amendments, on behalf of the G77 and China, among other things.
         As Indonesia, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle for independence, and Palestine are both holding important positions in the UN, hopes ride high over strengthening international solidarity to end atrocities and crimes against humanity being committed almost daily by the Israeli occupation forces in Palestinian land.  
   During a visit to Jakarta on Oct 14 for participating in the Solidarity Week for Palestine organized by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki expressed optimism that Indonesia's position as a non-permanent member of the UNSC would voice not only the interests of Indonesia but also Palestine.

Sabtu, 27 Oktober 2018

BALI GEARS UP FOR FIFTH OUR OCEAN CONFERENCE by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 27, 2018 (Antara) - After successfully hosting the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in early October, Bali is currently gearing up for the implementation of the Fifth Our Ocean Conference (OOC) to be held in Nusa Dua on Oct 28-29.
        This year's OOC is themed "Our Ocean, Our Legacy," as it reflects choices and actions to maintain the sustainability of the oceans' resources and to preserve the oceans' health, as a heritage that serves as a legacy for the children and grandchildren.
       People have an option to choose the kind of legacy they will leave behind for the future generations and that choice depends on the actions they take today.
       The OOC is expected to be attended by nearly two thousand people from some 70 countries.
       At least, six heads of state and government, two vice presidents, and 36 ministers from several countries have confirmed their participation in the OOC.
        Among the leaders expected to be present are Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of Nauru Baron Waqa, President of the Republic of Palau Thomas E. Remengesau, President of Micronesia Peter Christian, President of New Caledonia Philippe Germain, President of Marshall Island Hilda Heine, Vice President of Seychelles Vincent Meriton, and Vice President of the Republic of Panama Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado.
        The gathering will also be attended by representatives of 200 civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations.
        To be officially opened by President Joko Widodo, the conference will present prominent keynote speakers, such as the Prince of Wales via a video message, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Ine Eriksen Soreide, and Visiting Distinguished Statesman at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace John Kerry.
        Other speakers present at the conference will include Head of the Indonesian Board for Disaster Management (BPBN) Willem Rampangilei, former prime minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, coordinator of the Marine Programme World Heritage Center at UNESCO Dr Fanny Douvere, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland Michael Creed, and Ocean Unite, and former president of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres.