Thursday, November 25, 2021

Protecting Indonesia's geoparks means preserving nature, culture by Fardah


Jakarta, Nov 25 , 2021 (Antara)-  A geopark is not just a geological park, Guy Martini, president of the Global Geoparks Council of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ), once said.

This is because a geopark has meaning and functions beyond a geological park. It serves as a link between the geological heritage and all other aspects of an area’s natural and cultural heritage. It aims to reconnect human society with the planet and celebrate how the Earth, and its 4,600-million-year-long history, has shaped every aspect of people's lives and societies.

The presence of geoparks helps preserve nature and culture and improve the economy as well as contribute to the prosperity of local communities.

Indonesia sees huge potential in developing cooperation between nations having geoparks in order to support nature and cultural conservation efforts, develop the creative economy, and promote the tourism industry.

No less than 110 Indonesian regions can potentially be developed into geoparks, officials have said. Currently, Indonesia has at least 15 national geoparks, including 6 that have been included on the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp) list.

The six geoparks are Batur in Bali, Ciletuh-Pelabuhanratu in West Java, Gunung Sewu in Yogyakarta, Rinjani in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Toba Calderas in North Sumatra, and Belitong in Bangka Belitung Province, Sumatra Island.

Speaking at a virtual conference on Indonesia's national geoparks on November 22, 2021, President Joko Widodo reminded all stakeholders and the public to protect the country’s geoparks, and prevent them from getting damaged and overexploited.

A geopark is a place to learn and preserve the wealth and biodiversity of Indonesia, according to Widodo.

"Please protect our geological wealth by preserving the geological heritage and the values in it, such as the archaeological, ecological, historical, and cultural values, so that they can continue to be passed on to the future generations," he said.


Geoparks might fit in with a tourism trend that has emerged during the pandemic, which is prioritizing ecotourism and wellness tourism, he added.

He called for a good management system for geoparks that balances nature conservation and economic interests. The formulation of the management system must involve environmental activists, academics, and local communities, he said.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Indonesia Pavilion entices visitors to experience Land of Diversity by Fardah


Jakarta, Nov 24, 2021 (Antara) The Indonesia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has whetted the curiosity of thousands of visitors about the Southeast Asian country, prompting them to learn more about the archipelago, including its culture, arts, culinary products, and investment opportunities.

The Trade Ministry has set a target of attracting at least 10 percent of visitors at the international expo, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is hoping to receive around 25 million people from October 1, 2021 until March 31, 2022.

The Indonesia Pavilion is among the most popular at the international exhibition, with the number of visitors to the pavilion reaching the 200 thousand-mark on November 2, 2021, according to Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi.

Children, in particular, are coming to the pavilion to see exotic animal species such as the komodo dragons and rhinoceros projected on the screen at the pavilion's Today Zone, Lutfi noted.

Children are also keen to see Indonesian kids dressed in traditional attire and reciting an oath to protect the Earth in several languages, such as Arabic, Indonesian, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, and Korean, he said.

"Visitors to the Indonesia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai are offered to catch a glimpse of Indonesia by experiencing and witnessing its civilization, development, and opportunities. This is important, as we are aiming to showcase Indonesia's important role in global development in the past, present, and the future," Lutfi remarked at the pavilion on November 3, a day prior to the inauguration of the Indonesia National Day by President Joko Widodo in Dubai.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

FIRST OVERSEAS TRIP DURING PANDEMIC TO TAKE WIDODO TO THREE NATIONS by Fardah


 

Jakarta, Oct 30, 2021 (Antara) A special Garuda Indonesia airplane, GIA-1, departed for Rome, Italy on October 29, 2021 with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his entourage on board, marking the start of his three-nation working visit.

Widodo's trip—which is his first since the pandemic began in 2019 and has come at a time when COVID-19 transmission has begun to slow in many countries, including Indonesia—will take him to Italy for the G20 Summit, Great Britain for COP26, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is an important business partner for Indonesia.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung are accompanying the President on the trip.


G20

Currently, Widodo is in Rome for the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders' Meeting, scheduled for October 30-31, 2021. He will take over the grouping’s Presidency from Italy at the meeting. 

The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is a permanent guest.

Indonesia will hold the Presidency of the G20, which represents 85 percent of the global economy and 75 percent of the global trade, from December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2022. The theme for Indonesia's Presidency is “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

He has also been invited to deliver a speech on women’s engagement in micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) at the meeting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Preserving Indonesia's mangroves to nurture blue carbon potential by Fardah


 Jakarta , Oct 27, 2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has set an ambitious target of restoring 600 thousand hectares of mangrove forests across the country by 2024.

The world’s largest archipelagic country sees the preservation of mangrove forests as crucial because of their role in providing habitats for aquatic and terrestrial fauna and flora, protection from strong winds and waves, soil stabilization and erosion prevention, nutrient retention and water quality improvement through filtration of sediments and pollutants, flood mitigation, sequestration of carbon dioxide, and protection of associated marine ecosystems.

As high carbon storage ecosystems, mangrove and peatland ecosystems play a strategic role as nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Peatlands and mangroves store up to 2 to 10 times more carbon than forests.

Given the significant role of mangrove and peatland ecosystems, the government has recently converted the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) into Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency (BRGM).

Mangroves, however, have been disappearing more quickly than inland tropical rainforests, particularly due to clear-cutting for shrimp farms.

The loss of mangroves has led to a decline in fisheries, degradation of clean water supply, salinization of coastal soils, erosion and land subsidence, as well as an increase in gas emissions, among other things.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), while visiting Tana Tidung district, North Kalimantan province, on October 19, 2021 had revealed that the country’s existing mangrove forests covered a total area of 3.6 million hectares.

Rehabilitation efforts are being undertaken to protect coastal areas from sea waves, seawater intrusion, and preserve the habitat of species, including birds, fishes, crabs, monkeys, and other flora and fauna, living in and around the mangrove forests, according to him.

Accompanied by several foreign ambassadors, Widodo planted mangrove trees in North Kalimantan as part of the mangrove restoration program.

The program’s funds were derived from various sources, including state and regional budgets, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of private and state-owned companies, and the community in general, he noted.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

BALI PREPARES TO WELCOME TOURISTS AS COVID CASES DECLINE by Fardah


 Jakarta, 20/10/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia has seen a drastic slump in COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks, which has triggered optimism of tourism reopening, particularly in Bali, one of the most famous tourist resorts globally.

Indonesia added 903 daily COVID-19 cases on October 19, 2021, bringing the total tally to 4,236,287, the Task Force for COVID-19 Response reported. Meanwhile, it recorded 50 daily deaths, bringing the total toll to 143,049, it added.

The nation has recorded a total of 4,076,541 COVID-19 recoveries so far, as per task force data.

Despite the significant fall in the number of COVID-19 cases, the government is still urging the public to remain disciplined in implementing the health protocols by wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and keeping a safe distance.

The authorities have also maintained the frequency of 3Ts (testing, tracing, and treatment) to prevent virus spread.

In view of the decline in cases, the government reopened the provinces of Bali and Riau Islands, which shares a maritime border with Singapore, to foreign tourists on October 14, 2021.

The government has said it will consider reopening other tourist destinations to foreign tourists if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline and the handling of the pandemic keeps improving.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

NORMAL LIFE BEGINS TO RETURN, BUT WITH CAVEATS by Fardah


Jakarta, 13/10/2021 (ANTARA) - With COVID-19 infections brought under control, over the last couple of weeks, the life of Indonesians has slowly begun to return to normalcy.

Tourist attractions, restaurants, places of worship, and amusement centers are reopening under strict health protocol measures.

Wedding receptions, religious events, sports matches, concerts, festivals, conferences, exhibitions are being held, albeit with several restrictions to check COVID-19 spread.

While deciding on allowing large-scale events, the government has considered many factors, such as the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients, vaccination rate, intensified 3Ts (testing, tracing, and treatment), and a significant drop in COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths.

"We should be grateful the current pandemic in Indonesia is getting under control. National COVID-19 data as of October 10, 2021 shows confirmed cases from 34 provinces, or 514 districts and cities, were below one thousand894 people to be exact," Dr. Reisa Broto Asmoro, spokesperson for national COVID-19 handling and behavior change ambassador, explained.

The nation recorded 1,233 daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, 48 deaths, and 2,259 recoveries on October 13, 2021, bringing the total COVID-19 cases so far to 4,231,046, deaths to 142,881, and recoveries to 4,067,684.

The daily confirmed cases showed a significant drop compared to 56,757 on July 15, 2021. The highest daily deaths were recorded at 2,069 on July 27, 2021 when the country was battling the second COVID-19 wave that was triggered by the Delta variant.

"Of course, this is all due to the hard work of all parties, both the government through its 3T, or testing, tracing and treatment, efforts, as well as expanding vaccination rate and coverage, and the public adherence to health protocols and the government's vaccination program," Dr. Asmoro said.

Based on data from the website asia.nikkei.com, as of September 30, 2021, the COVID-19 recovery index in Indonesia has increased, making it the leading country in terms of the recovery rate (54.5 percent) in Southeast Asia.