Rabu, 30 Oktober 2019

PAPUA'S NEW ICONIC TOURIST ATTRACTION YOUTEFA BRIDGE OPENS TO PUBLIC

Rabu, 30 Okt 2019 17:12
By Fardah
Jakarta, 30/10 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his 13th visit to Papua on Oct 28, 2019, inaugurated Youtefa Bridge connecting the provincial capital Jayapura with Muara Tami District and Skouw sharing border with neighboring Papua New Guinea.
The bridge is far from ordinary since it spans stunning Youtefa Bay that has scenic beauty and serene environment as well as is surrounded by the Pie and Saweri Capes.

From the bridge, visitors can also spot Tobati Strait measuring only some 300 meters wide and providing access to Yos Sudarso Bay and also to the seas.

The Youtefa Bay area is indeed a destination for those looking to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The scenic beauty also presents a plethora of options for photography.

Tourists will also come across a sago forest and a majestic green mangrove forest there, two striking rivers called Entrop and Acai, and beautiful isles located in the middle of the bay.

Another unique natural attraction found in the Youtefa Bay area is a natural field called Arising and Sinking field since the spot is only visible during low tide and vanishes from sight during high tide.

As most land areas in Youtefa are still forested, several species of flora and fauna are also found, such as various types of insects, reptiles, mammals, Lorius Lori exotic bird, and long-tailed monkeys.

Selasa, 29 Oktober 2019

INDONESIA SET TO VENTURE INTO NOVEL ERA OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

  by Fardah
Selasa, 29 Okt 2019 13:57

Jakarta, 29/10 (Antara) - Indonesia is buoyant about emerging as a major producer of electric vehicles (EV) owing to quite abundant raw materials to produce lithium batteries, the main component of EV manufacturing.
Besides this, the country believes that electric-based vehicles can lower air pollution, especially in Jakarta, categorized as one of the polluted cities in the world and infamous for its massive traffic jams due to carbon emissions from motor vehicles, among other things.

To expedite the materialization of the EV industry and attract investors, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had signed Presidential Regulation No. 55 of 2019 on the acceleration of battery-operated vehicles for road transportation in early August 2019.

Development of the domestic electric vehicle industry will be accelerated in accordance with the regulation effective as of August 12, 2019. Furthermore, it encourages optimization of local content to increase competitiveness, incentives, charging station infrastructure development, and special electricity tariffs for battery charging, as well as environmental preservation.

The regulation also pushes for energy efficiency, security, and conservation in the transportation sector, clean energy usage, air quality improvement, and the realization of Indonesias commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

"We know that 60 percent of the key to electric cars is the batteries, and we have the components to make them (such as) cobalt and manganese in our country," Jokowi noted in a statement posted on setkab.go.id.

Most electric cars available in the market today were some 40 percent more expensive than fossil-fueled cars, he pointed out.

Hence, he was optimistic that Indonesia's ubiquitous resources of materials required for making batteries would help push down prices, thereby creating greater demand for EVs.

Jokowi believed that Indonesia is a strategic place for EV businesses to start, and the country is capable of designing an affordable and competitive electric car industry.

Sharing the president's optimism, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was also confident about Indonesia becoming part of the global supply chain in the electric car industry in the subsequent five years.

"I am optimistic that Indonesia would become part of the global supply chain in the next five years. As much as 70 percent of the raw materials required for the production of lithium batteries are produced in Indonesia. It also has abundant reserves of rubber and tin," Pandjaitan noted in a statement recently.

As the biggest producer in the mining sector, he believes Indonesia should have the power to determine the price of the commodity.

According to Pandjaitan, South Korea's LG Chemical is contemplating on building a facility to produce lithium batteries in Indonesia as a precautionary measure against the country's plan to ban nickel ore exports from January 2020.

He believed that LG Chemical's intent to build the facility in Indonesia will support the government's plan to develop electric cars.

Besides this, PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) has expressed readiness to start battery electric vehicle (BEV) production at its factory in Karawang, West Java.

"It is a global trend. If we do not join it, we will not be able to export," TMMIN president director Warih Andang Tjahjono stated in Tokyo on Oct 28, 2019.

TMMIN is committed to supporting the government's target for the share of electric vehicle output to reach 20 percent of Indonesia's total car production by 2025.

The Ministry of Industry had earlier targeted investment in the battery industry for electric vehicles in the country.

One of the important aspects in accelerating the production of the electric vehicle industry is the preparation of supporting industries, such as power control units (PCU), electric motors, and batteries, then Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto stated.

Based on data, increasing investment in Indonesia for the industrial sector that will produce electric vehicle batteries only needs one additional stage, such as investment in the battery cell industry.

Other investments in mine concentrations, refinery, and electrochemical production are already a part of the Morowali Industrial Zone (IMIP) in Central Sulawesi.

In the meantime, the National Energy Council (DEN) has urged offices to set up charging stations for electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles can lower air pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and oil imports, DEN Secretary General Djoko Siswanto noted in a statement on Sept 30, 2019.

"The rationale behind using electric vehicles is to realize a cleaner environment, curb air pollution, curtail fossil oil consumption, and lessen imports. DEN urges all electric car producers to begin production of the vehicles now," he remarked.

To support the initiative to use electric vehicles, every office should provide electric sockets or public electric vehicle charging stations (SPKLUs) at parking lots for charging batteries.

"Every office is advised to build electric sockets at motorcycle parking lots. For motorbikes, charging a vehicle battery at home or office is sufficient. Each takes around four hours to charge and can suffice for five day trips from home to office and vice versa," he explained.

State-owned electricity company PT PLN had earlier affirmed its support to the development of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (SPKLU) following the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 5 of 2019.

"We will facilitate all parties keen on developing electric vehicles," PLN Acting President Director Sripeni Inten Cahyani stated, adding that the company will offer two business schemes: Company Owned Company Operated, or COCO, and Partner Owned Partner Operated, or POPO.

Furthermore, PT PLN will offer a 75-percent discount for electric motorcycle owners and free charge for electric car users to augment power capacity, so they will have sufficient electricity to charge their vehicles at home.

The Agency for Technology Assessment and Application (BPPT) had earlier echoed that electric vehicles would pick up steam in Indonesia, with more charging stations being set up nationwide.

The agency held the Indonesia Electric Motor Show (IEMS) 2019 on Sept 4-7 in Jakarta to promote the use of electric vehicles in the country.

METAMORPHOSING INDONESIA'S ECONOMY TOWARD COMPETITIVE MANUFACTURING

Selasa, 29 Okt 2019 15:22
By Fardah
Jakarta, 29/10 (Antara) - Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his presidential inaugural address, demarcated five priorities for his second five-year term (2019-2024), one of them being transforming the country's industry, from reliance on natural resources to manufacturing competitiveness.

"We must transform, from depending on natural resources to manufacturing competitiveness and modern services that have high added values for prosperity of the nation and for social justice for all Indonesian people," Jokowi had stated on Oct 20, 2019.

The four other priorities are human resources development, infrastructure development, regulation simplification, and bureaucracy simplification.

Four days later while chairing the first plenary meeting of his new cabinet, the president reiterated the necessity to ease requirements for industries that can boost Indonesia's exports.

"I have repeatedly conveyed this statement. If there are export-oriented industries or those intending to produce substitute goods for importing, please do not take too long to sign (the documents of approval)," he told cabinet members at the meeting.

Incentives must be awarded to industries oriented towards export increase and those producing goods to substitute imports.

President Jokowi also remarked that the central and regional governments must fix targets for the creation of more job opportunities. To this end, those industries able to provide jobs should be served well.

Rabu, 23 Oktober 2019

JOKOWI SPRINGS SURPRISE WITH PRABOWO'S INCLUSION IN NEW CABINET

Rabu, 23 Okt 2019 20:27
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 23/10 (Antara) - Joko Widodos (Jokowis) arch rival in two consecutive presidential elections, Prabowo Subianto, appointed as Indonesias defense minister in Jokowis second-term administration cabinet line-up has surprised supporters of the respective presidential candidates in the last elections.

Subianto and Jokowi went head-to-head in the 2014 and 2019 heated elections that showcased a national divide, triggering a prolonged and fierce fight between Subiantos supporters called kampret (baby bats) and Jokowis supporters cebong (baby frogs) on social media.

Following the announcement of results of the presidential elections on May 22, 2019, unrest erupted in Jakarta, as Subiantos supporters believed that the April 2019 election was marred by massive and systematic frauds. At least nine people, mostly teenagers, were killed during the rally.

Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, Prabowo Subiantos spokesman, recently stated during a television talk show that the retired general had accepted the offer since as a patriot, he was keen to give his utmost contribution to the country and nation. Furthermore, he has carved out a niche in defense affairs, so he accepted it, he stated.

"I believe I don't have to tell him about his job - he knows more than I do," Jokowi remarked while announcing Prabowo Subianto's new role.

Subianto, 68, was an ex-commander of the Indonesian Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) during the administration of Indonesia's second president Soeharto, who was also his father-in-law.



On Oct 21, Prabowo Subianto, the founder and chairman of Gerindra Party's Advisory Board, was called to the presidential palace by Jokowi. On the occasion, he was accompanied by Edhy Prabowo, the deputy chairman of Gerindra.

He accepted the offer to become defense minister to replace Ryamizard Ryacudu, while Edhy Prabowo as maritime affairs and fisheries minister to succeed Susi Pudjiastuti.

Subianto, the son of Indonesia's prominent economist Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, failed to become Golkar Party chairman and decided to establish Gerindra (Movement of Great Indonesia) party in 2008.

He contested thrice in the direct presidential elections, but success had eluded him until now. He was the vice presidential candidate, running mate of presidential candidate Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2009, and later the presidential candidate in the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections.

Senin, 21 Oktober 2019

AWAITING MINISTERS TO WALK THE TALK OVER PUBLIC'S DEVELOPMENTAL BENEFITS

Senin, 21 Okt 2019 14:33
By Fardah
Jakarta, 21/10 (Antara) - During his presidential inauguration address on October 20, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) gave an insight into his aspirations of seeing Indonesia become an advanced nation, achieve near-zero poverty, and avoid the middle-income trap.
To this end, the head of state has outlined five priorities for his second five-year term for the 2019-2024 period, notably human resources development, infrastructure development, regulation simplification, bureaucracy simplification, and economic transformation.

Indonesia must channel its efforts towards developing hardworking, dynamic, and skilled human resources that have also gained mastery over technology and sciences, he noted.

He also vowed to continue the development of infrastructure to connect production regions with distribution regions, offer better access to tourist destinations, create new job opportunities, and increase added value of the people's economy.

Moreover, the president highlighted the need for simplifying regulations and deregulating to encourage micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to offer more jobs.

To attract investment that can create job opportunities, he will also prioritize debureaucratization or simplification of bureaucracy.

The fifth priority concerning economic transformation aims to veer from dependency on natural resources to competitive manufacturing.

"We must transform from depending on natural resources into manufacturing competitiveness and modern services that have high added values for prosperity of the nation and for social justice for all Indonesian people," he stated.

Jokowi also expressed hope that Indonesia would emerge as a developed nation, with calculated income of Rp320 million per capita per year, or Rp27 million per capita per month.

"Our goal is that in 2045, Indonesia's gross domestic product can reach US$7 trillion. Indonesia has been listed among the world's five-largest economies, with nearly zero poverty rate. We have to achieve our goal," Jokowi stated.

To achieve the targets, Jokowi is seeking ministers that can not only implement his priority programs but are also capable of delivering the benefits of development programs to the people.

Jokowi spoke of scenarios when his ministers had updated him on the tasks they had conducted, though his on-field checks exposed the truth of the public yet to benefit from these programs.

The government's development programs should not merely focus on process, but it must also be oriented towards tangible results.

Jokowi is expected to announce his new cabinet line-up on Oct 21, a day after he and Ma'ruf Amin took their oath of office respectively as Indonesia's president and vice president for the 2019-2024 period.

Minggu, 20 Oktober 2019

ROUNDUP- SMOOT AND PEACEFUL JOKOWI'S SECOND PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

Minggu, 20 Okt 2019 19:55
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 20/10 (Antara) - Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Ma'ruf Amin took their oath of office respectively as Indonesia's President and Vice President for the 2019-2024 period in an official swearing-in ceremony taking place at the Parliament Building in Jakarta on Oct 20, 2019.
The presidential inauguration ceremony was conducted smoothly and peacefully amid tight security measure with some 31 thousand police and military officers deployed in the capital city.
In his inaugural address, Jokowi said his administration in the second five-year presidential term will prioritize human resources development, infrastructure, and debureaucratization to encourage investment that could create job opportunities.
Foreign dignitaries attending the inauguration ceremony included 17 heads of state and governments as well as special envoys, and 168 foreign ambassadors, according to Head of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo.
Among the foreign leaders were Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad; Brunei Darussalams Sultan Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, King of Eswatini Mswati III, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Cambodias Prime Minister Hun Sen and China's Vice President Wang Qishan.
The foreign leaders held separate meetings with President Jokowi prior to the inauguration and expressed their commitment to strengthen bilateral ties with Indonesia.
"They have expressed commitment to continuously strengthen bilateral cooperation with Indonesia. The President expressed gratitude for the presence of the guests including those coming from far away, to attend this inauguration ceremony," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi told the media at the Merdeka Palace.
In the meantime, Chief of the Indonesian Defences Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto earlier said the military and the Indonesian Police (Polri) deployed several helicopters, drones and Boeing aircraft for air security during the presidential inauguration.

Kamis, 17 Oktober 2019

Indonesia seeks inscription of more geoparks on UGGp List by Fardah

Jakarta,  Oct 17, 2019 (Antara) - Of Indonesia's 15 national geoparks, Batur in Bali, Ciletuh-Pelabuhanratu in West Java, Gunung Sewu in Yogyakarta, and Rinjani in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), have been included on the List of UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp).
No less than 110 Indonesian regions can potentially be developed into geoparks. However, the figure is yet small in comparison with China that has 220 national geoparks, of which 39 have been included on the UGGp List.

However, Indonesia should take pride in the fact that it has become the only country to have issued a presidential regulation on geopark development, notably the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 9 of 2019 on National Geopark management, institution, and budget.

While hosting the Sixth Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) Symposium in Geopark Rinjani, Lombok, NTB, from Aug 30 to Sept 6, 2019, Indonesia had discussed its proposals on inscription of two more geoparks on the UGGp List.

"We have proposed the names of the two national geoparks of Belitung and Toba to be discussed for inclusion into the UNESCO global geoparks list during the APGN meeting in Lombok," Anton Setyo Nugroho, head of the Maritime Innovation Network Department of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Office, concurrently secretary of the Indonesian National Geoparks Committee, stated recently.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will reach a decision on whether to accept Indonesia's proposals during the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (UGGN) meeting to be held in Paris, France, in April 2020.

Over 600 people, including scientists from France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and China, participated in the symposium themed “UNESCO Global Geoparks Toward Sustaining Local Communities and Reducing Geohazard Risk.”

The fourth UNESCO Global Geoparks Council meeting was also organized in parallel with the symposium in Lombok, from Aug 31 to Sept 2, 2019

In the meantime, during the 29th Workshop on Managing Potential Conflict in the South China Sea held in Batam, Riau Islands Province, on Sept 11, 2019, Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry tabled a proposal to establish a geopark network in the South China Sea Rim.

Currently, at least 46 UNESCO Global Geoparks (GG) are there in the South China Sea Rim. The presence of geoparks helps to improve the economy and contribute to the prosperity of the local communities.

Indonesia sees huge potential in developing cooperation among geoparks in the South China Sea Rim in order to support nature and cultural conservations, develop the creative economy, and promote the tourism sector, the ministry's Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis and Development for Multilateral Affairs, Dindin Wahyudin, emphasized.

A regional geopark network can serve as a platform for sharing best practices and for capacity building. The network should promote the role of small and micro businesses in the region and encourage combined tour packages by connecting geoparks in the South China Sea as an integrated regional tourism destination and market.

Dindin cited the Langkawi Geopark in Malaysia as a good example of a geopark managing to bring about significant economic growth, particularly after its inscription into the UGGp List.

Currently, Indonesia is developing several geoparks, including the Natuna Geopark, which is strategically located adjacent to the South China Sea region.

Natuna was officially designated as the National Geopark of Indonesia on November 30, 2018, and Indonesia is currently promoting the Natuna Geopark as one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.

In addition to positively impacting the local economy by increasing the flow of investments and tourists, the presence of the Geopark in Natuna can aid in environmental preservation while achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Furthermore, the Ende district government is upbeat about the Kelimutu National Park and the adjoining area in Kelimutu Sub-district, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, being designated a geopark area in 2021.

"Since 2018, we have made preparations for the establishment of a geopark in Kelimutu National Park, and the government's target is to ensure that it materializes in 2021," Hiparkus Hepi, head of the tourism office of Ende District, noted recently.

A working team has been formed to prepare the designation of Kelimutu National Park as a geopark, in cooperation with a team from West Java.

Consultants will conduct field studies on biodiversity, geology, and culture within the national park that is known for its unique three-colored lake.

"From birds, plants, and rocks, to the traditional culture in Kelimutu area will be studied, and the results will be examined by teams from the central government and UNESCO that has the authority to issue a recommendation on whether it is qualified," he stated.

In the meantime, as a follow-up of the Asia Pacific Symposium of Geoparks Network (APGN), a competence test for geopark guides was held in Lombok on September 17-18, 2019.

A total of 78 geopark guides participated in the first-ever competence test encompassing knowledge, skills, and conduct of geopark guides, T. B. Haeru Rahayu, assistant to the coordinating ministry's deputy-in-charge of maritime education and training, stated.

Geopark guides must have a broad understanding of geology and environmental cleanliness as well as be capable of providing public services and vital information to tourists.

"These guides are the envoys of Indonesia or at least envoys of the regions where they work. Tourists, their employers, and also the nation rely on them," he emphasized.

Selasa, 15 Oktober 2019

"MAKING INDONESIA 4.0" ROADMAP TO BE HIGHLIGHTED IN HANNOVER MESSE By Fardah

Selasa, 15 Okt 2019 14:44
Daerah : Jakarta

Jakarta, 15/10 , 2019(Antara) - Hannover Messe 2020, the world's top industrial technology tradeshow, will give center stage to its partner nation, Indonesia, to chiefly portray its vast economic potentials and particularly the Making Indonesia 4.0" roadmap to draw investment.
Indonesia is well-known among many as a tourist destination, especially Bali, Flores, and Borobudur, and an agreeable location for holidaying.

However, not many are aware of the fact that Indonesia is a member of G20, one of the largest manufacturing economies in Asia and, by far, the largest economy within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The archipelagic nation also harbors aspirations of ranking among the top 10 economies globally by 2030.

"We are way beyond just a tourist destination. We, as a nation, are a large economy," Indonesian Ambassador to Germany Arif Havas Oegroseno told the media in Berlin in September 2019.

The ambassador believes that the true potential of Indonesia's economy is yet to be fully understood and grasped by the German public. Indonesia will have a huge opportunity to seize the relocation of industries.

Indonesia is also upbeat about bolstering its national brand to draw more foreign investors and establishing cooperation in the industrial sector.

After 1995, Indonesia has been re-selected as the official partner country of Hannover Messe. As an official partner country, Indonesia will occupy a 1,300-square-meter central pavilion and several thematic satellite pavilions.

In the presence of German Economic Minister Peter Altmaier, the Partner Country contract was inked in Jakarta on Nov 1, 2018, by Ngakan Timur Antara, acting director general of Industrial Resilience and International Access Development, Indonesias Ministry of Industry, and Dr Jochen Kckler, chief executive officer of Deutsche Messe AG.

Dr Jochen Kocler pointed to Indonesia's proposal to be the official partner country of Hannover Messe being well-received by the Deutch Messe and German Government.

Sabtu, 12 Oktober 2019

West Sumatra readies to hold 11th Tour de Singkarak by Fardah

West Sumatra Province is gearing up to implement its iconic sports tourism event of Tour de Singkarak (TdS), the international cycling race, scheduled on November 2-10, 2019.

The route for the 11th edition of the TdS will be expanded this year for the first time to also cover Jambi Province.

Offering prizes amounting to Rp2.3 billion, TdS is the biggest international cycling race in Indonesia that has promoted tourist destinations in West Sumatra, so far.

Foreign and domestic cyclists participating in TdS are entertained with local traditional dances and culinary delicacies, with the hopes that they would one day return to Indonesia with their families and friends as well as share their experiences on social media.

"TdS has a high media value, so its implementation will affect the promotion and image of tourist destinations in West Sumatra and Jambi," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya stated.

This year, West Sumatra is optimistic of attracting 58,447 foreign tourists and 8.4 million domestic tourists.

This year, West Sumatra is promoting 49 major tourist attractions, of which three have been included in the “Calendar of 100 Wonderful Events” managed by the Tourism Ministry.

The three main tourism events are Pasa Harau Art And Cultural Festival, Tour de Singkarak (TdS), and Minangkabau Cultural Festival.

Taking a cue on new capital city design from Canberra by Fardah

Indonesia is looking to Australia’s capital Canberra as a reference for its capital city in East Kalimantan, part of Kalimantan or Borneo Island where its remaining tropical rainforest, often called “the world’s lung,” remains intact.

Over 50 percent of Canberra, known as the Bush Capital, is gazetted as a national park or reserve. Green spaces are scattered across the city, and kangaroos regularly grace Canberra’s suburban streets. This is in line with the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration's aspiration to realize a smart and forest capital city and leave behind crowded and polluted Jakarta.

For materialization of the plan, the Indonesian government establishes cooperation with the University of Griffith, according to the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry. The design will be drafted through cooperation and collaborations among various domestic and foreign parties, including the Griffith University in Australia, Agus Justianto, head of the ministry's research and innovation development department, revealed on Oct 11, 2019.

In fact, the government had initiated cooperation with Griffith University since 2002. The renewed agreement was inked by Justianto and Deputy President of Griffith University Professor Sarah Todd in Brisbane, Australia, on Oct 10, 2019.

The existing cooperation has resulted in the formation of a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development for Indonesia (CESDI), which was founded in February 2007. The CESDI's mission is to build capacity for more sustainable development and environmental management in Indonesia and across the region. Its main focuses encompass the application of SDG principles, low-carbon development initiatives, and climate resilience in the next capital city.

"Through this cooperation, the CESDI can make the new capital city in East Kalimantan a laboratory for sustainable development at the footprint level," he stated.

The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry confirmed that the design of the new capital city, to be located in East Kalimantan, will apply the principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Jumat, 11 Oktober 2019

FOREST FIRES DESTROY PARTS OF SUMATRAN ELEPHANT HABITATS By Fardah


Jakarta, 11/10 , 2019(Antara) - Wildfires ravaging forest areas in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan have produced smog that suffocated not only millions of people in those provinces and neighboring Malaysia but also animals.
Human beings and animals have been suffering the most, as forests on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan are home to varied floral and faunal species, including endangered animals, such as the Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, and orangutans.

Several of those animals abandoned their habitat to escape the fires. In Central Kalimantan, tens of orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) contracted respiratory ailments.

In Riau, a Sumatran tiger was found roaming near an oil facility in early August, as the wild animal attempted to flee the forest fire that had destroyed its habitat.

Moreover, Sumatran elephants fled their habitats, entering residential areas after wildfires spread through the Tesso Nilo National Park in Riau Province.

When wildfires ravaged through the national park for the past week, dozens of elephants fled to residential areas in search of food at plantations.

The national park's rangers had monitored the movement of wild Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) from the rainforest to Bongkal Malang Village in Indragiri Hulu District, Andi Hansen Siregar, head of the the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Office (BBKSDA), stated recently.
Two elephants were spotted roaming around plantation areas in Bongkal Malang for several days. An initial identification launched by the rangers indicated that one of the wild animals was an adult male Sumatran elephant that had allegedly damaged a palm plantation.

In Cirenti Sub-district, Kuantan Singingi District, three wild elephants were spotted roaming around residential areas, and the local rangers had managed to drive away the elephants.

In early October 2019, a human-elephant conflict raged in the areas of Bener Meriah District, Aceh Province, with a herd of wild Sumatran elephants destroying four houses in Pantanlah Village, Pintu Rime Gayo Sub-district. Although no deaths were reported in the incident, the elephants had damaged the local farmers fields.

The elephants repeatedly wandered into villages in the sub-district in search of food.

Sabtu, 21 September 2019

NIAS ISLAND PREPPED TO ENGAGE INTERNATIONAL SURFERS, TOURISTS by Fardah

Sabtu, 21 Sep 2019 11:09
Daerah : Jakarta
Jakarta (ANTARA) - With the international maritime event of Sail Nias 2019 being organized from July to September 2019, the government is stepping up the promotion of Nias Island as a surfing haven for international visitors.

The Indonesian government’s steadfastness to transform Nias into a global tourist destination gateway was echoed by Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan while officially opening Sail Nias at a peak ceremony held at the Teluk Dalam Seaport, South Nias District, North Sumatra Province, on Sept 14, 2019.

Various activities organized during the event included the Wonderful Nias Expo 2019, battleship parade, Nias Marathon, culinary bazaar, and traditional art and cultural performances.

Other activities comprised Wind Surfing and Sailing Contests, Free Diving Competition, Stone Jump Festival, Coffee Festival, Fishing Tournament, Wonderful Tourism Photo Expo, One Thousand Tents Festival, the Mt Sitoli cultural seminar, and Traditional Fishing Boat Parade, with the participation of some 100 fishermen boats.

A ceremonial stone jump tradition is the icon of Nias and has already gained popularity among travelers. The stone jump tradition was born along with the Nias War Dance. Since primeval times, tribes in Nias would oftentimes clash among themselves, and the chief (siulu) of every tribe trained their young members for war; stone jumping being part of the training.

The 2019 Sail Nias event involved four districts and a city on the island of Nias, specifically Gunungsitoli City and the districts of South Nias, West Nias, Nias, and North Nias.

It unveiled Nias Island as the best-kept secret of Indonesians to the world.  Among the top secrets of Nias Island is Sorake Beach, recognized as the second-best place to surf, after Hawaii.

FOREST FIRE SMOG PLAYS SPOILSPORT IN TOUR DE SIAK IN RIAU by Fardah

Sabtu, 21 Sep 2019 15:47
 
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Tour de Siak (TdSi) organizing committee apparently overlooked the weather factor while deciding to hold the event this September, the peak of the dry season that is dryer than usual due to El-Nino.

Since August 2019, Riau Province, where Siak District is located, has been hit by forest fires emanating smog that has blanketed cities and choked millions of people, especially infants and children.

In spite of the disaster, the organizing committee of TdSi decided to go ahead with the race held on September 19-22, 2019.

Some 54 cyclists, grouped in 11 domestic and foreign teams, are participating in the Seventh TdSi international cycling race 

The domestic teams comprise the BSP Siak Cycling Team, KFC Cycling Team, KGB Cycling Team, and Indonesia's National Team. The foreign participating teams constitute the Terengganu Inc Tsg Cycling Team of Malaysia, Global Cycling Team of the Netherlands, Velofit Team of Australia, Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan team of Iran, Nex Cycling Team of Singapore, Kinan Cycling Team of Japan, and Go For Gold Team of the Philippines.

Bianka Zarco, an official of the Global Cycling team from the Netherlands, after arriving in Siak on September 18, remarked that his team had visited Riau to win, though soon came to the realization that the smog would pose a challenge and was concerned over its health impact.

Selasa, 27 Agustus 2019

KALIMANTAN FOREST TO REMAIN INTACT DESPITE CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT by Fardah

Selasa, 27 Ags 2019 20:07
Daerah : Jakarta
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration has assured that the development of the capital city will not damage the environment and vowed that East Kalimantan forests will remain intact.
This comes after the government announced that parts of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara Districts in East Kalimantan Province would be the location for the country’s new capital expected to be inaugurated in 2024, the year when Jokowi’s second term will end.
President Jokowi told the media August 26, 2019 that the two districts were selected, as they faced the least risks from natural disasters, including floods, earthquake, tsunamis, forest fires, and landslides.
Moreover, they are strategically located in the heart of Indonesia and near Balikpapan and Samarinda that are developed cities. Hence, basic infrastructure and facilities already exist. Besides, the government owns 180 thousand hectares of land there.
The decision to move from Jakarta was based on a three-year study conducted by the government.
"The results of the studies concluded that the ideal location for a new capital city will be part of North Penajam Paser District and part of Kutai Kartanegara District in East Kalimantan," President Jokowi, who has been re-elected for the 2019-2024 term, noted.
The work is expected to start in 2021 and cost up to Rp466 trillion (US$32.3 billion) to be covered by the State Budget (Rp74.44 trillion), Public-Private Partnership scheme (Rp265.2 trillion), and private investment (Rp127.3 trillion).
Relocating the capital city in Kalimantan has triggered debates on both sides. The island, also known as Borneo, is considered “the lung of the world” as it is home to vast forests that help absorb CO2.

Senin, 26 Agustus 2019

Refugees stranded for years in Indonesia, feel neglected by Fardah

Haydee Alnoori, 40, his wife, and five children, one Jakarta-born, demonstrated with Iraqi refugees, brandishing “We are Iraqis marginalized” papers before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Jakarta office on Aug 22.
"We are marginalized. We came here six years ago. My children face an unknown future,” Alnoori informed the media.

Alnoori stated that his youngest son, born in Jakarta as a refugee, had no nationality, as he had yet to be listed on either the Indonesian or Iraqi government’s population document.

The Iraqi refugees staged protests on several occasions and claimed to have negotiated with the UNHCR a fortnight ago and had ended the demonstration to give it some time, but to no avail, as the UN body neither took concrete action nor gave any form of promise.

The Iraqi refugees vowed to continue to protest until the time the UNHCR acts in their favor.

In Medan, North Sumatra Province, several refugees also rallied on the same day.

Ibrahim Basir, a Palestinian refugee, was displeased and annoyed over the fact that despite the refugees having resided in Medan for several years, their cause had been forgotten and that the UNHCR had yet to process matters over moving them to third countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.
"We are bored of living like this. We just eat and sleep and are not allowed to find jobs," he stated.

Minggu, 25 Agustus 2019

Forest fires drive Sumatran tiger from their habitats by Fardah

Indonesia, home to the Sumatran tiger, joined celebrations on International Tiger Day, observed on July 25, to raise support for the conservation of tigers.
The Sumatran tiger is the only surviving tiger in the country, and the smallest of the five tiger subspecies in the world. In the 1970s, the number of Sumatran tigers had reached some 1,000, though the figure decreased to 800 by the 1980s. Currently, the population is believed to be between 400 and 600 tigers.

In earlier days, Indonesia was home to three tiger species, including the Bali tiger, which became extinct in 1940, and the Java tiger, declared extinct in the 1980s.
While environmentalists, experts and officials campaigned during Global Tiger Day, still, the few remaining Sumatran tigers have to struggle to survive, as Sumatra Island has been ravaged by hundreds of hotspots, similar to forest fires, since July 2019.

Riau Province on Sumatra Island has been the most affected by forest fires. Wildfires also broke out in the province’s Tesso Nilo, a 81,700-hectare national park, which is a habitat for critically endangered tigers and elephants.

A video of a tiger running near the fence of the Chevron facility in Siak District, Riau, went viral in early August 2019.

Head of the Riau BBKSDA (Natural Resource Conservation Office) Suharyono confirmed the receipt of information from Vice President External Affairs of Chevron Hasim M. Noor explaining that the video was taken by a security guard at Kilometer 5 of the eastern Trans-Sumatra road near Gathering Station (GS) facility 5 of Chevron in Minas.

Jumat, 23 Agustus 2019

RELOCATING INDONESIA'S CAPITAL TO KALIMANTAN, "THE WORLD'S LUNG" by Fardah

Jumat, 23 Ags 2019 22:24

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on August 16, 2019, officially announced his plan to move Indonesia’s capital city to Kalimantan Island and asked for the Parliament’s permission for that purpose.
On August 22, Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Sofyan Djalil spoke of East Kalimantan as the most likely location for the new capital city. However, Jokowi later denied the assertion and said that studies are still on to decide the location.
In May 2019, Jokowi visited Kalimantan to look for a location for his plan and one of the options was Bukit Soeharto (Soeharto Hill) Forest Park located in Samboja Sub-district, Kutai Kartanegara district, East Kalimantan Province. Between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares are needed to host the new capital city.
Pros and cons emerged in the public regarding Kalimantan also known as Borneo, as the host of the capital city to replace Jakarta. Several young people recently interviewed by TVOne expressed their objection. They specifically mentioned that Kalimantan has so far served as "the lungs of the world", and the massive development needed to build a new capital city would destroy a part of the island's forests.
Located near Balikpapan City, Bukit Soeharto Forest Park hosts the Wanariset Samboja Orangutan Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Center, as well as an education forest managed by the University of Mulawarman.
Balikpapan also has the Sungai (River) Wain Protected Forest (HLSW) which has extraordinary biodiversity including endangered fauna such as sambar deer, orangutans (Pongo pygmaues), sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), and nearly 200 species of birds.
Surrounding Balikpapan, there are also many primary forests, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs on its coastal area.

Selasa, 20 Agustus 2019

90 cyclists from 22 nations pursue glory in Tour d'Indonesia by Fardah

Jakarta , AUg 2, 2019 (ANTARA) - An enthralling adventure that started from Central Java’s Borobudur Temple and will conclude on Bali Island is set to test the mettle of 22 countries’ 90 cyclists participating in Tour d'Indonesia (TdI).
The UCI category 2.1 international cycling race of TdI 2019 was kicked off from the 9th-century Borobudur Temple, the world's largest and oldest Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java Province, on Aug 19, with 18 domestic and foreign participating teams. The cyclists are expected to reach the finish line on Bali Island, one of the world's most famous tourist resort, on Aug 23.

The TdI 2019 comprises five stages, notably Candi Borobudur-Ngawi, stretching 178 kilometers (km); Madiun-Batu, 157.7 km; Batu-Jember, 195.9 km; Jember-Banyuwangi, 150km; and Gilimanuk-Batur UNESCO Global Geopark, 143.6km.

Of the 18 teams, the four Indonesian teams are Indonesia's National Team, PGN Road Cycling Team, Custom Cycling Indonesia (CCI), and KFC Cycling Team.
The foreign participants comprise those from France, Greece, Spain, and England, Parama Nugroho, chairman of the Bank BRI Tour d’Indonesia, remarked.
"We have made comprehensive preparations and are content that all regional heads, whose cities fall on the race's route, fully support the event," he emphasized.

Australian cyclist Angus Lyons emerged as the supreme winner of the first stage in a tightly contested race.

Sabtu, 17 Agustus 2019

PEACE DIPLOMACY A PRIORITY IN KASHMIR ISSUE

Sabtu, 17 Ags 2019 20:24
Daerah : Jakarta
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Nearly four million Kashmiris have been under lockdown with movement restrictions and a near communications blackout since August 4, 2019, as the Indian Government recently revoked special status accorded to Indian-administered Kashmir in its Constitution.
In the lead-up to the move, India sent tens of thousands of additional troops – joining 500,000 already there - to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and the Internet, arrested hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders, and turned parts of the main city of Srinagar into a fortress of roadblocks and barbed wire.
The latest developments have escalated the tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Pakistan formally asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently to hold an emergency session to address the situation.
As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Indonesia, however, believes that dialogue and communication between Pakistan and India would be more desirable to resolve the Kashmir problem.
From Indonesia's point of view, peace and security diplomacy must be prioritized in dealing with the Kashmir issue. Indonesia is also of the view that the solution to the problem should be sought bilaterally by Pakistan and India. A bilateral solution is a key to this problem.
Teuku Faizasyah, spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, said in a statement on August 15, 2019 that it would be better for Pakistan and India to hold a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem, because a communication deadlock has led to information scarcity, giving rise to various interpretations that have only led to an escalation of the problem.
In the UN Security Council, Indonesia emphasized the importance of the two countries exercising restraint and resolving the problem bilaterally, Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard, Director General of Multilateral Cooperation of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, said.

EMPOWERING INDONESIAN DIASPORA TO ACCELERATE NATIONAL HRD

Sabtu, 17 Ags 2019 22:57
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 17/8 (Antara) - Some seven million Indonesians living overseas are a huge asset for national development if they are synergized with the Indonesian governments programs.
Supporting the Indonesian Vision of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) for his second term (2019-2024), the Fifth Congress of Indonesian Diaspora (CID-5) was organized in Jakarta, from Aug 10 to 13, 2019, by the Indonesian Diaspora Network-Global (IDN-Global).
Themed Empowering Indonesia's Human Capital, the congress discussed efforts to strengthen the role of the Indonesian diaspora in improving the quality of human resources in their home country.
"We chose this theme because human resource is the Indonesian diasporas biggest strength. We believe human resource development is the key to Indonesia's future," Gerald Eman, the president of IDN-Global Mark told the press prior to the CID-5.
Dino Patti Djalal, chairman of the Indonesian Diaspora Network-Global (IDN-Global) Board of Trustees, believed that if the Indonesian Diaspora is synergized with the governments programs, the impact would be enormous.
"The diaspora can function as an accelerator for the development of Indonesian human resources in the future and this could be the key for Indonesia to become the giant of Asia," said Djalal, who is also a senior diplomat and former Indonesian Ambassador to the United States.
The CID-5 is a biannual event organized to connect Indonesians living abroad and create a platform for them to contribute to national development.
Some 5,000 participants comprising Indonesian diaspora from around the world, government officials, religious figures, politicians, celebrities, artists, athletes, innovators, academics and youth leaders attended the event.

Jumat, 16 Agustus 2019

QUALITY HUMAN RESOURCES WILL MAKE INDONESIA DEVELOPED NATION

Jumat, 16 Ags 2019 23:45



By Fardah
Jakarta, 16/8 (Antara) - At the beginning of the first term of his presidency in 2014, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had expressed his ambition to develop Indonesia into a maritime axis and revive the country's past maritime glory.
One of the keys to realizing this ambition is by building competent and professional human resources in the maritime field.

And now, as his first presidential term draws to a close, Jokowi, who has been reelected for the 2019-2024 period in the 2019 Presidential Election, unveiled his vision to make Indonesia a developed country and one of the worlds economic powers, by relying on the quality of human resources and mobilization of its economic resources.

"We are the fourth largest population in the world. Most of them are young people. Our middle class population grows rapidly," the President said while delivering his address on the Government Statement on the Bill in the State Budget for the 2020 Fiscal Year and Its Financial Note before the Plenary Session of the House of Representatives (DPR) at the Parliament Building, August 16, 2019, a day prior to the Indonesian National Day.

Indonesia currently has a population with a productive age constituting 68 percent of the total population of 267 million.

The government's determination to make Indonesia a developed nation reflects in the 2020 fiscal policy themed A State Budget to Accelerate Competitiveness through Innovation and Improved Quality of Human Resources.

Therefore, the State Budget Bill focuses on five main aspects, notably strengthening the quality of human resources, accelerating infrastructure development in support of economic transformation, strengthening social protection programs, improving the quality of fiscal decentralization to boost regional autonomy, and anticipating global uncertainty.

Rabu, 14 Agustus 2019

ALL-OUT EFFORTS TO EXTINGUISH WILDFIRES ON SUMATRA, KALIMANTAN ISLANDS

Rabu, 14 Ags 2019 20:48
By Fardah
Jakarta, 14/8 (Antara) - Indonesian Defense Forces Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian, Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, and National Disaster Mitigation Agency Head Lt Gen. Doni Munardo, Aug 13, oversaw Riaus forest firefighting.
Aboard helicopters, they reviewed the condition of nature at the Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN), Indragiri Hulu, and Indragiri Hilir, among others, where wildfires razed forest and peatland areas.

In Jakarta, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had recently chaired a meeting at the State Palace to discuss efforts to combat forest fires. He instructed all-out efforts to extinguish the wildfires.

Eight provinces in Indonesia are prone to forest fires, but only six have declared an emergency status for forest fire, Director of Forest Fire Mitigation Raffles B. Panjaitan of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry stated.

The six provinces are Riau, with the emergency status declared from Feb 19 to Oct 31, or 255 days; West Kalimantan (from Feb 12 to Dec 31, or 323 days); South Sumatra (March 8-Oct 31, or 237 days); Central Kalimantan (May 28-Aug 26, or 91 days); South Kalimantan (June 1-Oct 31, or 153 days); and Jambi (July 23-Oct 20, or 90 days).

Based on satellite monitoring on Aug 10, at 7 a.m. local time, 126 hotspots were found in Riau, four in Jambi, 13 each in South Sumatra and South Kalimantan, 533 in West Kalimantan, and 159 in Central Kalimantan.

Minggu, 11 Agustus 2019

INDONESIA REMAINS UPBEAT DESPITE REVISING TOURIST ARRIVAL TARGET

Minggu, 11 Ags 2019 09:57
By Fardah
Jakarta, 11/8 (Antara) -  With his ministry working hard to promote Indonesia globally, particularly in China, India, the Middle East and Europe, nearly 18 million tourists will arrive this year, an optimistic Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya believes.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya launched a Calendar of 100 Wonderful Indonesian Tourism Events in late 2018 to promote the country's tourism attractions and attract foreign tourists.
The Calendar of 100 Wonderful Indonesia Tourism Events is the initiative of President Joko Widodo to inform the world that the country has various events of international standards.
Besides, the Tourism Ministry has intensified the role of the Tourist Information Center (TIC) and coordinated with various regional administrations to step up tourism promotion activities.
The target of 18 million foreign tourists has been revised from the previous target of 20 million foreign visitors this year.
Several unpredictable circumstances such as natural disasters have affected the arrivals of foreign tourists in the first semester this year, forcing a revision in the target, the Tourism Ministry explained in late July.
"According to data from the BPS (Central Bureau of Statistics), the number of foreign tourist arrivals last year was 15.8 million. It would require a huge increase from 15.8 (million) to 20 (million). Therefore, this year's target has been revised to some 18 million," Esthy Reko Astuti, expert staff of the Tourism Ministry in charge of the Management of the Calendar of Events, said July 29, 2019.
Between January and May 2019, Indonesia welcomed 6.37 million foreign tourists, a 2.7 percent rise as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. In May 2019, the number of foreign tourists had reached 1.256 million.

Jumat, 09 Agustus 2019

Transforming Lake Toba into world-class tourist destination by Fardah

The huge Lake Toba and Samosir Island, lying at its center, offer a well-rounded tourism package incorporating scenic beauty, inimitable Batak culture and traditions, and captivating history.
Located in North Sumatra Province, Lake Toba is undoubtedly not just any ordinary lake but is the largest volcanic lake on Earth.

The ancient lake has been formed by a steep-walled caldera produced during the Toba volcano's eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption on the planet in the past two million years. The powerful eruption, an extremely rare event, is called a supervolcanic eruption.

When viewed from space, the Toba caldera is one of the most striking volcanic craters on Earth, measuring 100 x 30 kilometers.

After Lake Toba’s designation as a priority tourist destination, the Indonesian government has been developing various facilities and infrastructure to support the tourism industry in North Sumatra Province, where the ancient lake is located.

Investment for the development of Lake Toba, totaling Rp3.5 trillion, has been sourced from the State Budget (APBN), the president noted in a press statement released by the Presidential Secretariat.

The government is upbeat about attracting private investments valued at thrice to five times bigger than the government's investment for Lake Toba.

New ASEAN Secretariat building marks bloc's 52nd anniversary by Fardah

Jakarta,Aug 9, 2019 - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a new multi-storey building emblematic of regional harmony, dialog, and unity in Jakarta, as the grouping celebrated its 52nd anniversary on Aug 8, 2019.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the new ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) building in the presence of ASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, foreign ministers, and representatives from its 10 member countries, as well as some 600 other guests, including former ASEAN secretaries general: Tan Sri Dato Ajit Singh and Ambassador Le Luong Minh.

ASEAN members comprise Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

After signing the stone marker, Jokowi, accompanied by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi, symbolically handed over the new building’s key to Dato Lim.

Jokowi, in his remarks, admitted to his personal attachment to the construction of the new ASEC building since he was the governor of Jakarta some seven years ago, and thus, he has monitored the construction progress closely.

"Indonesia has endeavored to facilitate the ASEAN to work in a fast, solid, effective, and efficient manner. Based on that thought, we construct this building," he emphasized.

The president expressed hope that most ASEAN activities would be conducted in the building, so it could cut travel spending, and the fund would be utilized for other activities.
Jokowi lauded the regional grouping for playing a central role among countries by promoting unity, the very reason it has lasted for 52 years.