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.

Jumat, 02 Agustus 2019

TACKLING FOREST FIRES IN 5 INDONESIAN PROVINCES

Jumat, 2 Ags 2019 22:25
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 2/8 (Antara) - Several children attending the Islam Akramunnas Kindergarten in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, had no option but to wear face masks as haze, arising from forest and bush fires, hung over the city since early this week.
Being susceptible to smoke emitted from forest fires, the children were told about the health hazards posed by exposure to haze and hence were asked to wear the masks.
"Before entering the classrooms and before leaving for home, we remind the children of the dangers of haze," said Afni Sarianti, the kindergartens teacher who was also wearing a mask.
The government is expected to deal promptly with forest and bush fires to prevent the recurrence of the forest fire and the resultant haze that took place in 2015 and forced schools to temporarily close for nearly a month.
The dry season will last from July to October this year and when it peaks in August it will be drier than in the previous years, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has predicted.
Some 28 of the 34 provinces in Indonesia are threatened by drought due to the severe dry spell induced by the El Nino natural phenomenon, Deputy Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Dody Usodo has warned. He reminded people to remain vigilant about forest fires and the water crisis.
Until July 17, land and forest fires in the country had covered 42,740.42 hectares in 24 provinces. Nearly 99 percent of the fires were triggered by intentional or accidental human activities, Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.

Kamis, 01 Agustus 2019

GOVERNMENT REMAINS UPBEAT ABOUT INVESTMENT GROWTH IN 2019-2024 PERIOD

Kamis, 1 Ags 2019 19:22

By Fardah
Jakarta, 1/8 (Antara) - To drive more investment that can generate employment opportunities features among the priority programs vowed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in his second term for the 2019-2024 period.
Jokowi outlined his priority programs also encompassing infrastructure development at an event called "Indonesian Vision" held at the Sentul International Convention Center, Bogor, West Java, on July 14, 2019, following his victory in the 2019 presidential elections.

Over the past week, in a bid to pursue the investment target, the president had held meetings with potential investors, including the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had echoed his countrys commitment to boosting investment in Indonesia.

During a visit to Indonesia on July 24, 2019, three investment pacts worth $9 billion were inked in the presence of the Crown Prince and the Indonesian president at the Bogor Presidential Palace.

On the subsequent day, Jokowi held discussions, prioritizing efforts to intensify investment in Indonesia, with leaders from the Hyundai Motor Group.

"We spoke about the investment plan from Hyundai Motors in Indonesia," Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto remarked after accompanying President Jokowi to welcome Hyundai Motors delegates at the State Palace in Jakarta.

Hyundai Motors plans to produce vehicles in Indonesia and has outlined an export target of 40 percent abroad and in the domestic market. Discussion on the investment value is yet underway.

Furthermore, Jokowi had received Softbank CEO Masayoshi and Grab CEO Anthony Tan at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on July 29.

Rabu, 31 Juli 2019

NEARLY 50 MILLION INDONESIANS THREATENED BY EXTREME DROUGHT

 Rabu, 31 Jul 2019 16:03

By Fardah
Jakarta, 31/7 (Antara) - An El Nino-induced severe dry spell has cast a pall over 100 districts and cities in Indonesias provinces of Aceh, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
Most parts of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara have not received rains for nearly 60 days. The extreme dry season has impacted 102,746 hectares (ha) of agricultural area and ruined 9,358 ha.

The National Meteorological, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast extreme dry season until September, with the condition likely to peak in August.

The government has forecast that the current drought, which is drier than that of last year, would spread to 28 out of the countrys 34 provinces, and could affect 48,491,666 people and leave 11,774,437 ha areas parched.

A total of 55 district and municipal administrations in the seven provinces have declared a state of emergency in their regions over drought.

The authorities have built artesian wells in several areas and supplied over seven million liters of clean water, out of the 15 million liters to be distributed.

The government has prepared 15,665 thousand liters of water to be dispatched to 1,969 villages, Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), stated.

In the meantime, the Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry inspected the availability of clean water in dams, lakes, and reservoirs in regions, as the severe dry season has resulted in a water crisis.

"During drought, the supply of clean water (for households) is a priority and next is for agricultural irrigation," PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono had noted in a statement on July 7, 2019.

Minggu, 28 Juli 2019

IMPROVING HUMAN RESOURCES TO RESPOND TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES

Minggu, 28 Jul 2019 10:22

By Fardah
Jakarta, 28/7 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who has been reelected for the 2019-2024 period, is set to focus on the development of human resources, after intensifying infrastructure constructions in his first term.
Human resources development is one of the five priority programs to be implemented during the second term, he has vowed.

At an event called Indonesian Vision held on July 15, 2019, Jokowi expounded his vision and mission which he said was responding to global challenges that are complex, evolving and full of uncertainties and risks.
He has pledged to continue the development of infrastructure, intensify the development of human resources, invite investment that can generate job opportunities, reform structural bureaucracy, and optimize budget utilization that is focused and in line with the target.
"However, I need to remind you that big dreams could only be realized if we remain united, optimistic, and confident and dare to face challenges in the face of global competition. We must be brave and confident so that we could become one of the strongest countries in the world," Jokowi stated before thousands of people.

He has issued orders that the State Budget must be made ready for improvement in the quality of human resources for the next five years.

Sabtu, 27 Juli 2019

CROWN PRINCE'S VISIT BOLSTERS PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN INDONESIA, UAE

Sabtu, 27 Jul 2019 16:45
 By Fardah
Jakarta, 27/7 (Antara) - Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visiting Indonesia on July 24, 2019, was historic and memorable, as he was enthusiastically welcomed and held long, friendly discussions with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi described the two leaders as having established ties akin to best friends.

"They clicked. This is one of the longest meetings the president has had with a guest from another country," the minister remarked at the Bogor Presidential Palace following the bilateral meeting between the Crown Prince and the president that lasted over 2.5 hours.

Marsudi recalled Sheikh Mohamed's friendly welcome extended to President Jokowi when he had visited Abu Dhabi in 2015.

"When the president visited Abu Dhabi in 2015, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed him at the steps of his jet. They walked to the car together and Sheikh Mohamed himself drove the president to the restaurant. President Jokowi felt very respected," she remarked.

Sheikh Mohamed, who also serves as deputy commander-in-chief of the UAE Armed Forces, arrived in Jakarta with a large delegation comprising Lt General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, among others.

The two leaders affirmed their commitment to intensifying collaboration between Indonesia and the UAE, capitalizing on the enormous opportunities for economic and development cooperation, as well as fostering friendship and mutual understanding between the people of both nations.

Jumat, 26 Juli 2019

KOMODO ISLAND TO BE DEVELOPED INTO VERY EXCLUSIVE TOURIST ATTRACTION

26 Jul 2019 16:17
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 26/7 (Antara) - The controversy over Komodo Island has died down after the central government gave the go-ahead for temporarily closing the ecotourism destination to be developed into a conservation area and a very exclusive tourist attraction.
Komodo Island is located within the Komodo National Park (TNK) that spans 137 thousand hectares, of which 60 percent constitutes waters. The park has 147 islands, including five major islands: Gili Motang Island, Padar Island, Nusa Kode Island, Komodo Island, and Rinca Island.

The TNK is home to 2,800 Komodo dragons (Veranus Komodoensis), including 1,040 heads on Rica Island, while the rest live on Komodo Island, Giling Motang Island, and other smaller islands.


In 1977, TNK was named a biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and in 1991, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2012, it was listed as the New 7 Wonders of Nature sites.

The TNK recorded revenue amounting to Rp32 billion from tourist visits to the park during 2018, an increase from Rp29 billion in the previous year. A total of 176,830 tourists, comprising 121,409 foreigners and 55,421 Indonesians, had visited the TNK last year, a surge from 119,599 visitors in 2017, and a drastic increase from 80 thousand tourists in 2014, according to Lukita Awang, head of TNK.

During a visit to Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) confirmed that Komodo Island will be developed into a conservation area and only few tourists, willing to dig deeper into their pockets, will be allowed to land on the island to see the Komodo Dragon, the worlds only surviving giant lizards in the wilderness.

Kamis, 18 Juli 2019

HABITAT LOSS TRIGGERS SUMATRAN ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT

Kamis, 18 Jul 2019 17:38
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 18/7 (Antara) - Sumatran forests are home to some of the worlds rarest plant species and among remaining landscapes where elephants, tigers, and orangutans coexist.
Covering 470,000 km2, Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world, has 580 bird species, 201 mammal species nad more than 15,000 known plants.
Forest loss particularly due to plantation, development projects, and forest fires, however, has heightened the human-elephant conflict, leading to the death of an estimated 35 elephants between 2012 and 2015. There are now fewer than 1,700 Sumatran elephants (elephas maximus sumatranus) left in the wild, according to some reports.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently drew attention to the critical condition of eight enclaves of the Sumatran elephant that may result in the species' extinction following changes in nature fuelling conflict with humans.
"Several elephant enclaves have been transformed into palm oil plantation and industrial forest, thereby sparking greater conflicts with humans," a spokesman of the WWF Riau Program Syamsidar said on June 14, 2019.

According to a survey by WWF, the elephant population in some enclaves had dwindled and could possibly result in local extinction. Syamsidar remarked that only one elephant remained in each enclave in Rokan Hilir and Batang Ulak, whereas only three elephants were alive in Mahato-Barumun, while the Balai Raja enclave was home to only five elephants.

"In Mahato, all three elephants are females. There is no possibility of reproduction, and this can lead to what we call as local extinction," he cautioned.

Sabtu, 13 Juli 2019

Connecting goods and people of Pacific, Southeast Asia by Fardah

Jakarta, July 13, 2019 (ANTARA) - The first ever Pacific Exposition highlighting the region’s business, investment, and tourism potential began in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 11, 2019 at Indonesia’s initiative, supported by the governments of New Zealand and Australia. 

Themed “Creating Pacific Momentum”, the expo sees the participation of 123 companies, officials, businessmen, and artists from 20 Pacific countries. These are Solomon Island, Australia, Cook Island, Federated States of Micronesia, and Fiji, in addition to French Polynesia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and New Zealand. Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa are also participating along with Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia.

“This forum is the first of its kind. We are creating momentum to engage with each other and strengthen our fraternity with fellow Pacific countries and territories," Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi said.

The Pacific Exposition, which concludes on July 14, includes a range of events from the Tourism Forum (July 11), the Business and Investment Forum (July 12), the Pacific Cultural Forum (July 13), and the Sound of the Pacific Concert (July 14).

The expo was officially opened by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, together with other Pacific countries’ leaders, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters, and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, in the presence of some 400 guests.

Pacific Exposition 2019 will connect the dots between the 17,000 Indonesian islands and the thousands of Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand, according to Retno Marsudi.

Jumat, 12 Juli 2019

EAST NUSA TENGGARA OFFERS MANY MORE TOURIST SPOTS

Jumat, 12 Jul 2019 23:32
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 12/7 (Antara) - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province is famous for Komodo National Park, which comprises Komodo, Padar, and Rinca islands as well as 26 smaller ones, and was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon.
The Komodo dragon (Veranus Komodoensis), is the world's only surviving giant lizard.
In 1977, the Komodo National Park was named a biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and in 1991, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2012, it was listed as the New 7 Wonders of Nature sites.
Komodo Island is located near Labuan Bajo, which is one of the 10 priority tourist destinations designated by the government as "New Bali." The nine other destinations are Borobudur in Central Java; Mandalika on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara; Bromo-Tengger-Semeru in East Java; Pulau Seribu in North Jakarta; Lake Toba in North Sumatra; Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi; Tanjung Lesung in Banten; Morotai in the northern region of Halmahera in the Maluku Islands; and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung, Bangka Belitung.
Both Komodo Island and Labuan Bajo are located in West Manggarai District on Flores Island, and they are the backbone of the tourism industry of NTT, in particular, and Indonesia, in general. The Komodo National Park recorded revenue amounting to Rp32 billion from tourist visits to the park during 2018, an increase from Rp29 billion in the previous year. A total of 176,830 tourists, comprising 121,409 foreigners and 55,421 Indonesians, had visited the Komodo National Park last year, a surge from 119,599 visitors in 2017.

Sabtu, 06 Juli 2019

GERINDRA, PKS EXPECTED TO REMAIN EFFECTIVE, QUALITY OPPOSITION

Sabtu, 6 Jul 2019 21:22
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 6/7 (Antara) - The 2019 presidential election held simultaneously with legislative elections on April 17, 2019, across Indonesia was a long and tiring process with a campaign lasting more than six months, leading to a deeply divided nation.
The elections were considered the world's biggest and most complex single-day vote on April 17, 2019, where 192 million people queued up at some 810 thousand polling stations, resulting in unexpected deaths of some 700 polling officers, mostly after working for two days at a stretch after serving voters on polling day.
The 2019 race was a replay of the contentious 2014 presidential election that exposed the nation's divide, as Joko Widodo (Jokowi) faced retired general Prabowo Subianto.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the final results on May 22, 2019, at 1:28 a.m., declaring that the Jokowi-Maruf Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno who received 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.
The Jokowi-Amin pair declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandiaga pair rejected the KPU's official tabulation result and challenged it in the Constitutional Court (MK).
MK's nine judges announced their final ruling session on June 27, 2019, by rejecting in totality the Prabowo-Sandiaga pair's petition.
President-elect Jokowi and Vice President-elect Ma'ruf Amin will soon form a new cabinet for the 2019-2024 period, according to Arsul Sani, deputy chairman of TKN, Jokowis national campaign team.

Infrastructure development intensifies to boost N Sulawesi Tourism

Sabtu, 6 Jul 2019 21:29
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 6/7 (Antara) - North Sulawesi, with a population of 2.4 million and located on the northern Sulawesi Island, or formerly known as Celebes, is looking forward to attracting more foreign tourists to visit the province.
They are offering a variety of natural panoramas, with beaches, hills, volcanic mountains, and scenic plateaus.
The scenic and biodiverse Bunaken Marine National Park, which is some 10 kilometers from the provincial capital of Manado is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The park has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage List.
Foreign tourist visits during the January-May 2019 period has reached 55,144, or a 9.67 percent rise than 50,284 travelers during the corresponding time frame in 2018, according to data of the Manado Immigration office. Of the total tourists, most came from China, reaching 86 percent, followed by two percent each from Singapore and Germany, and 1.3 percent from the United States.
North Sulawesi has been named as the Rising Star of Indonesia's tourism sector for its ability to boost its growth to 600 percent in the last four years. The number of foreign tourists visiting North Sulawesi, especially Manado and Bitung, had reached 20 thousand in 2015, rising twofold to 40 thousand in 2016, 80 thousand in 2017, and 120 thousand in 2018.
Within a four year span, in total, foreign tourist visits to the province have jumped sixfold. Similarly, the number of domestic tourists visiting the region has reached two million in 2016, with the figure continuing to increase to four million in the next year.

Rabu, 26 Juni 2019

ENCHANTMENT FESTIVAL TO REVEAL WONDERS OF RAJA AMPAT

Rabu, 26 Jun 2019 18:44
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 26/6 (Antara) - The Raja Ampat Enchantment Festival will showcase the wonders of Raja Ampat as a marine tourism destination to divers, marine lovers and adventurers from October 18 - 21, 2019.
Named the Worlds Best Snorkeling and Diving destination by CNN Travel, Raja Ampat, has prepared three locations for the international marine tourism event, notably Waisai, Sapokren Village and Mayalibit Bay.
The festival themed Exotic Raja Ampat, is being organized at different locations with the objective of boosting the local economy and empowering the indigenous people.
The locals will offer services such as homestay, speedboat riding, longboat tours, and other means of transportation to tourists during the festival to be organized by the Raja Ampat district administration, with the support of the West Papua Provincial Government and the Tourism Ministry, according to the head of the Raja Ampat Tourism Office, Yusdi Lamatenggo.
Raja Ampat is often called "Heaven on Earth", "Miracle of Papua", "Underwater Paradise on Earth", or "Real Wonder of the World" for its mesmerizing marine panorama.
The district has a geopark that is much more beautiful than the one in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
In 2012, the district was included in the list of Real Wonders of the World. It has been recognized as one of the world's 10 most beautiful diving sites, and rated number one for its rich marine flora and fauna diversity.
The district has around 1,700 islands, including the unoccupied and most beautiful Isle of Wayag, which is made of karst or limestone from other isles.

Senin, 24 Juni 2019

ENVIRONMENTAL LESSON TO LEARN FROM FLOODING IN SOUTHEAST SULAWESI

Senin, 24 Jun 2019 20:49
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 24/6 (Antara) - Parts of Indonesia have begun to experience extreme dry season that causes water crisis, while other parts still have rains with high precipitation leading to major floods in Samarinda (East Kalimantan Province), Morowali (Central Sulawesi), and Konawe and North Konawe Districts in Southeast Sulawesi Province.
Flooding in Morowali District recently destroyed four bridges and caused extensive damage to over 10 homes, and affected more than 16 thousand people in three sub-districts.
In Samarinda, East Kalimantan, floods affected 9,358 families constituting 30,580 people living in of North Samarinda, Sungai Pinang, and Samarinda Ulu sub-districts.
Triggered by torrential downpour, floods inundated seven sub-districts in North Konawe District since June 2, resulting in the Lalindu, Walasoko, and Wadambali rivers overflowing their banks. Andowia, Asera, Landawe, Langkikima, Oheo, Wiwirano, and Motui are the seven affected sub-districts.
Flooding in the worst-affected North Konawe reportedly caused financial losses amounting to Rp674.8 billion and led to the displacement of 9,609 people and affected 18765 others, Ruksamin, the North Kunawe district head, stated.

The flooding destroyed four bridges and 370 homes along with inundating four other bridges, 1,962 homes, five mosques, 14 elementary schools, five junior high schools, a senior high school, 17 kindergartens, three traditional markets, and at least four community health centers, as well Trans-Sulawesi highway.

Sabtu, 22 Juni 2019

SEVERAL INDONESIAN REGIONS BRACE FOR DROUGHT

Sabtu, 22 Jun 2019 23:16
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 22/6 (Antara) -
Several regional authorities have been reminded to intensify the monitoring for possible forest fires and droughts, as the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMK) forecasts that this year's dry season will be drier, compared to the previous year.

In fact, all regions in Java, notably West Java, Central Java and East Java, have begun to experience the dry season, which is expected to hit its peak in July and August 2019, with the exception of Bogor, West Java, except where local rains continue to lash the City of Rains.

"Regions which were affected by droughts during the June, July and August period of last year, should be vigilant this year," Adi Ripalsi, head of the agency's climate information analysis sub-unit, said in Jakarta on June 21, 2019, adding, "Last year, the precipitation during the dry season was less than 20 millimeters a month, and this year, it could go lower."

He also reminded people living in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Sulawesi, and Sumatra to be vigilant due to the impact caused by droughts. The dry season is expected to reach its peak from August to September in these regions.

"NTB and NTT are harvesting rainwater for farming and, hence, this needs to be supported by irrigation water," he said.

In Central Java, some 360 villages in 31 of the provinces 35 districts are prone to drought this year. Even as Central Java has begun to experience its dry season this June, eight villages in the Banyumas District have already begun facing a water crisis.

"Based on the latest data, eight villages are facing a clean water shortage, as precipitation in Banyumas has decreased," Ariono Poerwanto, acting head of the Banyumas disaster mitigation office, said here on Friday.

Jumat, 21 Juni 2019

ASEAN SUMMIT A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO PUT BRAKES ON PLASTIC WASTE IMPORTS

Selasa, 18 Juni 2019

TRAFFIC DEATHS FALL 74% DURING 2019 EID AL-FITR

Selasa, 18 Jun 2019 09:43
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 18/6 (Antara) - During the post-Ramadhan (Fasting Month) Holiday, most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of returning to their hometowns to celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr Islamic Festival with their families there. As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during the holiday season. The annual tradition is locally called mudik.

Indonesia is the world's forth most populous nation and the world's largest Muslim majority country, with nearly 90 percent of its 260 million people being Muslims.

Over the last few years, the government has encouraged homebound travelers to not travel by motorcycles on their journeys home, since motorcycles are more likely to being involved in traffic accidents. For this reason, the government has provided free rides to many of those heading home for the holidays.

This year, the number of free ride programs provided to homebound travelers by state and private companies, as well as government offices, increased significantly.

The number of holidaymakers joining the free-ride programs reached 511,413 people during the 2019 Eid Al-Fitr holiday season, up 68.54 percent from 303,429 people using free rides in the 2018 Eid Al-Fitr exodus by railway, ships, boats, buses, and planes.

Also, the Jakarta administration provided free rides to 17,427 people during this year's Eid Al-Fitr holiday. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan saw off homebound travelers joining the program on May 30, 2019. The Jakarta administration provided 354 buses to bring them to 10 destinations on Java Island. The destinations were Ciamis and Kuningan in West Java Province, Tegal, Pekalongan, Kebumen, Semarang, Surakarta, and Wonogiri in Central Java Province, Yogyakarta, and Jombang in East Java Province.

Jumat, 14 Juni 2019

SAIL INDONESIA 2019 TO UNVEIL BEST SECRET OF INDONESIA: NIAS ISLAND

Kategori : National News (NAT)
Jumat, 14 Jun 2019 21:05
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 14/6 (Antara) -
Nias Island, located in North Sumatra Province and often considered the best kept secret of Indonesians, will be unveiled to the world at an international maritime event to be organized from July until September 2019.

Sail Nias, the 11th series of Sail Indonesia, will be opened at a ceremony in Teluk Dalam (Bay), South Nias, on September 14, 2019. Sail Indonesia is part of plans to accelerate the development of underdeveloped regions in Indonesia.

Various activities will be organized during the event, including Wonderful Nias Expo 2019, an international surfing contest, a battleship parade, Nias Marathon, a culinary bazaar, and traditional art and cultural performances.

Other activities will include Wind Surfing and Sailing Contests, Free Diving Competition, Stone Jump Festival, Traditional Fishing Boat Parade, Coffee Festival, Fishing Tournament, Wonderful Tourism Photo Expo, One Thousand Tents Festival, and the Mt Sitori cultural seminar.

At least 100 thousand Indonesian and foreign tourists are expected to come for Sail Nias, whose main activities will be held from September 10 to 14, according to Hidayati, head of the North Sumatra tourism office.
Sail Nias will offer an opportunity to promote Nias globally and boost the local economy, Zaman K. Mendrofa, a prominent figure, remarked recently.

Jumat, 31 Mei 2019

ISRAELI ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS POSE HINDRANCE TO PEACE IN PALESTINE

Jumat, 31 Mei 2019 19:20
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah Assegaf
Jakarta, 31/5 (Antara) - Palestine's struggle for independence has been at the very core of Indonesia's foreign policy, so the Palestinian cause is omnipresent in all aspects of Indonesian diplomacy.
Indonesia is a non-permanent member of the United Security Council (UNSC) for the 2019-2020 period and currently holds the UNSC chairmanship for the month of May 2019.

Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim-majority nation, has outlined four priority issues and one special-attention issue during its UNSC membership starting January 1, 2019, and ending on December 31, 2020. The special issue is Palestines fight for freedom from illegal occupation by Israel.

On May 9, 2019, Retno Marsudi presided over a meeting, jointly held by Indonesia, Kuwait, and South Africa, that was attended by Palestines Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki at the UN Headquarters in New York.

"The continued development of Israeli illegal settlements in Palestinian territories is unacceptable," she emphasized during the informal meeting of the Arria Formula themed "Israeli settlements and settlers: Core of the occupation, protection crisis and obstruction of peace."

The number of illegal Israeli settlements has grown steadily, from 110 thousand in 1993, to 620 thousand in 2017. This rising figure is a major impediment in the path to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Rabu, 29 Mei 2019

INVESTIGATION TEAMS EXPECTED TO REVEAL TRUTH OF POST-ELECTION UNREST

Rabu, 29 Mei 2019 22:38
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 29/5 (Antara) -
Jakarta's post-election rally, which ended in violence from May 21 to 22, 2019, claimed eight lives and resulted in hundreds of protestors, and nine police officers, being injured. The police claimed, however, that seven people were dead, while others said the fatalities reached more than 10.

Of those injured, 294 victims were between 20 and 24 years old, and 170 others were below 19 years, while the deaths included three teens, according to the Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the final results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections on May 22 at 1:28 a.m., declaring that the Jokowi-Maruf Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno receiving 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair has since declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair rejected the KPU's official tabulation result and issued a legal challenge at the Constitutional Court (MK).

This unfinished political process sparked a mass protest from the Prabowo supporters, who alleged massive fraud in the presidential elections.

The police allowed them to stage a rally until they finished performing Tarawih, the evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, on the evening of May 21. As revealed by National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the peaceful demonstrators left the front of the Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Agency) building around 9 p.m.

Senin, 27 Mei 2019

INDONESIA ON TOP LIST OF WORLD'S HALAL TOURISM INDUSTRY

Senin, 27 Mei 2019 23:27
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 27/5 (Antara) - Indonesia, which has been aggressively developing its halal tourism industry over the last five years, has been named the world's best halal tourist destination, based upon the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, outclassing 130 destinations throughout the world.
Mastercard-Crescent rating agency put Indonesia at first place, based upon GMTI standards with a score of 78, along with Malaysia in the upper rankings, Crescent Rating CEO Fazal Bahardeen said, while delivering a GMTI Report 2019 in Jakarta in April.

"After joining GMTI this year, Indonesia should be proud, because it was finally able to rank first in the world's halal tourism, along with Malaysia, with a total score of 78," Fazal Bahardeen stated.

In addition to Indonesia, other countries included in the the 10 best halal tourist destinations are Malaysia, also with a score of 78, Turkey (75), Saudi Arabia (72), United Arab Emirates (71), Qatar (68), Morocco (67), Bahrain (66), Oman (66), and Brunei Darussalam (65).

In defining the ranking, it evaluated four factors -- access, communications, the environment and service.

Indonesias priority halal tourist destinations in 2018 included Aceh, Riau, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi Provinces.

HOPING FOR SAFE AND SMOOTH EID AL-FITR EXODUS

Senin, 27 Mei 2019 21:56
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 27/5 (Antara) - Indonesian Muslims, who account for over 85 percent of the country's 260 million population, began observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan on May 6, 2019. At the end of the fasting month, on June 5 or 6, they will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr Islamic festivities.
Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Eid al-Fitr in their hometowns with their relatives. As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of year.

The government has predicted that more than 22.83 million Eid al-Fitr holidaymakers will travel by public transportation this year, up four percent compared to last year.

"Based on the results of our survey, 4.4 million (holidaymakers) choose to travel by bus," Director General of Land Transportation of the Transportation Ministry Budi Karya Sumadi said at a coordination meeting on Eid-al-Fitr transportation 2019 in Bandarlampung, Lampung Province, Sumatra Island, recently.

Of the total travelers, 2.4 million will choose to travel by train, 1.4 million by plane, 4.3 million by private cars and 940 thousand by motorcycle.

"Until now, motorcyclists still dominated Java's northern coastal highway during the homecoming period," the minister said.

Over the last few years, the government has encouraged homebound travelers to travel by motorcycles on their long journeys home. For this purpose, it has provided free rides to motorcyclists heading home for the holidays. Private companies have also been urged to offer free buses to transport their low-income employees, so they can return to their hometowns.

Budi Sumadi said this year's homecoming traveling, locally known as mudik, is themed "Safe and Harmonious Homecoming Traveling" in accordance with President Joko Widodo's directives. As such, the public will feel more secure during their trips. He hoped the Eid al-Fitr exodus will run smoothly and remain safe.

Jumat, 10 Mei 2019

GOVERNMENT TO STOP PRIVATIZATION OF WATER SUPPLY

Jumat, 10 Mei 2019 21:04
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 10/5 (Antara) - After entrusting private companies with supplying clean water to Jakarta residents for two decades, the Jakarta administration has decided to give the task to its own clean water supply company, PT PAM Jaya.

The plan to restore water management concessions in Jakarta continues to run smoothly. PT. Aetra Air Jakarta signed a head of agreement (HoA) with PAM Jaya on April 12, 2019, in Jakarta, PT PAM Jaya recently said in a statement.

Managing Director of PT. PAM Jaya Priyatno Bambang Hernowo, who signed the HoA, outlined four points of the initial agreement.

The points include PAM Jaya and Aetra agreeing to return water management concessions in Jakarta to PAM Jaya, and arranging a transition in the management of the Drinking Water Supply System in the capital city after ending the privatization of water.

Since 1998, the management of drinking water in Jakarta was managed by two private companies, namely Aetra for the eastern region of Jakarta, and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) for the western region of Jakarta, while PAM Jaya acted as a supervisor.

A study conducted by an evaluation team set up by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan concluded that it is unlikely for private partners to reach targets set at the beginning of the agreement under the current cooperation scheme.

Hence, the governor has asked PAM Jaya to take over piped water management. This is part of a larger global trend toward remunicipalization, under which local authorities can retake control of previously privatized water and sanitation services.

The remunicipalization plan is part of the city's efforts to achieve at least 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023, which is also in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), targeting 100 percent coverage by 2030.

During the 1998-2018 period, the coverage of clean water supply service only increased by 14.9 percent. In 1998, the coverage was 44.5 percent, and in 2017, it went up to 59.4 percent, far from the coverage target of 82 percent by 2023.

The two-decade privatization of Jakartas clean water supply has failed to meet the target of 100 percent coverage of tap water supply.

Governor Anies Baswedan was pleased that the private operators responded positively. Water services should be perceived as a basic need, not as a mere business, he remarked.

Tommy Albert Tobing, a member of the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ), said direct remunicipalization would ensure the profits from the lucrative tap water business would be used for the good of the citys residents, rather than for the benefit of a handful of people.

The profits from PAM Jaya will be for the residents, Tobing said.

He said the plan would also return Rp 1.77 trillion in assets to the city administration that was currently in the hands of PAM Jayas private partners.

Fahira Idris, Jakartas senator, also lauded the governor's decision to take over clean water supply management and service. The move was in accordance with Baswedans pledge during the Jakarta gubernatorial race campaign called "The City Advances, The Inhabitants are Happy", she said.

The decision is good news for the residents of Jakarta after two decades of having depended on private companies to get clean water, the senator remarked.

"It is the right decision because it has been taken following a comprehensive study and the takeover was done through a civil process with talks held with Palyja and Aetra," she noted.

It is a bold decision, as the governor does not have to wait for the termination of the contract in 2023, according to the member of the Jakarta Representative Council, or DPD.

"The decision to stop the privatization of water supply has demonstrated that Governor Anies has chosen to stand with the people," she emphasized.

Idris believes that until the time clean water is an expensive and exclusive commodity, a city will never advance, as clean water is a basic necessity for human beings. When clean water becomes expensive and exclusive, the productivity and economy of its residents will be affected, as they have to allocate a large sum of money to avail of clean water, she pointed out.

"Hence, over a decade ago, major cities in the world had kicked out the privatization of water, and they preferred to independently manage the supply of clean water for their residents," she remarked.

In line with the Constitution, the state must meet the public need for clean water, she said, adding that no significant progress has been achieved since private companies took over the management of clean water supply.

"The Jakarta provincial administration has taken a strong stance to take over the management and service of clean water supply for its residents to ensure that every person has access to clean water supply," she stated.