Friday, November 30, 2018


Jakarta , Nov 30,  2018  (Antara) - Three sea turtles were found dead some 150 meters off Pari Island, Seribu (One Thousand) Islands District, Jakarta, Nov 27, apparently due to plastic litter and oil spill, Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) stated.
        The turtles were covered in mucus, and plastic litter was found in their mouths and front claws, Chief of Conservation Section of the BKSDA Office in Hajarta Ida Harwati testified.
         Earlier, on Nov 19, a carcass of a 9.5-meter-long sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was discovered by local fishermen, as it was washed ashore the Kapota Isle, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi.
        Researchers of the Wakatobi Fisheries and Maritime Community Academy were shocked to find 5.9 kilograms of plastic waste in the whale's stomach, including flip-flops and 115 drinking cups.
        Globally, thousands of marine animals were killed by plastic wastes in ocean. Every year, some one-third of the marine biota, including coral reefs and also seabirds, die owing to plastic wastes that end up in the ocean.
        This situation is a matter of grave concern, considering that coral reefs play a major role in protecting the coast from erosion, coastal flooding, and other destructive events caused by the sea water phenomena. Coral reefs also offer food and shelter for the growth for various marine biota.
        A low turtle population is also concerning since sea turtles play a crucial role in the ecosystem by keeping the wetlands and rivers clean.      
    According to the WWF Indonesia's official website, four of the six species of sea turtles -- green turtles (Chelonia mydas), "belimbing" or leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), "sisik" or hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), and "lekang" or olive Ripley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) -- lay their eggs on Indonesian beaches.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


 Jakarta, Nov 29, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia, as the largest economy in South East Asia and the fourth most populous country in the world, has huge potential to further develop its creative economy.
        In contrast to other sectors that are heavily dependent on the exploitation of natural resources, the strength of creative economy is based largely on the superiority of human resources. Artwork, architecture, books, technological innovations, and animations, derive from creative ideas of human thought.
        Given the country's potential, the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration is determined to make the creative economy a backbone of the Indonesian economy.
        To this end, President Jokowi established a new non-ministerial institution called the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) on January 20, 2015, with tasks including assisting the president in formulating, defining, coordinating, and synchronizing policies in the creative economy.
        Bekraf has envisioned to build Indonesia into one of the world's economic forces in the creative economy in 2030.
        To realize this vision, Bekraf has designed six major missions, including by encouraging innovation in the creative field that has added value and competitiveness in the international world.
        As Indonesia believes that it is the time for global community to take up and seriously discuss opportunities and challenges of the creative economy, the country initiated the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) held in Nusa Dua, Bali, on November 6-8, 2018.
        During the conference, at least 15 hundred participants from 30 countries vowed to promote stronger international political commitments to address challenges and seize opportunities in the creative economy.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Jakarta, Nov 22, 2018 (Antara)- The creative economy has no single definition, as it is an evolving concept that builds on the interplay between human creativity, ideas, intellectual property, knowledge and technology.
         Essentially it is the knowledge-based economic activities upon which the "creative industries" are based, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
         The products could be cultural, artistic, and designer goods and services, among other things.
         During the First World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE), initiated and hosted by Indonesia, at least 15 hundred participants from 30 countries vowed to promote stronger international political commitments to address the challenges and seize the opportunities in the creative economy.
         "In this era of globalization and advanced technology, the creative industry has become a game changer. As one of the most dynamic sectors, creative economy contributes significantly to the economic growth in many countries," Triawan Munaf, chairman of Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy (Bekraf), stated in his opening remarks during the 1st WCCE held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Nov 6-8, 2018.
         The participants expressed their commitment to strengthening the role of government, the private sector, media, civil society, business council, and academia in the creative economy.
         Indonesia has initiated the establishment of a virtual and/or a physical center that promotes exchanges, collaborations, and international cooperation in the field of creative economy.
    The Center of Excellence for Creative Economy to be based in Indonesia is expected to help the advancement of the objectives of a creative economy at the global level and the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Jakarta, Nov 21, 2018 (Antara) - The carcass of a 9.5-meter-long sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) washed ashore the Kapota isle, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi, on November 19, 2018.
       Researchers of the Wakatobi Fisheries and Maritime Community Academy were shocked to find 5.9 kilograms of plastic waste in the whale's stomach, including flip-flops and 115 drinking cups.
          The giant mammal had ingested 750 grams of 115 plastic cups, 140 grams of 19 hard plastic, 150 grams of four plastic bottles, 260 grams of 25 plastic bags, six pieces of wood weighing 740 grams, two flip-flops of 270 grams, a 200-gram nylon sack, and over a thousand pieces of raffia string weighing 3,260 grams, Laode Ahyar, an official of the Wakatobi National Park, informed an Antara correspondent in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, on November 20, 2018.    
    The cause of the whale's death was not known, but considering the large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, it is mostly likely that the plastic waste caused the animal's death.
          This is the second whale stranded ashore the Wakatobi waters this year, after a 13-meter-long whale was found dead in the Bombana waters, last February.
         Plastic waste is littering oceans and threatening the lives of millions of marine animals. Seals, whales, dolphins, seabirds, fish, crabs, and several other marine animals are dying and falling sick after being contaminated by plastic waste, thereby raising serious environmental concern.
         Indonesia, the world's largest archipelagic nation rich in marine biodiversity, is known as one of the major producers of plastic waste.
         According to data of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry, the amount of plastic waste used in Indonesia continues to increase, from nine percent in 1995 to 16 percent this year.
       Disposable plastic bags, plastic straws, styrofoam, and plastic bottles are widely used in Indonesia, which is an oil-producing country and the world's largest archipelagic nation, with a population of some 260 million. 
   Every year, around one-third of the marine biota, including coral reefs and also seabirds, die owing to plastic wastes that end up in the ocean.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


   Jakarta, Nov 17, 2018 (Antara) - Peatlands, which are natural areas of the accumulated decayed plant material known as peat, have huge importance as carbon sinks and are believed to hold 30 to 40 percent of global carbon despite covering only three percent of the world's land area.
      Indonesia's peatlands store a huge amount of carbon of up to 60 billion metric tons, which makes it a virtual carbon bomb. Globally, the amount of carbon held in tropical peat is around 88.6 billion metric tons.
       Peatlands also act as giant sponges, soaking up water and helping to mitigate flooding.
       During the dry season, peat releases water slowly and can be a source of fresh water for surrounding communities.       
  Indonesia's peatlands are also habitats for endangered species such as orangutans and tigers.
       The country used to have 22.5 million hectares of peatlands, but nearly half of them have already been deforested and drained.
        Given the important functions of peatlands globally, Indonesia and the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo have joined with international organizations to push forward a sustainable peatland agenda at a launch event for the new International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC) in Jakarta on Oct 30, 2018.
         The three countries - all home to extensive areas of tropical peatland - comprise the founding member states of the center, which are expected to become a holistic platform for peatland science and practice.
         ITPC is also a center for information and knowledge about peat management that can be accessed by countries across the world.
         When managed sustainably, tropical peatlands offer not only substantial environmental gains but also potential livelihood benefits to those living in and around them.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Jakarta,  Nov 15, 2018 (Antara)- A report released by United Nations-appointed investigators in August 2018, underlined the horrific and organized nature of the brutality meted out on civilians in Myanmar's Rakhine state since 2011, as well as Kachin and Shan states.
        The investigation was conducted by  a team called the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, following the mass exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh last year - events previously described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", according to UN News.
        The investigators - Marzuki Darusman, Radhika Coomaraswamy and Christopher Sidoti - recommended that top military commanders in Myanmar should be investigated and prosecuted for the "gravest" crimes against civilians under international law, including genocide.
        Myanmar has denied most of the allegations in the report.
       The genocide in Rakhine State  is a disgrace to ASEAN as it happens in its own yard, namely Myanmar, one of  the 10 member countries of ASEAN - Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
         During the 33rd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore on Nov 11-15, 2018,  ASEAN called the refugee crisis in Myanmar "a matter of concern" , a rare departure from ASEAN's principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of members.
        "We discussed and received a briefing from Myanmar on the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State, which is a matter of concern," said the chairman's statement from the ASEAN summit held on Nov 13, without mentioning the word "Rohingya," the name of the Muslim minority group fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


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

Friday, November 9, 2018


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

Monday, November 5, 2018


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

Saturday, November 3, 2018


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