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Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: November-December 2007

VZCZCXRO3153
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0090/01 0160555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160555Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7653
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1874
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4638
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1410
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4364
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3362
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 000090

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, OES/ETC, OES/STC, OES/SAT, OES/PCI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TPHY TBIO TRGY ENRG ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA ESTH HIGHLIGHTS: NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2007

IN THIS ISSUE
-------------

-- Jakarta Students Win Competition with Eco-Film
-- Governor of East Java Sued Over Polluted River
-- Clashes Between Humans and Elephants Blamed on
Declining Habitat
-- High Tides Force Fish Farmers to Speed Up Harvests
-- Urban Communities Gather for a "Zero-Waste"
Art Festival
-- Ground Kangaroos Released in Papua
-- Giant Rat Discovered in Papua
-- Surabaya Boy Wins Award at International Event for
Inventors
-- Bengkulu Holds an Earthquake and Tsunami Drill
-- Weather Monitoring Instruments Installed in
East Java
-- Health Services Extended to the Poor
-- HIV/AIDS Spreads in Jambi and East Java Provinces
-- Majority of Wells in Yogyakarta Found to
Contain E. Coli
-- Sex Education Campaign Launched in East Jakarta

ENVIRONMENT
------------

JAKARTA STUDENTS WIN COMPETITION WITH ECO-FILM
--------------------------------------------- ---

1. Three Jakarta junior high school students won a video news
competition on November 22 with a five-minute documentary on a
mangrove forest in Pulau Rambut, Kepulauan Seribu Regency. The
short film focused on the forest as a wildlife habitat and protector
against coastal erosion. The competition, part of the "Kids Witness
News" contest and sponsored by PT Panasonic Gobel Indonesia,
featured entries from 236 elementary and junior high schools around
the country.

GOVERNOR OF EAST JAVA SUED OVER POLLUTED RIVER
--------------------------------------------- --

2. Members of the group Environmental Watch filed a lawsuit against
the Governor of East Java on November 22 over the level of pollution
in the Surabaya River. The Director of the Surabaya Legal Aid
Foundation, the lawyers representing Environmental Watch, stated
that an independent study found that the level of contaminants in
the river far exceeded acceptable limits. He added that his
organization had twice sent legal reprimands to the governor's
office, but had never received a response.

CLASHES BETWEEN HUMANS AND ELEPHANTS
BLAMED ON DECLINING HABITAT
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. The Ministry of Forestry blamed ongoing conflicts between humans
and elephants in Riau Province on the declining habitat of wild
elephants and the lack of sufficient rangers patrolling Tesso Nio
National Park. Elephants have reportedly ravaged at least 700
hectares of palm oil and 120 hectares of rubber plantations,
resulting in the destruction of more than 40,000 oil palms and 35
homes. Riau Deputy Governor Wan Abu Bakar has established a team to
begin drafting new ordinances to try to reduce the number of
clashes.

HIGH TIDES FORCE FISH FARMERS TO SPEED UP HARVESTS
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. High tides in the Indramayu Regency of West Java have forced
farmers to harvest their fishponds earlier than expected to avoid
losses. Nono Sudarsono, head of the Indramayu Fish Farmers
Association, explained that since November 27, high tides had
gradually flooded about 100 hectares of traditional fish farms. The
environmental NGO Workers and Environment Foundation urged fish
farmers to replant coastal areas with mangrove trees to act as
barriers against the tidal surges.

URBAN COMMUNITIES GATHER FOR A "ZERO-WASTE"
ART FESTIVAL
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. Representatives of under-privileged communities from 15 urban
centers gathered in Jakarta for a "zero-waste" art festival on

JAKARTA 00000090 002 OF 003


December 9. The event, geared towards raising awareness of poverty
issues, also featured participants exhibiting recycled products, and
organizers encouraged visitors to compost their organic waste
produced at the event.

GROUND KANGAROOS RELEASED IN PAPUA
-----------------------------------

6. The Merauke regency administration released 21 ground kangaroos
(Thylogale brunil) into Wasur National Park in Marauke, Papua on
December 11. Officials are seeking to build up the population of
the endangered species, which is under threat due primarily to
unregulated hunting. The kangaroos are indigenous to Papua
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

GIANT RAT DISCOVERED IN PAPUA
-------------------------------

7. On December 18, the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) and
Conservation International announced the discovery of a new species
of rat in the Foja Mountains of Eastern Papua during a June
expedition. Scientists reported the Mallomys "giant" rat to be
about five times the size of a typical city rat or tiny possum,
weighing in at about 3 pounds. Conservation International has
dubbed the region where the rat was found as a "Lost World" because
of its isolation from humans. Previous expeditions have identified
several new species of palms and butterflies in the area. The June
expedition team also reported the discovery of a pygmy possum, one
of the world's smallest marsupials.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
-----------------------

SURABAYA BOY WINS AWARD AT INTERNATIONAL EVENT
FOR INVENTORS
--------------------------------------------- -----

8. Judges named Wira Dibya Ratno Pama of Surabaya's Al-Hikmah high
school the favorite inventor at the 4th International Exhibition for
Young Inventors on November 30. Wira won for his creation of a
remote control device that enables users to turn electronic devices
on and off from a distance using a home or cellular phone. The
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Yogyakarta provincial
administration organized the event, which featured 78 inventions
from more than 100 young inventors from around the region.

BENGKULU HOLDS AN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DRILL
--------------------------------------------- ---

9. Bengkulu provincial authorities held an earthquake and tsunami
emergency response drill on December 10 to help the public
anticipate the impacts of these events. Thousands of drill
participants, mostly women and children, fled their homes on
instruction for higher ground after local authorities sounded an
earthquake alarm. Governor Agusrin Maryono Najamuddin and Bengkulu
City Mayor Ahmad Kanedi also participated in the drill.

WEATHER MONITORING INSTRUMENTS INSTALLED
-----------------------------------------

10. The government of East Java has installed new weather monitoring
instruments in six locations (Tuban, Gresik, Lamongan, Malang,
Jember, and Trenggalek). The instruments will provide data on
weather and climate conditions, which can provide early warning for
possible earthquakes, floods and tsunamis. East Java officials
stated that the province, which has 38 regencies/cities, will need
at least 14 weather monitoring instruments. The East Java government
is also distributing information from BMG (Bureau of Meteorology and
Geophysics) about weather and climate conditions in order to
increase people's awareness about possible natural disasters.

HEALTH
-------

HEALTH SERVICES EXTENDED TO THE POOR
-------------------------------------

11. On November 29, the East Java government signed an MOU with
regencies/cities in East Java on health services for the poor. The
provincial and local governments signed the agreement in
anticipation of limited budgets from the central government. Through
the MOU, provincial and local governments will share budget

JAKARTA 00000090 003 OF 003


responsibilities to provide health services for poor people.
Currently, health services for the poor are the responsibility of
the central and provincial governments. The East Java government
hopes that this cooperation can be a stepping-stone to form
"Jamsosda" (a local social guarantee).

12. Dr. Renny Lamadjido, the head of Anutapura Hospital in Palu,
Central Sulawesi, announced that the Palu administration had
allocated RP 700 million ($77,700) from its regional funds to
provide free health treatment to the poor. According to Dr. Renny,
the fund will provide oxygen and various kinds of medicine to
patients confirmed as eligible by their respective sub-district
offices. Administration records classify 31.39 percent of the
288,955 Palu residents as poor.

HIV/AIDS SPREADS IN JAMBI AND EAST JAVA PROVINCES
--------------------------------------------- ----

13. Officials of the Orang Kito Consultation Information Center
Foundation announced on December 11 that the number of people with
HIV/AIDS in Jambi province has risen to 282, with 49 deaths. A
member of the foundation, S.T. Parlaungan Siregar, stated that most
of the cases were caused by drug use through the sharing of
syringes.

14. East Java has the fourth highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in
Indonesia, after Papua, DKI Jakarta, and Riau, with the city of
Surabaya as the center of transmission, according to a December 2007
report. As of December, 20,810 people were living with HIV/AIDS in
East Java -- an increase from 18,783 people last year. East Java
Province has established an AIDS Handling Committee and was the
first province in Indonesia to issue a local regulation (Perda) on
HIV/AIDS. The province allocates at least RP 1 billion per year for
HIV/AIDS handling efforts.

MAJORITY OF WELLS IN YOGYAKARTA FOUND TO
CONTAIN E. COLI
--------------------------------------------- --

15. Yogyakarta officials announced on December 12 that about 90
percent of wells in Yogyakarta that serve as residents' main source
of drinking water are contaminated by the Escherichia coli bacteria.
The Head of Waste Management for the Yogyakarta Environmental
Agency stated that the high contamination levels are caused by
traditional septic tanks that are mostly built near the wells. He
added that the mayoral administration planned to establish communal
septic tanks at residential sites to prevent the bacteria's spread.


SEX EDUCATION CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN EAST JAKARTA
--------------------------------------------- ---

16. The National Family Planning Board (PKBI) launched an outreach
campaign in December to provide young people in East Jakarta
improved access to sexual and reproductive health services and
information. The program, with support from the United Nations
Population Fund, seeks to encourage open dialogue with youth on
sexual and reproductive health-related issues by recruiting and
training "peer educators". The program manager for the initiative
estimated that it had reached around 2,000 teenagers in the market
areas so far.


HUME

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