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Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: February 2008

VZCZCXRO8715
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0566/01 0790036
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 190036Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8397
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2193
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4832
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1686
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4477
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3376
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 JAKARTA 000566

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: FEBRUARY 2008

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

-- Senator Leahy Praises President Yudhoyono
-- Decreasing Plastic Bag Use in Bandung
-- Earthquakes Hit Mentawai Islands
-- Tangerang Plans to Build New Wells
-- Indonesia Will Host 2008 Basel Convention COP
-- GOI Nears Tree Planting Targets
-- Mangrove Planting Program Kicked Off
-- Protests against Bakrie Housing Project
in Malang
-- International Poaching Decimates Maluku Fisheries
-- Team Seizes 32,000 Logs in West Kalimantan
-- Three Rivers in Central Kalimantan Polluted
-- Freshwater Dolphin Found in East Kalimantan
-- Jambi Releases its 100th Orangutan into the Wild
-- University Unveils Hydro-Fuel Inventions
-- Joint Research Project Finds Potential
Hydrocarbon Resources
-- HIV/AIDS Cases Increase in North Sumatra
-- Malnutrition in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)


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

SENATOR LEAHY PRAISES PRESIDENT YUDHOYONO
-------------------------------------------

1. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) praised Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono on the January 30 Congressional Record for his
engagement on forestry and orangutan protection. President Yudhoyono
highlighted the link between orangutan protection, forest
conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on
December 10 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change meeting in Bali. Senator Leahy stated that President
Yudhoyono had done a great service to the orangutan conservation
effort, and that his comments represent the GOI's recognition of the
need for orangutan protection.

DECREASING PLASTIC BAG USE IN BANDUNG
--------------------------------------

2. On February 2, the State Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the
Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) held an event to campaign for
a decrease in the use of plastic bags in Bandung. The event
included hundreds of students, as well as celebrities and
environmental activists. ITB lecturer Muhammad Chairul estimated
that plastic waste currently makes up 10 percent of total waste
produced in Indonesia, and only a small portion of it is recycled.
He warned that plastic wastes require 300-500 years to decompose,
and that the burning of plastic waste contributes to air pollution.


EARTHQUAKES HIT MENTAWAI ISLANDS
---------------------------------

3. Two earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 7.3 on the Richter scale hit
Pagai Utara Island in the Mentawai Islands regency, West Sumatra, on
February 25 and 26. Saumanganyak village, located on the western
tip of Pagai Utara Island, was the hardest-hit due to its proximity
to the earthquake's epicenter. The Indonesian meteorological agency
issued a tsunami warning, and then lifted it after about 45 minutes.


TANGERANG PLANS TO BUILD NEW WELLS
-----------------------------------

4. Tangerang Municipality's Housing and Settlement Agency announced
plans to build five large wells in four districts. Mayor Wahidin
Halim stated that degradation in water quality and abundance has
accelerated the local government's plans to install the wells. The
planned wells will supply 300 liters of clean water per second.

INDONESIA WILL HOST 2008 BASEL CONVENTION COP
--------------------------------------------- --

5. On February 9, the MOE announced that Indonesia would host of the
Ninth Basel Convention Conference of Parties (COP). The Basel
Convention, an environmental agreement on hazardous and other
wastes, aims to protect human health and the environment against the

JAKARTA 00000566 002 OF 004


adverse effects resulting from the generation, management,
trans-boundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes.
Around 1,000 delegates from 179 countries are expected to attend
the Basel COP on June 23-27, 2008 in Bali.

GOI NEARS TREE PLANTING TARGETS
--------------------------------------

6. On February 5, Minister of Forestry M.S. Kaban announced that the
GOI was close to achieving its national tree planting targets under
a campaign started in November 2003. Minister Kaban reported that
central and local government and communities participants had
planted 74 million trees in 150,000 hectares across Indonesia. He
added that the government would continue campaigning to increase
public awareness on the need for new trees to be planted. The
Ministry hopes that through its tree planting initiative, it can
become the national source for new timber, beginning in 2012.

MANGROVE PLANTING PROGRAM KICKED OFF
------------------------------------

7. Under a program called "Planting 50,000 Mangroves", the Tunas
Hijau Club in Surabaya organized dozens of junior and senior high
school students to plant mangroves along the Wonorejo River in
Surabaya. They planted more than 9,600 mangroves on February 7,
2008. They plan to plant 50,000 mangroves during 2008 in an effort
to save mangrove forests in Surabaya. Currently, only 60% of
mangrove forests in Surabaya still survive.

PROTESTS AGAINST BAKRIE HOUSING PROJECT IN MALANG
--------------------------------------------- --------

8. Environmental activists in Malang demonstrated against the
development of a luxury-housing complex by Bakrie Land Development
in green space in Malang. The company is planning to build more
than 280 luxury houses and the supporting facilities on 28.5
hectares of land in Malang. Protestors accused Bakrie Land
Development, Inc. of violating local city planning regulations, and
stated that the slated site is a green space and cannot be used for
housing without violating the law.

INTERNATIONAL POACHING DECIMATES MALUKU FISHERIES
--------------------------------------------- ------

9. Indonesian National Police believe roughly 5,088 fishing vessels
regularly operate in Indonesia's far eastern waters, most of which
regularly harbor in Tual, the capital of Maluku Tenggara Regency.
The area is a hotbed for maritime poachers, according to Indonesian
National Police and local media reports.
When police seized 14 fishing vessels for alleged poaching just off
Tual and Benjina islands in November and December 2007, they
arrested 306 crew members from Thailand, two from Myanmar, and 18
from Indonesia. Continued raids on poachers have highlighted the
difficulty faced by Indonesian enforcement agencies and the scale of
the problem. The National Police's Deputy Director for Special
Crimes, Sr. Commander Sadar Sebayang, said a fishing vessel
operating in Arafura could net fish worth at least Rp 20 billion
($2,187,596.13) per catch, while income received by the regency
reached only around Rp 8 billion ($875,065.66) annually in the form
of local fees.


TEAM SEIZES 32,000 LOGS IN WEST KALIMANTAN
---------------------------------------------

10. On February 7, a joint team of Indonesian military, police and
forest rangers seized 32,000 logs and arrested 800 persons in Kapuas
River, Sintang and Kapuas Hulu regencies, West Kalimantan. The team
suspected that the logs were illegal when the arrested persons
produced incorrect documentation for the timber. Commander-in-chief
of Military Resort 121/Alambhana Wanawai, Colonel (Inf) Edi Susanto,
said that the arrests followed on from a previous seizure of 2,500
illegal logs in January 2008. The investigating team found that the
logs came from four sub-districts in Kapuas Hulu regency (Martinus,
Mandai, Embaloh and Banut).

THREE RIVERS IN CENTRAL KALIMANTAN POLLUTED
-------------------------------------------

11. The Central Kalimantan Environmental Management and
Conservation Office (BPPLHD) announced on February 13 that it had
discovered high mercury levels in three area rivers (the Barito,

JAKARTA 00000566 003 OF 004


Kahayan and Kapuas rivers). The team found that Kahayan River had
mercury concentrations of 2,966-4,687 micrograms per liter, and
Barito River had 5,519 micrograms per liter. In Kapuas River, the
mercury concentration reached 7,029 micrograms per liter (Note: the
maximum safe level of mercury concentration is 2,000 micrograms per
liter). BPPLHD stated that the mercury pollution came from illegal
gold mining activities using mercury in the mining process.

FRESHWATER DOLPHIN FOUND IN EAST KALIMANTAN
--------------------------------------------

12. A Kayan Mentarang National Park Management survey team
discovered that the Sesayap River in East Kalimantan serves as
another habitat for "pesut" - freshwater dolphins (Orcaella
brevirostis). Scientists had previously only found the species in
the Mahakam River and Balikpapan Bay. The team found seven of these
freshwater dolphins in Sesino Bay and Lubok Langit waters, which
come from the Sesayap River.

JAMBI RELEASES ITS 100TH ORANGUTAN INTO THE WILD
--------------------------------------------- ----

13. The Jambi Nature Conservation Office (BKSDA) released five
orangutans from North Sumatra Animal Quarantine to Bukit Tigapuluh
National Park on February 18. Before releasing the orangutans into
the wild, the BKSDA team trains orangutans on how to survive in the
forest. The Frankfurt Zoological Society supports the adaptation
process.


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

UNIVERSITY UNVEILS HYDRO-FUEL INVENTIONS
----------------------------------------

14. A team of researchers at Yogyakarta's Muhammadiyah University
(UMY) unveiled a water-based hydro-fuel as a potential alternative
to kerosene and other fuels on February 19. The team developed four
variants of the hydro-fuel, patented as "Banyugeni":
hydro-kerosene, hydro-diesel, hydro-premium and hydro-avtur
(airplane fuel). University Rector Khoiruddin Bashori stated that
the team plans to try mass production of the fuels to help Indonesia
reallocate its annual fuel subsidy of Rp 50 trillion ($5.5 billion)
to pay off foreign debts.

JOINT RESEARCH PROJECT FIND POTENTIAL HYDROCARBON RESOURCES
--------------------------------------------- ----

15. On February 12, the Agency for the Assessment and Application
of Technology (BPPT) announced that a joint BPPT and German Federal
Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) survey
indicated potential hydrocarbon resources in the waters off Simeuleu
Island, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. BPPT will continue its research
to measure the potential volumes of oil and gas available. BPPT
added that it and BGR also found potential hydrocarbon resources in
Bengkulu (Sumatra), Banten (Java), Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), and
the Sulawesi Sea.

HEALTH
-------

HIV/AIDS CASES INCREASE IN NORTH SUMATRA
-----------------------------------------

16. The head of the North Sumatra Health Office, Chandra Syafei,
announced that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the province has
risen over the past two years. In 2007, he reported the number of
cases was 460, with 41 deaths, up from 415 cases in 2006. Chandra
added that there were 48 new cases with 15 deaths as of the start of
wQjqQjQwed by
heterosexuals with multiple sex partners.

MALNUTRITION IN EAST NUSA TENGGARA (NTT)
------------------------------------------

17. Rote Ndao Regency's Government in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)
province has declared malnutrition a serious public health threat.
Five children died in a single month due to malnutrition.
Unfortunately, the government has not allocated a budget to handle
malnutrition in 2008. In 2007, Rote Ndao allocated Rp. 10,000
($1.09) per day, per child for children who suffer from

JAKARTA 00000566 004 OF 004


malnutrition. However, most citizens and even the head of the
Regency's health department were unaware of this source of funds.
Many parents do not have money to bring their children to the
hospital and an estimated 100 children are now reported to be
malnourished at home without proper medical treatment.


HUME

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