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Cablegate: Earth Day -- Embassy Jakarta "Goes Green"

VZCZCXRO4480
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0807 1131100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221100Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8784
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2383
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4974
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1868
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4546
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2174

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000807

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO SENV TPHY TRGY ID
SUBJECT: EARTH DAY -- EMBASSY JAKARTA "GOES GREEN"

1. (U) Over 80 Indonesian children celebrated Earth Day at the
Embassy with Ambassador Hume on April 19. Valerina Daniel, the
Indonesian Ministry of Environment's Goodwill Ambassador, helped
Ambassador Hume and the children put final touches on an
environmental mural, one of seven murals displayed on the U.S.
Embassy's fence. Children from multiple local institutions
participated in the mural project, designing and painting them in
between classes and after school. They included three elementary
school beneficiaries of USAID's Decentralized Basic Education
program, The Learning Farm (an organic farming training program for
vulnerable youth), and PGB Bangau Putih, a school that provides free
extracurricular classes (English language, computers, handicrafts
and martial arts) to approximately 60 village children every
weekend. Fifteen other children from an orphanage in South Jakarta
also participated in the event.

2. (U) In addition to painting the 8-foot-by-4-foot murals, which
showcase various aspects of Indonesia's environment, biodiversity
and natural beauty, the children also read poems about the
environment, participated in sports (including soccer and
hula-hoops) and several environmentally-themed games and activities.
There was even a puppet show by the characters from television
station Trans-7's "Jalan Sesama," the new Indonesian version of
"Sesame Street" funded by USAID. Posters highlighting USAID
environmental projects were displayed around the Embassy compound.
Coca-Cola provided an "Eco Bus," a specially designed bus powered by
environmentally friendly biodiesel and featuring interactive
educational activities about the environment. Sponsors donating
materials, food and services, included Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Ace
Hardware, Soccer School Indonesia (SSI-Arsenal), The Learning Farm
and PGB Bangau Putih.

MEDIA COVERAGE

3. (U) Embassy Jakarta's Earth Day event garnered extensive,
positive press coverage throughout Indonesia, both in print and on
television. Almost a dozen articles appeared in major national news
dailies, featuring photos of Ambassador Hume painting the murals
with children. An article in Jurnal Nasional noted that "last
Saturday, the high fence of the U.S. Embassy no longer looked
unapproachable." While the coverage focused on the children's
activities and the murals, many stories also referred to the many
environmental projects that the U.S. is assisting in Indonesia,
including the Heart of Borneo and Coral Triangle Initiative.
Ambassador Hume was quoted in several articles saying "It is
important that young people in Indonesia start to think about the
environment at an early age. How Indonesia and the U.S. treat their
forests and oceans will affect the rest of the world, and all of our
children's futures."

4. (U) Television coverage ran on eight major national channels
during their regular news broadcasts from April 19 - 22. In
addition, "Unyil," the most popular children's television program in
Indonesia, devoted an entire segment to the murals on April 22,
where the main character (a puppet) helps children paint the murals
that ended up on the Embassy, play games inside the Embassy and even
look around the Public Affairs Section's Information Resource
Library. The tone of the television coverage was uniformly upbeat
and positive. In addition, there were numerous wire service
photographers there, with Reuters and AFP photos picked up
internationally, including as far away as India and even on MSNBC's
website.

HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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