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Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: April 2008

VZCZCXRO9382
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0998/01 1420714
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210714Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9054
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2523
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5052
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1988
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4604
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3395
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 000998

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: APRIL 2008

IN THIS ISSUE
-------------
-- Central Kalimantan National Parks and REDD
-- Riau Pulp Using Only Legal Sources of Wood
-- Five Companies Launch "Green Festival" in Jakarta
-- West Kalimantan Governor Freezes Oil Palm Permits
-- Papua's Bird of Paradise Population Threatened
-- Ujung Kulon Rhino Population in Critical Condition
-- Indonesia Parliament Approves Waste Law
-- East Java MUI Issues Environmental "Fatwa"
-- Oil and Gas Exploration Threaten Environment, Life
-- Fish Kill in Malang
-- BPPT Launches First Mobile Radar
-- Pandemic Influenza Simulation Exercise in Bali
-- Indonesia Celebrates World Malaria Day
-- Surabaya Establishes Malnutrition Task Force

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

Central Kalimantan National Parks and REDD
------------------------------------------
1. The Governor of Central Kalimantan, Agustin Teras Narang,
designated the two national parks of Tanjung Puting and Sebangau as
possible sites for implementing Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) pilot projects. Governor
Narang conveyed this while meeting an AusAid delegation on April 19,
and the delegation responded positively. AusAid plans to provide
grants to protect and rehabilitate these two protected areas.

Riau Pulp Using Only Legal Sources of Wood
------------------------------------------
2. On April 16, the President-Director of Riau Pulp Rudi Fajar said
that, despite difficulties obtaining raw material for production,
the company is committed to using only legal sources of wood. To
address shortages, Riau Pulp is increasing and expediting the
planting of acacia and eucalyptus trees on its concession areas.
Riau Pulp has two nursery centers that produce 50 million seeds per
year. Riau Pulp's concessions cover 1,750,000 hectares, including
areas bordering Tesso Nilo National Park. For its production, Riau
Pulp uses both trees from its concessions as well as trees from
community plantations - Hutan Tanaman Rakyat (HTR).

Five Companies Launch "Green Festival" in Jakarta
--------------------------------------------- ----
3. Five companies (PT. Pertamina, PT Unilever Indonesia, MetroTV,
Radio Fe.Male and Kompas daily newspaper) with a shared vision of a
better world, sponsored a "Green Festival" on April 18-20 in
Senayan, Jakarta. Through concerts and fun educational activities,
they raised awareness on environmental issues --including global
warming and the sustainable use of resources -- and promoted
environmentally friendly habits.

West Kalimantan Governor Freezes Oil Palm Permits
--------------------------------------------- ----
4. On April 15, the Governor of West Kalimantan, Cornelis, asked
all regency heads (bupati) in the province to stop issuing new
permits for oil palm concessions. He also asked that they review
all prior issued permits. The province's Head of Agriculture, Idwar
Hanis, stated that as of December 2007, oil palm companies had only
utilized 420,000 hectares of the 4.6 million hectares (or 9 percent
of the total) for which they had obtained concession permits.
Meanwhile, the head of the West Kalimantan Indonesia Plantation
Association (GPPI) Kusumandaru said that the sub-optimal utilization
of oil palm concession permits was due to some companies' internal
financial problems.

Papua's Bird of Paradise Population Threatened
--------------------------------------------- -
5. On April 16, Head of Biak Forest Office Andreas Lameki asserted
that poaching threatened the Bird of Paradise population in Papua.
The Government of Indonesia has banned all hunting of this bird
through Law No. 5 of 1990 and Government Regulation No. 7 of 1999.
However, the unique beauty of this bird and the high prices it
fetches has continued to attract poachers. Indonesia is home to 30
species of the Bird of Paradise, including twenty-eight (28) in
Papua alone.

Ujung Kulon Rhino Population in Critical Condition
--------------------------------------------- -----
6. On April 10, Adhi Rachmat Hariyadi, Site Manager of
WWF-Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park Project in Banten

JAKARTA 00000998 002 OF 003


Province, stated that the park's population of Java Rhino
(Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus) was in critical condition. Adhi
noted that there has been no growth since 1980 in the park's rhino
population, which currently totals 60. Of the five rhino species in
the world, two live in Indonesia: the Java Rhino and the Sumatran
Rhino (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis). Illegal hunting and shrinking
habitat are the main factors causing the population's
stagnation/decline. The Governor of Banten, HM Masduki, is
concerned about this issue; his administration plans to publish a
book on rhinos as part of an awareness raising campaign. As part of
the campaign, he will target youth, asking schools to use the book
as a learning tool.

Indonesia Parliament Approves Waste Law
---------------------------------------
7. On April 8, Indonesian Parliament approved a new Law on Waste
Management. The new law requires residential areas, industrial
parks and trade centers to have waste sorting facilities, in order
to facilitate recycling and reuse. The law also bans the
importation of waste.

East Java MUI Issues Environmental "Fatwa"
------------------------------------------
8. East Java MUI (Indonesian Muslim Council) issued a "fatwa"
(religious edict) on the environment on April 24. The fatwa forbids
industries from discharging hazardous waste into rivers and requires
that they treat any waste before discharge. MUI recommended that
the East Java government and police take action against those who
disobey the fatwa. Environmental NGOs in Surabaya have asked MUI to
establish an Oversight Body to monitor the fatwa's implementation.
The Food and Drug Research Institute of East Java MUI (responsible
for review of "halal" consumer products) also said that its research
shows water from the Surabaya River is not safe for consumption.
However, East Java MUI plans to review its findings before issuing a
fatwa on the status of the Surabaya River.

Oil and Gas Exploration Threaten Environment, Life
--------------------------------------------- -----
9. The East Java branch of Walhi, an environmental NGO, has
declared that approximately 11 million people in East Java are
vulnerable to the negative impacts of oil and gas exploration.
Walhi claims that 32 oil and gas projects in Sidoarjo, Bojonegoro,
Tuban, Madura, Banyuwangi, and other regions in East Java currently
threaten environmental conservation in these areas. Walhi has
called on local governments to limit oil and gas exploration
immediately in order to reduce their impact on the environment and
humans. Walhi plans a campaign informing the public about the
negative impact of oil and gas exploration.

Fish Kill in Malang
-------------------
10. The last week of April saw a major fish kill due to pollution
in the Brantas River as hundreds of thousands of fish were found
floating above the Sutami Dam near Malang. The National
Environmental Commission has traced the cause to high levels of
phenol. Malang's Water Company has sent a team to conduct
laboratory tests and on upstream and downstream stretches of the
river. Malang's Health Department and Malang Police are still
investigating the sources of the phenol dumping.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

BPPT Launches First Mobile Radar
--------------------------------
11. On April 15, Chairman of the Agency for Assessment and
Application of Technology (BPPT), Dr. Said D. Jenie, officially
inaugurated the Weather Modification Technical Unit's first mobile
radar. The X-band Doppler radar is the first mobile radar for
weather research in Indonesia.

HEALTH:

Pandemic Influenza Simulation Exercise in Bali
--------------------------------------------- -
12. Indonesia conducted a human bird flu pandemic simulation
exercise in Bali from April 25-27. The simulation took place in
three locations in Bali: Jembrana District, Tabanan Hospital and
the Ngurah Rai International Airport. The coordinator for the
exercise's command center, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, pointed out that
H5N1 virus has become endemic among poultry in Indonesia and had
infected 132 people, killing 107. The drill involved 933 people,
176 observers, 14 representatives from 9 neighboring countries, and

JAKARTA 00000998 003 OF 003


39 representatives from international agencies. Thirty-four
international journalists covered the event. It was the
largest-ever pandemic flu simulation, and supported by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Indonesia Celebrates World Malaria Day
--------------------------------------
13. Indonesia celebrated World Malaria Day (WMD) on April 25 with
the theme of "Combating Malaria". President Soesilo Bambang
Yudhoyono signed the first WMD stamp cover and handed over bed-nets
and malarial drugs to governors of areas where malaria is endemic.
Dr. Nyoman Kandun, Director General of Diseases Control and
Environmental Health, confirmed that the total number of clinical
cases decreased from 2 million in 2006 to 1.75 million in 2007. The
number of positive malaria cases also decreased from 350,000 in 2006
become 311,000 in 2007.

14. However, malaria outbreaks still occurred during 2007 in eight
provinces (Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, North Sumatra,
Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam-NAD, and East Nusa Tenggara), where
officials recorded 74 deaths from malaria. Dr. Nyoman noted that
several factors, among them environmental change, increasing drug
resistance, and poor health services, were causing the high
morbidity and fatality rates.

Surabaya Establishes Malnutrition Task Force
--------------------------------------------
15. The Surabaya Government established a task force in April to
tackle malnutrition and poverty in the city. Members of the task
force include family planning field assistants, community health
trainers, and health department officials. The Surabaya city
government has allocated 6 billion rupiah this fiscal year for
alleviating malnutrition and poverty. Surabaya has also launched a
"Healthy and Delicious Food" program targeting 2,239 malnourished
children and 22,225 babies from disadvantaged families. Over the
course of the three-month program, field assistants will closely
monitor the children to make sure that they get nutritious food.
Field assistants will also provide nutrition training for parents in
the process.

HEFFERN

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