Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: May 2008

DE RUEHJA #1243/01 1780158
R 260158Z JUN 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


-- Government Phasing out Large-Scale AC Units
-- Papua Signs USD30 Million Forest Carbon Deal
-- Reclamation for an Integrated New City in Tangerang
-- Oil Palm Threatens Sentarum Lake National Park
-- Orangutans Close to Extinction
-- Rare Javan Rhino Caught on Video
-- Sumatran Tiger Population Critical
-- Legal Reform Initiative Seeks to Protect Habitat for Orangutans
-- Mangrove Planting in Surabaya
-- Lax Enforcement and High Waste Treatment Costs Blamed for
Continued Dumping
-- Mushroom Farmers Switch from Kerosene to Firewood
-- BPPT Developing Open Source Software
-- Nuclear Technology in High School Curriculum
-- Tackling HIV Infection Rates Among Surabaya's Children
-- No Blood Transfusion Facilities in Half of Country


Government Phasing out Large-Scale AC Units
1. According to Tri Widayati, Director of Ozone Protection of the
State Ministry of Environment (MOE), most operators of
industrial-size chilling/air-conditioning units will have replaced
those units with new ones that use environmentally friendly Freon,
such as hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) 123 and hydrofluorocarbon
(HFC) 134, by the end of June 2008. The MOE says that only 400
large-scale AC units remain in operation. The Government of
Indonesia (GOI) banned the further importation of chlorofluorocarbon
(CFC) 11 and CFC 12 after January 1, 2008 to meet its obligations
under the Montreal Protocol. This will lead to a gradual phase-out
of older AC units. The MOE is helping to provide soft loans to
companies to finance the replacement of older units. The Ministry
is also working with voluntary associations to disseminate
information to the public about the transition process.

Papua Signs USD30 Million Forest Carbon Deal
2. Papua has signed a carbon deal worth up to USD 30 million for
100,000 hectares of forestland. On May 13, Governor of Papua
Barnabas Suebu signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New Forests
Asset Management (NFAM) Pty Ltd. During the following two months,
NFAM and the Papua Provincial Government will do a preliminary
survey to identify three locations for this carbon project. At the
end of 2008, Papua will receive USD 10 million of guaranteed revenue
for the first five years and receive dividends totaling up to USD 20
million over the same period. NFAM is collaborating with Generation
Investment Management, owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Tangerang Plans New Integrated City on Reclaimed Land
--------------------------------------------- --------
3. On May 15, Head of Tangerang Land Use Office Didin Samsudin
confirmed that Tangerang Regency would reclaim 9,000 hectares of its
northern coastal areas for a planned new "integrated" city. The
Tangerang Regent has already issued Local Regulation (Perda) No. 8
of 2007 on Reclamation. This new development will contain hotels, a
marina, a business center, residential areas, and an integrated
container terminal and port. The new city will cover approximately
8,000 hectares and cost Rp. 20 trillion or USD 1.3 billion.
Tangerang is about 21 km from Jakarta.

Oil Palm Threatens Sentarum Lake National Park
--------------------------------------------- -
4. Budi Suriansyah, the Head of Danau Sentarum National Park, says
that the palm oil plantation in the Kapuas Hulu region of West
Kalimantan threaten the 132,000-hectare park's ecosystem, which is
dependent on Betung Kerihun National Park. The development of palm
oil plantations as well as illegal logging is causing water
pollution, and local fishers are finding it increasingly difficult
to find local endemic fish such as jelawat and arwana. There are 11
palm oil plantation companies and 9 subsidiaries of PT Sinar Mas,
operating on 160 thousand hectares in areas bordering Betung Kerihun
National Park.

Orangutans Close to Extinction
5. On May 8, the Executive Director of the Center for Orangutan
Protection (COP) stated that, based on a COP study in Central

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Kalimantan, orangutans will disappear from the region within 2-3
years. The investigation found 242 palm oil plantations with
activities that having an impact on orangutans and their habitat.
According to COP, these companies include members of the Roundtable
on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), such as Wilmar, IOI and Agro Group.
In 2004, a Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)
reported that there were 58,575 orangutans left in Borneo, with an
annual decrease in population of 9 percent leading to extinction by
2015. Darori, Director General for Forest Protection and Nature
Conservation, is skeptical of the investigation's projections, and
emphasizes that the government will not allow the conversion of
natural forest to other purposes such as palm oil cultivation.

Rare Javan Rhino Caught on Video
6. At the end of May, a video recorder installed by Ujung Kulon
National Park and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Indonesia
(WWF-Indonesia) caught footage of the extremely rare Javan
Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). Speaking about the incident on
May 29, Agus Priambudi, Head of Ujung Kulon National Park, said the
recording would help researchers and conservationists learn more
about the Javan rhino's behavior, as well as assist efforts to
reduce threats to the remaining population. The Java rhino is the
rarest among five rhino species in the world. There are only an
estimated 50-60 Java rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Park. The Java
rhino is on the International Union for Nature Conservation's "Red
List" of endangered species.

Sumatran Tiger Population Critical
7. On May 25, the Coalition for Protected Animal Monitoring stated
that there were approximately 250 Sumatran tigers (panthera tigris
Sumatrae) left in the wild. The decrease in this species'
population is due to hunting, conflict with humans, and illegal
logging and land clearing leading to the fragmentation of its
habitat. Poachers hunt the animal for its skin, bones, fang/tooth
and claws. Tiger skins sell for approximately 3-5 million Rupiah
(USD 322-537) apiece in local markets and up to USD 3,300 in
international markets. Although Law No. 5 of 1990 on Natural
Resources Conservation and Ecosystem protects this species,
enforcement of the law is weak.

Legal Reform Initiative Seeks to Protect Habitat for Orangutans
8. The Orangutan Conservation Services Program (OCSP) and Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS) launched a media campaign in late May, to
commemorate World Environment Day, in order to draw attention to the
urgency of legal protection for orangutan habitat and to support
survival of orangutans in the wild. WCS is spearheading a policy
reform effort that seeks to protect habitat of endangered species
from conversion to non-forest land uses. In Indonesia today, it is
illegal to kill an orangutan but it is still legal to convert the
little remaining orangutan habitat to non-forest uses. Habitat
conversion effectively eliminates whole populations of orangutans
and other critically endangered species as their habitat becomes
fragmented and deforested.

Mangrove Planting in Surabaya
9. On May 11, people from various organizations planted 8,000
mangroves along the seashore at Wonorejo in eastern Surabaya.
Wonorejo is poised to become a center for mangrove research,
cultivation, and tourism. The Surabaya city government is actively
restoring mangrove forests in eastern Surabaya. Illegal logging has
destroyed at least 40 percent of a total 6,000 hectares of mangrove
forest near Wonorejo. According to the head of Wonorejo Mangrove
Farming Association, various groups in eastern Surabaya have planted
at least 25,000 more mangrove trees this year than last year.
Unfortunately, last year's mangroves were poorly protected. For
example, 4,000 mangroves planted in the Kenjeran beach area in
January had died by the end of May, due to high ocean waves and poor

Lax Enforcement and High Waste Treatment Costs Blamed for Continued
10. At least 16 companies in East Java have disposed of industrial
waste in the Brantas River through underground pipelines or during
the heavy rainy season through open ditches. The companies have
waste treatment facilities but prefer to cut costs by dumping
untreated waste, according to Purnawan, a lecturer at Brawijaya
University and a member of East Java Walhi, an environmental NGO.

JAKARTA 00001243 003 OF 004

The phenol content of industrial waste these companies are dumping
in the Brantas is dangerously high, according to Purnawan. Just
three hours south of Surabaya in Malang, waste from paper and
cassava-processing plants has reportedly resulted in serious
pollution and a major fish kill in the lake behind the Sutami Dam.
Local media report that Malang's city government is reluctant to
take action as paper factories are a major contributor to regional

Mushroom Farmers Switch from Kerosene to Firewood
--------------------------------------------- ----
11. Mushroom farmers in Karawang, West Java, are switching from
kerosene to firewood because of the high cost and scarcity of
kerosene. Mushroom farmers use fuel to boil water and use the
evaporated water to regulate the level of humidity required for
mushroom growth. Kerosene's retail cost has increased from 2,310
Rupiah (USD 0.25) to between 2,500-3,000 Rupiah (USD 0.27-0.32),
making the price of firewood relatively cheaper. During a planting
period of one month, the farmers require on average 80-120 liters of
kerosene or three cubic meters of firewood. With the current
kerosene price, the farmers' production costs are between
200,000-300,000 Rupiah, but only 150,000 Rupiah if using firewood.
Besides the shift by many farmers to firewood, others have closed
down their mushroom production houses altogether.


BPPT Developing Open Source Software
12. The Head of the Information and Computer Systems Division of
Indonesia's Agency for Technology Research and Application (BPPT)
announced that BPPT is developing several computer applications
using Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in order to reduce dependence
on proprietary systems. Applications currently in development
include e-office (Kantaya), e-learning (Kutahu), and Local
Management Information System (Simda) software. BPPT is assisting
several local governments (Jembrana, Pekalongan, Banyuwangi, Kuala
Kapuas and Sawah Lunto) to implement FOSS-based applications. By
2014, BPPT plans to develop FOSS-based applications for computer
driver and kernel technologies, mining data programs, Indonesian
language processing, simulation and computerization.

Nuclear Education in High School Curriculum
13. On May 2, Dr. Taswanda Taryo, Deputy Chairman for R&D
Productivity and Public Acceptance of Nuclear Science and
Technology, BATAN (National Nuclear Energy Agency), announced plans
for a program to include education on nuclear technology in school
curricula, especially high schools. Eko Madi, Head of the
Subdivision for Nuclear Energy Science and Technology Dissemination,
BATAN, explained that BATAN and the Ministry of Education would
establish an expert team to begin drafting physics, chemistry, and
biology curricula on nuclear technology. In addition, BATAN is
conducting outreach to educate teachers, students, and NGOs about
nuclear technology. BATAN will also establish three Centers for
Nuclear Education and Information, including one in Jepara (Central
Java), which is close to Muria Bay, the location for a proposed
nuclear plant.


Tackling HIV Infection Rates Among Surabaya's Children
--------------------------------------------- ---------
14. The Surabaya City Health Department announced that 37 babies in
Surabaya contracted HIV/AIDS between January and March 2008. At a
workshop on HIV/AIDS, Surabaya's Vice Mayor, Arief Afandi, confirmed
that HIV/AIDS cases are spreading in all 31 districts in Surabaya.
The Surabaya City government will take a new approach to the problem
by training students to be HIV/AIDS cadre who will provide
information and training to their peers. The Surabaya City
government will also involve more children and students in future
HIV/AIDS workshops. So far, it has selected 10 junior high schools
and 10 senior high/vocational schools in Surabaya as HIV/AIDS test
sites for this campaign.

No Blood Transfusion Facilities in Half of Country
--------------------------------------------- ----
15. During a public hearing before the Jakarta regional parliament
on May 12, Dr. Ratna Rosita, Director of Basic Medical Services and
Nutrition of the Ministry of Health, stated that Indonesia lacks
Blood Transfusion Units (UTDs) in 226 regions. Ministry of Health
statistics (2006) show that only 231 of 457 regencies/cities in

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Indonesia have UTDs, including those operated by the Indonesian Red
Cross (PMI), provincial governments and hospitals. PMI's Chairman
Mari'e Muhammad and Adang Dorodjatun, Chairman of Indonesia Blood
Donors, also attended the public hearing. PMI currently has 212
UTDs, of which 24 percent are located within hospitals and 76
percent outside of hospitals.


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