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Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: July 2008

VZCZCXRO5387
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1586/01 2340558
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210558Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9853
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2927
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5316
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2389
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4831
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3416
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHINGTON DC 0063
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001586

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: JULY 2008

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

-- Forest Conservation Programs Need Large-Scale Funding
-- Jakarta Administration Urged to Stop Reclamation Project
-- Surabaya Hosts Interfaith Youth Camp on Climate Change
-- Arsenic Pollution Uncovered in Sumatra
-- Ministry of Forestry Plans to Establish REDD Commission
-- Bekasi Inaugurates Methane Gas Burner Site


-- Indonesian Students Win International Prize
-- U.S. Scientists Participate in Sumatran Geo-hazards Research
Cruise

-- East Java Requests Funds to Fight Malnutrition
-- Affordable Health Care Program Launched in East Java
-- Indonesia Children Vulnerable to Pneumonia Attack


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

Forest Conservation Programs Need Large-Scale Funding
--------------------------------------------- ---------
1. The Director of Forest and Water Resources Conservation of the
State Ministry for National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), Basah
Hernowo, announced on July 23 that Indonesia's forest and water
conservation programs will cost Rp. 6.5 trillion (USD 726.3
million). Indonesia hopes that most of the funding will come from
grants. There are a total of 55 energy, infrastructure,
agriculture, forestry, riverbank, and weather-climate projects
included in the program.

Environmentalists Urge Halt of Reclamation Project
--------------------------------------------- ----
2. Environmental activists called on the Jakarta City Administration
to cancel its reclamation project on the North Jakarta Coast.
Jakarta's Development Assistant, Sarwo Handayani, stated on July 20
that the city would start reclamation and revitalization of Jakarta
coastal areas in 2009. The reclamation project covers 2,700
hectares including 32 kilometers of coastline. According to
Environmentalist Firdaus Cahyadi, the project will destroy a
significant portion of the mangrove forest in the city, severely
affecting the area's marine eco-system and increasing the chance of
large-scale flooding in the old Jakarta region. New business
development will also encourage additional people to relocate to
Jakarta, further stressing environment resources. The Jakarta
Regional Environmental Management Agency-BPLHD is preparing an
environmental assessment for the project.

Interfaith Youth Camp on Climate Change in Surabaya
--------------------------------------------- ------
3. Youth delegations from ten Asia Pacific countries participated in
the Asia Pacific Inter Faith Youth Camp on Climate Change 2008 in
Surabaya on July 27 - 31. The Indonesian Foreign Affairs
Department, the Surabaya City Government, and Tunas Hijau, an
environmental NGO, organized the camp. The gathering included 150
participants from environmental groups and interfaith forums. The
youth camp provided a forum to discuss religious and environmental
issues. Participants made recommendations for Asian countries to
increase environmental education, establish an environmental
network, and commit to responsible environmental leadership.

Arsenic Pollution Uncovered on
East Coast of Sumatra
---------------------
4. In July, a Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and
Technology survey uncovered arsenic contamination in ground water on
the east coast of Sumatra. The contaminated area covers 100,000
square kilometers. Experts believe the arsenic is naturally
occurring rather than derived from pollution. According to the
study, the arsenic content in Sumatran ground waste exceeds the
World Health Organization's ambient level (0.01 milligram per liter
of drinking water). Deputy Minister for Natural Resources
Conservation and Environmental Degradation Control Masnellyarti
Hilman has asked local governments to test the condition of ground
water in the area in response to the report. Experts link arsenic
in ground water to respiratory problems, skin disease and cancer.


MOF Plans to Establish REDD Commission

JAKARTA 00001586 002 OF 003


--------------------------------------
5. On July 18, the Secretary of Research and Development of the
Ministry of Forestry (MOF) Nur Masripatin announced plans to
establish the Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Degradation
(REDD) Commission. The Secretary General of the MOF will chair the
Commission. The Senior Adviser to the Minister of Forestry for
Forest Partnership will serve as the Commission's Vice Chairman.
Other members of the Commission will include directors general and
deputy directors general from various government ministries. The
Commission will evaluate and issue certificates for carbon emission
reduction.

Bekasi Inaugurates Gas Methane Burner Site
------------------------------------------
6. On July 1, State Minister of Environment Rachmat Witoelar
inaugurated a new methane gas burner site near the Sumur Batu
dumping area, Bantar Gebang Sub-District, West Java. The burner
will reduce the amount of methane gas emitted during the burning of
organic waste. There is only one other methane gas burner in
Indonesia. PT Gikoko, a Japanese firm, won the tender for the
project. The World Bank has provided a US$1.2 million loan to fund
the construction of the burner.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

Indonesian Students Win International Prize
-------------------------------------------
7. On July 8, a team of students from Bandung Institute of
Technology (BIT) won the Rural Innovation Achievement Award at the
International Imagine Cup competition at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The team, which consisted of three students from the Electronics
and IT Department and one from Art and Design Department of BIT,
defeated teams from Columbia, Egypt, India and South Africa.
Roughly 200,000 students from 100 countries took part in the
competition. The team developed a "butterfly system" which can
immediately report on environmental problems through voice, SMS,
MMS, mobile applications and websites. The team received US$ 10,000
and the opportunity to cooperate with researchers and scientists at
the Microsoft Research Center in Bangalore, India.

U.S. Scientists Conducted Geo-hazards Research
--------------------------------------------- -
8. During July, U.S. scientists from the Jackson School for
Geophysics of the University of Texas at Austin conducted a seismic
reflection survey of the Sumatran Coast in collaboration with the
Indonesian Agency of Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT)
and the UK National Oceanographic Center. The objective of the
research cruise was to gain deeper understanding of the geology and
tsunami generation potential of the area. Researchers from
Indonesia, the U.S. and the U.K will share the data generated from
the cruise and conduct joint research over the next few years.

HEALTH:

East Java Requests Funds to Fight Malnutrition
--------------------------------------------- -
9. In a letter dated July 11, the East Java Health Department asked
for a budget increase of Rp. 15.6 billion (US$ 1.7 million) from
East Java's Parliament to provide support for the 5,461 malnourished
children in the province. The East Java Parliament has stated that
it needs to analyze the proposed corrective program before they can
approve the budget.

Affordable Health Care Program Launched in East Java
--------------------------------------------- -------
10. The East Java BAZ (an institution that collects Muslim charity
donations) launched a new program to provide affordable medical
services to 10,000 poor people in East Java on July 7. Participants
in the program received a 50% discount on medical services provided
by selected clinics throughout East Java. Participants must
register with the East Java BAZ in order to qualify for the
discount. Donations from wealthy individuals provide the primary
source of funding for the program.

Indonesian Children are Vulnerable to Pneumonia
--------------------------------------------- --
11. At the launching of the Asia Strategic Alliance for Pneumococcus
on June 30, Prof. Dr. Sri Rezeki S. Hadinegoro of Gajah Mada
University noted that pneumonia is the main cause of mortality in
Indonesian children under-five years of age. ASAP memeber Prof.
Cissy B. Kartasasmita also noted that the Government of Indonesia
has not yet included PCV7 (Pneumococcal Conjuugate Vaccine 7 Valent)

JAKARTA 00001586 003 OF 003


in the national health program.

HUME

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