Cablegate: Indonesia Esth Highlights: June 2008

DE RUEHJA #1380/01 1990919
R 170919Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


-- Orangutans Need Forest Habitat to Survive
-- Orangutan as an "Icon" for Conservation Issues
-- New Species Found in East Nusa Tenggara and Central Sulawesi
-- Ministry of Forestry Destroys Smuggled Turtles in East
-- UNEP Gives Environment Awards to Minister of Forestry Kaban and
First Lady Ani Yudhoyono
-- Fish Bombing Increasing Due to High Fuel Price
-- Ministry of Environment to Establish Environmental Court
-- Jakarta Governor Says Air Quality Improving
-- Jakarta Customs Foil Log Smugglers
-- GOI Hosts Basel Convention Conference
-- Jakarta Administration and Industries Agree to Improve Waste
-- Surabaya ratifies local environmental regulation
-- East Java Tops Environmental Awards
-- High Level of Water Pollution in East Java
-- Surabaya Spot Checks Show Diesel is Dirtier
-- BPPT and NOAA Released Easy-To-Deploy Buoys
-- New Head of Indonesian Academy of Sciences Named
-- BPOM Bans 54 Herbal Medicines
-- Malnutrition in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)


Orangutans Need Forest Habitat to Survive
1. On June 7, Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation released
25 orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in Bukit Batikap protected forest,
Murung Raya Regency, Central Kalimantan. According to BOS, the
orangutans were victims of palm oil plantation expansion. BOS
Communication Manager Nina Nuraisyah stated that the orangutans were
rescued and then rehabilitated at BOS' Center for Reintroduction and
Rehabilitation in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. A Pelita Air
chartered plane transported the orangutans on three separate flights
to their destination. BOS is rehabilitating another 224 orangutans
at a center in Kutai Kertanegara.

2. The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Office
(BKSDA) recommended the Bukit Batikap release site and, prior to
sending the orangutans there, a BOS team conducted a feasibility
survey on biodiversity, the population of local orangutans, food
availability, and local communities living in the buffer zone of the
protected forest. Herry Djoko Susilo, Deputy Director for Species
and Genetic Conservation, Ministry of Forestry, admits that the
government is having difficulty finding locations to release
orangutans after their rehabilitation.

Orangutan as an "Icon" for Conservation Issues
--------------------------------------------- -
3. The USAID-funded Orangutan Conservation Services Program (OCSP)
is encouraging the use of the orangutan as an icon for forests.
OCSP's Program Director, Paul Hartman, compares it to using the
polar bear as an icon for ice. The idea of using the orangutan as
an umbrella symbol is to encourage awareness about conservation
issues, and is mentioned in the Strategy and Action Plan for
Indonesian Orangutan Conservation (2007-2017) released by the
Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation,
Ministry of Forestry. The Ministry of Forestry notes that there are
three subspecies of orangutan living in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Pongo pygmaeus (7,500) live in five locations in West Kalimantan and
Sarawak; Pongo pygmaeus wumbii (46,250) live in 19 locations in
Central Kalimantan; and Pongo pygmaeus morio (4,825) live in eight
locations in East Kalimantan and Sabah, Malaysia.

New Species Found in East Nusa Tenggara and Central Sulawesi
--------------------------------------------- --
4. Gatot Soebiantoro, Head of Kelimutu National Park, announced on
June 21 that a team from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)
found a new species of shrubs called Begonia kelimutuensis within
Kelimutu National Park. The new species was found during a
community study on flora and fauna, conducted by Kelimutu National
Park and LIPI's Biology Research Center, which will continue until
2009. Kelimutu National Park covers 5,356 hectares on Flores Island
in East Nusa Tenggara.

5. Separately, researchers from the University of Tadulako in Palu,
Central Sulawesi, Fadly Y. Tantu and Jusri Nilawati announced on

JAKARTA 00001380 002 OF 004

June 15 that they had discovered five new freshwater fish species in
Central Sulawesi. They found five new species among 32 endemic fish
species that populate Maliki Lake. The new species include three
from the Telmatherinidae family (Telmatherina whitelips,
Telmatherine baganggensis and Telmatherina exilis) and two from the
Gobiidae family (Glossogobius spilii and Mugilogobius flavus). The
findings were released at the Fifth Fish Seminar held at the Bogor
Institute of Agriculture in early June.

Ministry of Forestry Destroys Smuggled Turtles in East Kalimantan
--------------------------------------------- ----
6. The Ministry of Forestry destroyed 387 dead turtles (including
green, shell, and giant shell turtles) on June 9 in Amal Beach,
Tarakan City, East Kalimantan. The Ministry also sold at auction
one ship used for smuggling the turtles. The turtles had been
evidence of a smuggling case in May 2007, for which an Indonesian
court sentenced the smugglers (ship captain Wang Su Chen and 22
crew) to four years in jail and levied a fine of Rp. 10 million

UNEP Gives Environment Awards to Minister of Forestry Kaban and
First Lady Ani Yudhoyono
--------------------------------------------- ----
7. On World Environment Day, the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) presented Minister of Forestry M.S. Kaban and
Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono with Certificates of Global
Leadership. Minister of Environment Rachmat Witoelar presented the
awards on behalf of UNEP. UNEP gave the award to Minister Kaban
because of his Ministry's work in rehabilitating critical lands and
reforestation by planting 86 million trees, while First Lady Ani
Yudhoyono led a tree planting movement in Indonesia that succeeded
in planting 14 million trees.

Fish Bombing Increasing Due to Higher Fuel Price
--------------------------------------------- ---
8. Edhi Cahyono, the Police Chief in West Teluk Betung, Bandar
Lampung, announced that police had arrested a fish bomb trader and
seized 65 bottles of fish bombs. The police are investigating an
increase in bomb-fishing in Teluk Lampung waters due to increased
fuel prices. In Kiluan Bay, 85 km from Bandar Lampung, fishermen
have to pay 8,000 rupiah ($0.87 cent) for one liter of diesel.

Ministry of Environment to Establish Environmental Court
--------------------------------------------- ----
9. Deputy Minister for Environmental Management Ilyas Asaad said on
June 23 that the State Ministry of Environment was coordinating with
other agencies to establish an environmental court, and that
Attorney General Bagir Manan has agreed to its establishment. The
court will handle all cases concerning the violation of
environmental laws. In the meantime, the Ministry will provide
training on environmental laws, regulations and related issues to
law enforcement agencies, including training 1,000 members of the
police. Mas Achmad Santosa, an environmental law expert from the
Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) notes that there is
still a lack of awareness about environmental laws among government

Jakarta Governor Says Air Quality Improving
10. The Governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Wibowo, claims that Jakarta's
air quality is improving through implementation of the "Car Free
Day" program on major thoroughfares. On June 29, Fauzi said that
there were 73 days of low carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2007, compared
with 85 days of low CO2 so far this year. Fauzi also said the city
plans to increase the frequency of the "Car Free Day" from once a
month to twice a month, or to expand the coverage of "Car Free Day".
Fauzi stated that Jakarta initiated the "Car Free Day" policy to
improve the quality of life of Jakarta's residents by decreasing air
pollution. Governor Fauzi also expressed his appreciation of
several companies and individuals who recently launched the "Jakarta
Green and Clean (JGC)" movement, including the daily newspaper
Republika, PT. Unilever Indonesia, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and
Delta radio.

Jakarta Customs Foil Log Smugglers
11. On June 12, the Jakarta Customs Office seized 21 containers of
smuggled logs and two containers of illegal "pasir timah" (tin sand)
with a total value of Rp. 17.6 billion ($1.9 million). The logs
alone were valued at approximately Rp. 13 billion ($1.4 million).
The Head of the Investigation and Enforcement Office at Tanjung
Priok Port, Heru Sulastyono, said that the logs were ebony from

JAKARTA 00001380 003 OF 004

Palu, Central Sulawesi and Kalimantan. He stated that the smugglers
planned to export the logs to China and that Customs is still
investigating suspected actors, but that the smuggling involved 11
companies. Jusuf Indarto, Director of Investigation and
Enforcement, said that the smugglers violated Article 103 of Law
No.17/2006 concerning fake documents, which stipulates imprisonment
from two to five years and a fine ranging from Rp. 100 million
($10,869.57) to Rp. 5 billion ($543,478.26).

GOI Hosts Basel Convention Conference
12. Indonesia hosted the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) of
the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of
Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal in Bali from June 23-27. The
Basel Convention is the most comprehensive global environmental
treaty dealing with hazardous and other wastes. Around 1,000
participants from 170 signatory countries attended the Conference.
Minister of Environment Rachmat Witoelar noted that the Basel
Convention is an important instrument for protecting health and the
environment in Indonesia because Indonesia is vulnerable to illegal
trafficking in hazardous wastes. On June 27, the COP9 Basel
Convention released a "Bali Declaration on Waste Management for
Human Health and Livelihood."

Jakarta Administration and Industries Agree to Improve Waste
--------------------------------------------- --
13. On June 29, directors of 24 industrial and services companies
signed an agreement with Jakarta Governor Fauzi Wibowo to improve
their waste management performance. The companies include PT.
Indofood Sukses Makmur, Hotel Mercure, PT Indocement Tunggal
Perkasa, and PT Kawasan Berikat Nusantara. Governor Fauzi hopes
that improved waste management by companies will improve Jakarta's
urban environment.

Surabaya Ratifies Local Environmental Regulation
--------------------------------------------- ---
14. After years of discussion and negotiation, the Surabaya
Parliament finally ratified a local regulation (Perda) on air
pollution on June 2. The regulation complies with national air
quality standards as required by central government regulations,
according to the head of the Surabaya Environment Department. The
Surabaya municipal government originally planned to follow their own
tougher air quality standards, but lacks the authority to set them.

East Java Tops Environmental Awards
15. Ten schools in East Java received "Adiwiyata Awards" from the
provincial government for their emphasis on the environment. These
ten schools have developed environmentally-friendly curriculums,
built facilities that can support environmental activities,
formulated pro-environment policies, and maintain an
environmentally-friendly culture. Another 23 schools in East Java
also received environmental awards from the Minister of Environment
on June 6. President SBY delivered another environmental award, the
"Adipura Award", to 24 regencies/cities in East Java on June 5.
Among all Indonesian provinces, East Java has the highest number of
regencies/cities to have received environmental awards.

High Level of Water Pollution in East Java
16. Suparto Wijoyo, an environmental expert from Airlangga
University, explained in June that pollution in East Java is the
second worst in Indonesia. Illegal logging occurs in nearly 65
percent of East Java's forests. East Java is also the biggest
producer of dangerous waste (around 1.3 million tons in 2007) but
does not have a single dangerous waste management facility. Water
pollution in East Java is also high -- around 90 percent of
industries in East Java do not have waste treatment facilities.

Surabaya Spot Checks Show Diesel is Dirtier
17. The East Java Environmental Impact Management Agency conducted
car emission checks on June 3 on 150 cars. The checks showed that
most diesel vehicles were 50 percent over the maximum emission
standards. By contrast, gasoline powered vehicles were largely
within the standard of 4.5 percent carbon monoxide and 1200 parts
per million of hydrocarbons. These results will form the basis of
Provincial Regulations on vehicle emissions.


JAKARTA 00001380 004 OF 004

BPPT and NOAA Launched Easy-To-Deploy Buoys
18. On June 10, the Agency for Assessment and Application of
Technology (BPPT) and NOAA launched two DART Easy To Deploy Buoys at
Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta. BPPT and NOAA positioned the buoys in
southern Bali waters using the Baruna Jaya IV research vessel. The
Chairman of BPPT, Prof. Said Djauharsjah Jenie, announced that the
buoy launching was part of the development of the Indonesian Tsunami
Early Warning System and the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and
Mitigation System. Indonesia's long coastline makes it extremely
vulnerable to tsunamis; it therefore needs additional buoys to
provide early warning. Indonesia plans to position one buoy every
250 kilometers along its coastline. At the launch, U.S. Ambassador
Cameron R. Hume reiterated that the U.S. Government would fully
support the development of the tsunami early warning system in
Indonesian waters.

New Head of Indonesian Academy of Sciences Named
--------------------------------------------- ---
19. Professor Sangkot Marzuki of the Eijkman Institute for
Molecular Biology has been named the new Head of the Indonesian
Academy of Sciences. Dr. Marzuki graduated as a medical doctor from
the University of Indonesia and went on to study in Bangkok before
spending 17 years at the department of biochemistry at Melbourne's
Monash University. In 1992 Dr. Marzuki was invited back to rebuild
the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, where is also currently

20. The Indonesian Academy of Sciences was established in 1990. At
present it has 41 members, of which 9 are honorary members. The
academy currently has 5 scientific committees organized as follows:
Committee on Basic Sciences; Committee on Engineering; Committee on
Medical Sciences; Committee on Social Sciences; Committee on Art and


BPOM Bans 54 Herbal Medicines
21. On June 10, the Head of the National Agency for Food and Drug
Control (BPOM) Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib announced that BPOM was
removing 54 traditional herbal medicines from the market. Forty-six
of the 54 herbal medicines used fictitious registration numbers.
BPOM announced the action after their laboratory tests showed
hazardous/toxic contents in those herbal medicines. BPOM found
these herbal medicines being sold in 15 provinces/cities: Medan,
Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Kendari, Mataram, Lampung,
Bengkulu, Banda Aceh, Padang, Makassar, Pontianak, Bandung, Pekan
Baru, and Kupang. At the time of the announcement, BPOM had already
destroyed 20 trucks/containers of those herbal medicines. Husniah
admitted that the finding would affect the herbal medicine market,
while the Head of the Traditional Medicine Association, Charles
Saerang, expressed concern that people would refrain from using
herbal medicines in general. According to Charles, total revenue
from sales of herbal medicines was Rp. 3 trillion ($326.09 million)
in 2007, including exports of Rp. 10 billion ($1.1 million) to
Malaysia and Rp. 20 billion ($2.2 million) to Saudi Arabia.

Malnutrition in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)
22. Twenty three children in NTT died between January-June 2008 due
to malnutrition. In NTT alone, 12,818 children are suffering from
malnutrition and 72,067 children are undernourished. Malnutrition
cases have spread to 20 regencies/cities in NTT, with the worst
problems in Timor Tengah Selatan Regency and Kupang Regency. The
main causes are poverty and a lack of nutritional knowledge.
According to the head of NTT's health department, Steve Bria, NTT
needs at least Rp. 54 billion to handle malnutrition, while it
currently receives an allocation of only Rp. 1.5 billion from the
provincial budget and Rp. 5.6 million from the city budget.


© Scoop Media

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