Friday Focus 1
I said I would devote one day a week to environmental issues here in Indonesia. And where better to start than with a roundup of this week's Jakarta Post articles?
A healthy environment is a human right enshrined in law. In Indonesia
, the right to a healthy environment is included in the 1997 Environmental Management Act, while Article 33 of the Constitution on social welfare and natural resources has quickly become central to the work of Indonesia's new Constitutional Court.
Bank Indonesia has issued a regulation (BI Regulation No. 7/2/PBI/2005
concerning Asset Quality Rating for Commercial Banks) which is a promising first step to stimulate the financial sector to help save the environment as banks play important roles in financing the forestry, plantation, mining and other important sectors related to environmental issues.
I have no idea who said it first or when, but a basic Jakartass credo is We Don't Inherit the Earth; We Borrow it From Our Children.
This, sadly, is seemingly not shared by the élite who pursue quick and easy profits without regard for anyone else's interests ~ malls before parks or sports grounds, the poaching in and plundering of Indonesia's forests and the ever-present corruption and collusion between bureaucrats and businessmen which has so pissed off SBY.
At least the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, KADIN, was listening. Kadin chairman Mohamad S. Hidayat said
that it would take 10 years for the whole nation to inculcate an anti-bribery attitude, which would eventually provide a more conducive climate for investment and national welfare.
In a bid to boost the environmental education of students
, Minister of National Education Bambang Sudibyo and State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar signed (last) Friday a memorandum of understanding that will require their offices to prepare materials for environmental lesson and to train teachers to teach the subject.
But many children are already aware.Out of the mouths of babes Grade 5 SD Mentari students share their thoughts on the natural world - and how to protect it.How do you feel about the pollution here in Jakarta?I feel that pollution destroys our country. Our people get sick and animals are also harmed.I feel that it's disturbing the life cycle of both humans and animals. It's ruining our country and we're better off without it.What do you do at home to reduce the amount of pollution?I don't burn trash and I use recycled folders and bags. How can we make Jakarta green?I think we can make Jakarta a green city by planting more trees, recycling, reusing stuff and reducing the amount of garbage.How can we look after the environment?By planting more trees, not wasting fuel, building less factories and recycling.By keeping our surroundings clean and by not throwing rubbish around.Don't use so much transportation, don't cut trees, if you do not need something, don't buy it. Why is looking after the environment important?If all the plants are cut down, the animals have no plants to eat and the herbivores will die and the carnivores will have no more herbivores to eat. Why are some animals endangered?Mostly because people hunt them for something useless and their houses (habitats) get smaller and smaller.
SBY plants tree
It finally looks as if there are signs that adults and children are on the same wavelength.
Next week I'll be commenting on the everyday 'little' things which piss me off on my daily rounds. If any local readers are similarly concerned, please do write to me and I'll incorporate them.