Eat Up - Greens are good for you
It's time to reaffirm my green credentials, not least with WALHI (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia
- Indonesia Friends of the Earth) who've asked me to become a 'donator'.
I pointed out in my reply that they have a permanent link
in my blogroll but I wondered why my email newsletter
from them is always dated a couple of months previously. I can't give advance publicity to happenings which are already past events. I also said that I wish I didn't have to keep on keeping on about sustainable living. I feel that I'm nagging, an unpleasantry generally inflicted by 'Er Indoors, She Who Must Be Obeyed or Dear Old Mum.
And I do hope that loads of local mums are packing their kids off to participate in the environmental activities organised this month by the Jakarta Green Monster
For everyone, including we adults, there is hope
in that, following a major change in forestry law in Indonesia, a ground-breaking initiative to protect and restore an area of Sumatra’s remaining dry lowland rainforest has now been made possible.
The initiative, planned and pursued for over five years by the coalition of Burung Indonesia, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK) and BirdLife International, with support from BirdLife Partners, will establish Indonesia’s first 'forest ecosystem restoration concession' for the conservation and regeneration of a 101,000 hectares forest block in the lowlands of the island of Sumatra.
The newly named Harapan Rainforest, after the Indonesian word for 'hope', is in an area that was likely to be felled and replaced by plantations for timber or oil palm production. Such plantations clearly have less biodiversity value and extremely limited ecosystem services compared to natural forests.
Elsewhere in Sumatra, in the Bukit Barisan National Park
, a Sumatran striped rabbit
) has been spotted for only the third time in the last 35 years, the last time being in 1972. The species is listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union, due to loss of habitat.Back in 1999, researchers discovered another species of striped rabbit in the Annamite Mountains between Laos and Vietnam, and named it the Annamite striped rabbit. Genetic samples revealed the species were distinct, though closely related, most likely diverging about 8 million years ago.
The director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Program, Colin Poole said
,"This rabbit is so poorly known that any proof of its continued existence at all is great news, and confirms the conservation importance of Sumatra's forests
Indeed. Eight million years of existence could end because of shortsightedness
, pure greed or the basic survival instinct. A balance must be found and education is obviously a key.
That and a co-ordinated campaign. There is, or was, a Friends of the National Parks Foundation
(FNPF) in Bali. I say was, because their website has not been updated for a couple of years, which is a shame. Amongst their initiatives is/was an Elementary Education programme
and a Batik, Natural Dyes and Craft Program
, both designed to give the local community a stake in the well-being of their forest and to provide an alternative income source other than logging.Environmental News
is a blog from Singapore which also carries articles of relevance to Indonesia in their almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.
Except that nothing has been posted so far this month and only one article was posted in March, about the damage being done to Angkor Wat by unsupervised tourism, .
Perhaps the energy of the contributors is being expended in other directions, much like mine is. When The Reveller and I registered Green Indonesia
, we had hopes that it would become a 'café blog', with several contributors, such as DJ who wished to be known as the Faunacator. But time and money, especially money and the search for it, must take precedence. This, of course, is the root cause of the ravaging of the natural environment.
In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog, it's not easy being green
, but it feels good.