Friday, 6 June 2008

SBY wants action to save nature

Friday, June 6, 2008 6:52 PM Jakarta Post

SBY wants action to save nature

Desy Nurhayati , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Fri, 06/06/2008

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presented awards to 94 cities and 12 individuals and groups for their outstanding contribution to preserving the country's environment on Thursday.

The Kalpataru and Adipura awards were presented at a ceremony to commemorate World Environment Day at the State Palace.

In his speech at the presentation, Yudhoyono called on people to take concrete action to save the environment and combat climate change.
"It's time to act to save our environment. We should no longer debate whether global warming and climate change are real, the threats are coming. So don't hesitate to take action," he said.

"We should start changing our attitudes and fight pollution in line with this year's Environment Day theme, CO2: Kick the Habit Toward a Low Carbon Economy."

"Let's save our lands and forests, and go on with our tree-planting and energy-saving programs."

During the event, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Ka'ban were awarded certificates of global leadership by the United Nations Environment Program, for their efforts in initiating the tree-planting program. The awards were presented by the state minister for the environment, Rachmat Witoelar.

Yudhoyono said environmental policies, whether issued by the central or regional administrations, were important to endorse environmental protection measures.

"Administrations should be strict in implementing their policies by setting incisive goals and proper action plans."

He also emphasized the importance of environmental education at schools and improving people's attitudes toward "going green".

Technology should be employed to protect the environment, such as the use of green manufacturing and transportation to reduce the use of fossil fuel and mitigate the impact of global warming, he said.

The president awarded three groups with Kalpataru trophies -- Pekraman Buahan village from Bangli in Bali; Argo Mulyo farmers' group from Madiun in East Java and Bahtera Melayu, an NGO from Bengkalis, Riau.
Nine individuals also received Kalpataru trophies, including Cukup Rudiyanto from Indramayu, West Java; Sriyatun from Surabaya, East Java; Abu Wenna from Wajo, South Sulawesi; Thresia Mia Tobi from Flores, East Nusa Tenggara; and Abbas Usman from Indragiri Hilir, Riau.

The President also presented Adipura awards to 94 cities that had maintained cleanliness and allocated 10 percent of their land for city forests.

Regents and mayors also received awards for their efforts to build facilities such as traditional markets and city parks in their towns.

For the metropolitan category, the Adipura awards went to Palembang in South Sumatra, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, North Jakarta, Central Jakarta and Surabaya.

For the big-city category, the awards were given to Pekanbaru in Riau, Padang in West Sumatra and Batam in Riau Islands.
The Adipura awards also went to 28 medium-sized cities and 57 small towns.