Saturday, 6 June 2009

Green heroes want new president to take real actions on environment

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Fri, 06/05/2009

Environmental heroes have requested a meeting with each of the three presidential hopefuls to convey their concerns about environmental degradation that has triggered more natural disasters across the country.

Past and current winners of the most prestigious environmental award Kalpataru issued a joint declaration on Friday, calling on the government to take real actions in restoring the environment.

“We are very concerned about the continuing “ecological” assassination across the country and the government should take real actions to restore the environment based on local wisdom,” coordinator of Kalpataru winners Eko Budiharjo read the declaration during a commemoration of the World Environment Day.

“We demand that the government strictly enforce the law on environment to address the problems.”

To raise awareness of environment protection among the young generation, they also called on the government to incorporate environmental issues into the national curriculum for students from elementary to higher education.

Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said the award winners would meet presidential candidate Megawati Soekarnoputri and her running mate Prabowo Subianto and the presidential ticket of Jusuf Kalla and Wiranto on Saturday. It remains unclear, however, when the environment heroes will meet incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his running mate Boediono.

Since its inception 29 years ago, 264 people have won the Kalpataru award.