Monday, 28 June 2010

In Battle to Save Forests, Activists Target Corporations

Subject: In Battle to Save Forests, Activists Target Corporations

by Rhett
Butler: Yale Environment 360

http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2267

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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Little Ground Broken In New Palm Oil Rules

Personal note: You can be sure the Indonesian palm oil people are introducing their own system (as opposed to complying with the RSPO) because it will be easier for them to comply with and impossible to independently regulate.

*Two highlights below look promising, but given existing laws are rarely ever enforced, what chance is there for any new ones. Tens of thousands of orangutans have (so far) been slaughtered with not one person prosecuted.

Lastly, based on my experience, I suggest you pay no attention to what the EU Ambassador says at the end of this article.
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Little Ground Broken In New Palm Oil Rules

The government on Friday responded to rising international pressure on the country’s palm oil producers by implementing a new certification system for environmental sustainability in the production of crude palm oil.

However, the new standards are unlikely to change the belief among environmental groups that the palm oil producers are contributing to deforestation and global warming, with Greenpeace immediately dismissing the system as a repackaging of the country’s existing laws on palm oil production.

Bustar Maitar, team leader for forests at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said he was disappointed, especially because the market, including retail consumers, is eager to see improved criteria to ensure sustainability in palm oil production.

“I don’t see anything new or improved in the ISPO. It’s only a collection of existing regulations and laws,” Bustar said.

The certification system, called Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil, is mandatory for all palm oil producers. Much of its primary environmental criteria is a duplication of existing regulations. It will prohibit, for example, the use of peatland deeper than three meters, in line with a regulation issued in 2009.

*It also prohibits the burning of forests for the purpose of clearing for plantations, in line with a 2004 law, with those found guilty of breaching the regulations facing a maximum fine of Rp 10 billion ($1.1 million) and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

*Those found guilty of destroying endangered species, such as the orangutan, living near plantations will face fines of Rp 200 million and up to 10 years in prison. The measures take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

“The ISPO is intended to ensure that Indonesia is promoting the development of palm oil in a sustainable way. It will become mandatory and legally binding for all in the palm oil business,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said.

The ISPO initiative follows a two-year moratorium on the clearing of primary forests and peatlands agreed to last month by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as part of a $1 billion deal with Norway intended to fight climate change.

The government has said that under the agreement, palm oil producers would not be allowed to clear primary forests or peatlands for palm plantation. The moratorium supersedes the ISPO standards in some cases, such as the use of peatland.

The nation’s palm oil producers have come under heavy attack over the past year. Environmentalists say the growth of palm oil plantations contributes to deforestation and increases emissions of greenhouse gases. These claims are being taken increasingly seriously by international palm oil buyers.

Global consumer products giant Unilever suspended purchases from major palm oil producer the Sinar Mas Group in December, after Greenpeace alleged it was devastating rainforests and habitats for endangered species. Nestle followed suit in March.

Based on data issued by the Trade Ministry, the export value of crude palm oil products to countries in the European Union in 2009 was worth $2.26 billion.

Julian Wilson, the EU ambassador for Indonesia and Brunei, told the Jakarta Globe that Europe welcomed Indonesia’s steps to create its own criteria for palm oil sustainability, since it shows the country’s willingness to get serious in the fight against deforestation and carbon emissions. He said the European Union was ready to discuss the new standards with Indonesian officials.

“It sounds like a positive advance, especially if it’s legally binding,” Wilson said.
He said large palm oil buyers were increasingly wanting to make sure that the palm oil they were buying was sustainably produced.

“Producers have to be able to comply with their consumers’ requests,” Wilson said.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/little-ground-broken-in-new-palm-oil-rules/382681

Palm oil free chocolate

http://www.louisbarnett.co.uk/

Welcome to LouisBarnett.co.uk the home of Award Winning chocolatier Louis Barnett, and his Gluten Free, Vegetarian and palm oil free chocolate products that also donate to charity!

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Palm oil free soap from Scotland



Lomond Soap
www.lomondsoap.com

Lomond Soap is handmade in Cardross, Scotland. We use pure essential oils and natural colours to make our soap. Lomond Soap is palm oil free, we make a donation to Borneo Orangutan Survival UK from every bar of soap we sell.

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Thursday, 24 June 2010

The campaign against palm oil: The other oil spill

The campaign against palm oil: The other oil spill The Economist

An excellent article.

http://www.economist.com/node/16423833

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The Journey Towards Sustainable Palm Oil - Stories From Within

http://www.wildasia.org/main.cfm/library/Palm_oil_journey

an interesting insight.

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Sabah government orders sand mining stopped

Sabah government orders sand mining stopped

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/politics/sabah-and-sarawak/7217-sabah-government-orders-sand-mining-stopped-

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Canada funds climate fight in poorer countries

Canada funds climate fight in poorer countries

http://www.france24.com/en/20100623-canada-funds-climate-fight-poorer-countries

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Asia's Millionaires Match Europe for First Time, Merrill Says

Personal note: And still the US, Norway, Canada, Australia governments send their taxpayers money dressed up as 'aid' to Indonesia......one country not in a recession!

Asia's Millionaires Match Europe for First Time, Merrill Says - The Jakarta Globe

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/asias-millionaires-match-europe-for-first-time-merrill-says/382104

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Migros won't cut palm oil supply contracts

Migros won't cut palm oil supply contracts

http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20100623152044/Article/index_html

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Glastonbury Festival Goes Greener Than Ever - Tonic

quote from the article

"This year the field at the festival has a rainforest theme to highlight deforestation for palm oil, which is killing the orangutans."

http://www.tonic.com/article/glastonbury-festival-goes-greener-than-ever/

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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Unilever; Jamaican Me Crazy | Ethical Consumption

Unilever; Jamaican Me Crazy Ethical Consumption

http://www.justmeans.com/Unilever-Jamaican-Me-Crazy/19350.html

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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

National Parks Are Zoos In Sarawak, Says State Wildlife Controller

National Parks Are Zoos In Sarawak, Says State Wildlife Controller
June 21, 2010 21:45 PM

KUCHING, June 21 (Bernama) -- The national parks in Sarawak function as zoos in their own right and there is no necessity to set up zoos in the state, Sarawak Wildlife controller, Datuk Len Talif Salleh said Monday.

Len Talif, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Sarawak Forestry Corporation said all the 18 national parks in the state were zoos in the natural sense.

"I personally don't think there is a need to set up zoos in the state. It is better for them (animals) to live in the wild.

"Zoos are set up in areas where there is no place to put the animals in their natural habitat but in Sarawak, we have our national parks.

"However, I will leave it to the state authority to consider that," he told reporters after a meet-and-greet session with the Sarawak Forestry Internship Programme participants, here Monday.

Len Talif was earlier asked to comment whether there was a need to set up zoos in the state when the relocation of animals would be done at various stages of impoundment of the Bakun and Murum dams.

The Bakun Dam situated in the Upper Rajang River Basin and covering an area of about 14,750 sq km, has an installed capacity of 2,400MW. Once impounded, the reservoir, spanning over Batang Balui, Sungai Murum, Sungai Bahau, Sungai Pelepeh and Sungai Linau will have a surface area of 695 sq km.

Len Talif said Sarawak Forestry had identified at least 18 permanent islands as big as 50 to 100 hectares created once the impoundment of Bakun dam commenced.

He said a plant nursery containing most of the collection of plants had been set up, while an animal rescue was established for the relocation of animals.

The Bakun dam is expected to generate power sometime next year instead of late this year as earlier planned.

It will supply power for use by energy-intensive industries like aluminium smelters, to be set up in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu.

-- BERNAMA

http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=507684

Who Lives and Who Dies: We All Care About Animals, Right?

Marc Bekoff

Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado
Posted: June 21, 2010 The Huffington Post

Who Lives and Who Dies: We All Care About Animals, Right?

Should humans keep other animals in cages, eradicate them for human development, eat or wear them, feed them to one another, or move them from one habitat to another? The complexity of human relationships with other animals raises numerous challenging and frustrating questions that force us to reflect on who we are. Often people wonder why those who they perceive to be concerned with the psychological and physical health of animals can't agree on solutions to existing problems.

They believe that advocates of animal welfare and animal rights will favor the same solutions that grant protection to non-consenting beings to whom we can do anything we choose. Yet often this isn't so.

People who believe it's permissible to cause animals pain, but not unnecessary pain, argue that if we consider the individual's welfare or well-being -- their quality of life -- that's all we need to do. These people are called "welfarists" and they practice "welfarism." Welfarists believe that while humans should not wantonly exploit animals, as long as we make animals' lives comfortable, physically and psychologically, we're respecting their welfare.

If animals experience comfort and some of life's pleasures, appear happy, and are free from prolonged or intense pain, fear, hunger and other unpleasant states, they're doing fine. If individuals show normal growth and reproduction, and are free from disease, injury, malnutrition and other types of suffering, they're doing well and we're fulfilling our obligations to them.

Welfarists also assume that it's all right to use animals to meet human ends as long as we adhere to certain safeguards. They believe keeping animals in zoos and aquariums where there are high death rates, using animals in experiments and slaughtering animals for human consumption are permissible as long as these activities are conducted in a humane way.
But welfarists don't believe that animals' lives have inherent value. Animals' lives are valuable merely because of what's called their instrumental value or utility to humans.

Basically, welfarists are utilitarians who believe that dogs, cats, hamsters, prairie dogs, or any other animals can be exploited as long as the pain and suffering that the animals experience - the costs of using the animals to the animals themselves - are less than the benefits to humans that are gained by using the animals. Animal pain and death animals are justified because of the benefits that humans derive.

The ends (human benefits) justify the means (the use of animals) even if they suffer, because their use is considered to be necessary for human gains. Those who argue that moving animals around for human benefits or feeding hamsters to ferrets to train the ferrets to hunt when they are released often employ the utilitarian argument, as do those who feel comfortable eating formerly "free-ranging chickens" but not chickens who've been brutally debeaked and imprisoned in inhumane battery cages.

Now what about those who advocate animal rights? Rightists also are concerned with animals' quality of life. However, they argue it's wrong to abuse or exploit animals, to cause animals any pain and suffering, and that animals shouldn't be eaten, held captive in zoos, or used in most (or any) educational or research settings. They believe animals have certain moral and legal rights including the right to life and the right not to be harmed. According to Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers University, to say an animal has a "right" to have an interest protected means the animal is entitled to have that interest protected even if it would benefit us to do otherwise.

Rightists believe humans have an obligation to honor that claim for animals just as they do for non-consenting humans who can't protect their own interests. So, if a dog has a right to be fed, you have an obligation to make sure she's fed. If a dog has a right to be fed, you're obligated not to do anything to interfere with feeding her.

Rightists also stress that animals' lives are inherently valuable; their lives aren't valuable because of their utility to humans. Animals aren't "less valuable" than humans. Also, animals are neither property nor "things," but rather living organisms, subjects of a dignified life, who are worthy of our support, friendship, compassion and respect. Any amount of pain and death is unnecessary and unacceptable.

Now, what about many conservation biologists and environmentalists? Typically, they're welfarists (utilitarians) who are willing to trade-off individuals' lives for the perceived good of higher levels of organization such as ecosystems, populations or species.

Witness debates about the reintroduction of lynx into Colorado a decade ago. Some conservationists and environmentalists, in contrast to rightists, argued that the death (even agonizingly painful starvation) of some individuals was permissible for the perceived "good of the species." Similarly, a number of wolves died for the good of their species when they were moved from Canada and released into Yellowstone National Park. People, who claim it's all right to kill some prairie dogs because there are numerous other prairie dogs, are taking a utilitarian stance.

The costs to individuals (and species) are less than the benefits to humans.
Words count when we talk about our eating habits or what we accept as the permissible treatment of animals in laboratories and in the wild. So, in response to my arguing that it is not permissible to feed live hamsters to train black-footed ferrets to hunt one person commented "I'm all for animal rights, but as a wildlife rehabber, there is no good substitute for live prey when training animals for release." Accepting that using live prey to train animals is thoroughly incompatible with the rights position.

Labeling an individual a "welfarist" or "rightist" connotes important messages about their views on animal exploitation. One must be careful how these words are tossed around. Welfarists and rightists have radically different perceptions, perspectives and agendas, and solve problems differently.

They preach very different codes of conduct. Welfarism and rights are extremely difficult to reconcile and many experts think it's an impossible marriage. Nonetheless, it's essential to understand their different perspectives in our efforts to protect animals who can't speak for themselves, whose voices fall on deaf ears. And, the problems we face are not only confined to animals we keep in captivity. It's important that we all work together because the solution to some pressing problems about the loss of species will require us to do so. We can't just sit around and ignore nature as we lose precious animals and habitats.

Let me end on a dream I have. Regardless of whether one is a welfarist or a rightist I would like to believe that it is, and will continue to be, human compassion for other beings that will result in our giving them the protection they deserve, because of who they are, not because of what they can do for us or because some law tells us what we have to do.

It's our basic goodness, a point I stress in my book The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons For Expanding Our Compassion Footprint, that will make the lives of other animals better and more dignified, and also our own. Other animals are that important to our own well-being and psyche.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-bekoff/who-lives-and-who-dies-we_b_617773.html

Monday, 21 June 2010

West-Kalimantan-SPORC-Arrests-Orangutan-Traders

If this report is to be believed, it is the first such sting and arrest I have ever heard of in Indonesia. It all sounds a bit to good to be true, but I live in hope. A worry I have is, if you let people know you are looking to buy a baby orangutan (even as part of a sting like this), they will go and kill a mother to steal the baby to order. Friends in this region will no doubt let me know more in time.....this is currently breaking news.

http://www.vhrmedia.com/West-Kalimantan-SPORC-Arrests-Orangutan-Traders-news4663.html

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Malaysia Under Watch On Practices Adopted For Palm Oil Production

Malaysia Under Watch On Practices Adopted For Palm Oil Production

KOTA KINABALU, June 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia, being a world leader as a palm oil producer and exporter, has always come under criticism on the practices it adopted for mass production of the commodity, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin.

"Because the world has become borderless, whatever we do in Malaysia, has ripple effects in other parts of the world, either directly or indirectly, in monetary and non-monetary terms as well. This is the reality.

"(Hence), we must act in a responsible manner to various stakeholders of the industry, including the world at large.

"We are as much concerned for destruction of natural forests and wildlife habitats and the effects the global warming can bring," he said, referring to irresponsible balding of hills and forests to make way for oil palm plantations.

However, Malaysia had always developed eco-friendly practices arising from demands and challenges placed on the industry, he said in his speech when opening the Incorporated Society of Planters National Seminar (Natsem) 2010 here on Monday.

The text of his speech was read out by State Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Bobbey Ahfang Suan.

Yahya urged plantation and commodity industries players to take advantage of seminars and events involving the industries to share and discuss best plantation practices to prove their responsibility to the environment.

He hoped the Incorporated Society of Natsem 2010 themed "Good Plantation Practices" would propel the industry to move a step ahead of its competitors and forge a winning formula for a sustainable position.

"The plantation sector has been a very significant economic contributor to the Malaysian economy for over 30 years.

"(Hence), we must sustain the best possible ways, either technologically or by whatever methods and practices adopted.

"It is our duty to mobilise all our expertise and resources to sustain its continuity," he added.

-- BERNAMA
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsbusiness.php?id=507461

Businessman's Good Turn For Protected Animals

For those who may see this act of kindness as the correct thing to do; IT IS NOT. Buying wildlife from traders creates more trade – seeing this ‘new’ market, the hunters will go out and capture more animals to replace those bought.

It is at least gratifying to see such strong statements by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

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Businessman's Good Turn For Protected Animals

KUCHING, June 21 (Bernama) -- A Sarawak businessman has done what the wildlife authorities may want everyone to do, or at least try to do.Thomas Ting bought eight protected animals he saw at a longhouse in Bintulu and handed them over to the Sarawak Forestry Corporation office there on Thursday.
The animals were three bearcat, three primates, one Borneon Gibbon and one slow loris."I pity these animals. That's why I decided to buy them, and placed them in temporary cages at home before surrendering them to the relevant authorities who can manage and take care of them. After surrendering these animals, I'm relieved as they are now in good hands."I will continue to cooperate fully with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation pertaining to wildlife protection as I consider it my responsibility," the good samaritan said in a statement released by Sarawak Forestry here Monday.
Meanwhile, Controller of Wildlife Datuk Len Talif Salleh said he was happy that the people were more aware of their responsibility in protecting wildlife in the state."Last week, we received a baby clouded leopard from a responsible citizen in Kuching and in a week's time another samaritan has handed over eight wildlife to us. This is a good sign in public awareness," he told a news conference here.Len Talif, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Sarawak Forestry, issued a warning to all illegal wildlife traders."I reiterate my zero-tolerance warning again.
Those who violate the laws will be prosecuted. It's the responsibility of everyone to curb the illegal wildlife trade as it is a leading cause of species extinction," he said.He said that under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998, those who hunt, kill, keep, sell or eat wildlife are liable to a maximum fine of RM50,000 or five years' imprisonment, or both.
Len Talif said the Sarawak Forestry Corporation and Forests Department welcomed any information from the public on illegal wildlife trade and would work with all stakeholders to strive for the survival of these endangered species.He advised the public to report any illegal logging or wildlife trade by calling the hotline numbers 019-885 9996 (Kuching), 019-829 0994 (Miri), 019-826 6096 (Bintulu) and 019-829 0992 (Sibu).

Palm oil firms slippery - MP - Food - NZ Herald News

Palm oil firms slippery - MP - Food - NZ Herald News

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/food/news/article.cfm?c_id=206&objectid=10653560

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Malaysia update

I have heard today from the Public Complaints Bureau attached to the Prime Minister's office.

They have said the Department for Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) intends to reply to all our reports, complaints etc by this Friday 25th June.

On the face of it, encouraging news, but let's wait and see what they have to say. Perhilitan has a well deserved very, very poor reputation.

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Some New Zealand food companies are being slippery about whether they use palm oil, according to a Green Party survey

Source: Stuff NZ – June 21, 2010

Some New Zealand food companies are being slippery about whether they use palm oil, according to a Green Party survey. Green Party MP Sue Kedgley wrote to 20 of New Zealand's largest food companies, asking them for a list of products they manufactured that contained palm oil.

Chocolate-maker Cadbury recently tried to introduce palm oil in its local products, but stopped because of criticism about sustainability. Watties said it did not use palm oil in any products and Delmaines said it used palm oil only in its Kisses product. Six other companies confirmed using palm oil, but refused to give further information. A further 12 companies did not respond to Ms Kedgley's query and follow up request for information.

Ms Kedgley said the refusal of manufacturers to disclose what food products contained palm oil was extraordinary, since this was one of the reasons Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) had given for refusing to require palm oil to be labelled. "FSANZ said in its decision not to require palm oil labelling that if consumers wished to avoid the consumption of palm oil they could contact food manufacturers for the information. Well, we have contacted food manufacturers, and nearly all have refused to disclose this information."

New Zealanders had a right to know what was in their food, she said. "We need to change our labelling laws so that companies are required to disclose whether they use palm oil or not, because companies are not prepared to disclose this information voluntarily."

Conservation advocates say palm oil's production is responsible for intensive deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, leading to the slaughter of around 50 endangered orangutans a week and making Indonesia the world's third highest man-made carbon emitter, according to Greenpeace.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Worth thinking about?

Walt Disney said,

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

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BBC News - Illegal bushmeat 'rife in Europe'

Although not in this instance, we are hearing more and more of orangutans being killed for bushmeat.

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BBC News - Illegal bushmeat 'rife in Europe'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10341174.stm


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Help is on the way

This is good news I want to share with you. The area (Sintang) is way up in NW Kalimantan (Borneo), a place visited by COP and Nature Alert in March this year. Following the trip, we discussed our findings with Willie Smits and Rich Zimmerman, who have since visited Sintang and done some great things for orangutans. Sintang is a long way from anywhere - and especially help.

http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=5623ceeb639273a4885aa9d45&id=f7bd60167e

Green-Savvy Judges Needed In Judiciary

Green-Savvy Judges Needed In Judiciary

Source: The Jakarta Post – June 7, 2010 By Dina Indrasafitri

Indonesia is in need of a fresh batch of judges who can deal with environmental crimes as many "green" judges have recently been retired, a Supreme Court justice said over the weekend.

"Previously, there were around 1,500 judges [capable of handling environmental cases], but some of them have retired," Paulus Effendie Lotulung from the Supreme Court told The Jakarta Post during a workshop on environmental law in Jakarta last week. He said the number had plunged to only about 600, about 10 percent of the country's total judges. Throughout the years, Indonesia has witnessed the depletion of its natural resources due to environmentally destructive practices such as illegal logging, forest fires, and untreated industrial waste being dumped into rivers.

Indonesia's rate of deforestation exceeds 1 million hectares per year due to the illegal expansion of plantations and intentional forest fires. Illyas Asaad, the Deputy for Environmental Compliance at the Environment Ministry, said the government is drafting a curriculum to train judges handling cases related to environmental crime.

"The curriculum will be finished this year," he said. Illyas added the ministry is aiming to train around 30 judges on the subject this year. Those judges would then be officially certified as being capable of addressing environmental cases. However, the number has actually slid from the 100 announced last year when the ministry and the Supreme Court signed a memorandum of understanding increase the role of the environmental law in the process of sustainable development.

That year, the government also passed the new law on environmental management and protection. In contrast to its predecessor, issued in 1997, the latest version stipulates more detailed sanctions and limitations, such as those involving corporate environmental crimes.
Judges are merely one wheel in the machine, because the task of tackling the country's environmental crimes requires a whole system equipped with persecutors, investigators, and members of the police, who are savvy on the issue, says Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta The minister, in his opening speech at the event, highlighted the importance of such a system given the lack of harmony among those from different institutions.

"Sometimes it's hard to coordinate between the central and regional governments, and among various legal institutions," he said. Gusti added there are currently two challenges in the effort to battle environmental crimes through legal action: Clarifying the laws to the community, and harmonizing strategies between government institutions to settle ongoing cases. Sr. Comr. Bung Djono the head of the Civil Service Investigators (PPNS) Supervisors Coordinator Division, said that in 2009 police handled four environment-related cases, down from 10 in 2008 and 23 in 2007.

Orangutan kickboxing sparks Thailand tourism, angers critics

Orangutan kickboxing sparks Thailand tourism, angers critics (Includes
interview)

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/293363

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Indonesian farmers' fears over land schemes


Indonesian farmers' fears over land schemes

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/23/indonesia-farming

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RI should keep 72m ha forests ‘untouched’

RI should keep 72m ha forests ‘untouched’

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/17/ri-should-keep-72m-ha-forests-%E2%80%98untouched%E2%80%99.html

Letter: Money does grow on trees

Letter: Money does grow on trees

Sat, 06/12/2010 10:13 AM The Jakarta Post

Much has recently been written about the US$4 billion pledged to Indonesia by Norway, in return for no further deforestation. A deal sealed by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: On the face of it, a good deal for all concerned. Timely, then, perhaps to look at recent history and another deal signed up to by the President which promised to save rainforests and its inhabitants.

Back in 2005 his government gave a solemn pledge to something called the Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes. Admittedly, there was no money on the table on that occasion, but then again no one held a gun to the head of the government forcing them to sign this document. But, in signing the Declaration, the government of Indonesia agreed, amongst other things, to:

Resolve to set ourselves and all concerned the target, by the year 2010, of securing a constant and significant reduction in the current rate of loss of great ape populations and their habitats; and, by 2015, securing the future of all species and subspecies of great apes in the wild, by:

Ensuring the integrity of those sites supporting the key wild populations that would conserve the genetic, ecological and cultural diversity of all great apes for all time; Protecting those sites from further degradation and loss of habitat and working with local and indigenous communities to ensure that any human use of habitats is ecologically sustainable and consistent with maintaining healthy, viable great ape populations.


One only has to read the pages of this newspaper on a daily basis to know, Indonesia has totally reneged on its commitment to the Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes. The decimation of both orangutans and rainforests, has actually gone from bad to disastrous in the last five years.

So, whilst any new initiative to protect Indonesia’s rainforest must be welcomed, I urge a note of caution. When someone is waving $4 billion in front of you, chances are most people would promise to save the world, much less Indonesia.

What’s important is to judge President Yudhoyono what he does and not by what he promises to do.

Since he promised further protection for orangutans back in 2005, another 15,000 of this legally protected species have been killed.

Sean Whyte
England
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/12/letter-money-does-grow-trees.html

People may not receive cash from REDD scheme

Personal note: Another Indonesian government fiasco
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People may not receive cash from REDD scheme

Adianto P. Simamora, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA Sat, 06/19/2010

Local people involved in efforts to protect forests may not receive money in cash since the government's ongoing forest carbon scheme pilot projects did not use a cash handout system.

Forestry Ministry director for environmental services Tony Suhartono said the government had not settled the financial mechanism of the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) scheme.


"We may prevent directly providing cash to local people to promote sustainable REDD projects," he said Tuesday.

Tony said previous projects in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, when the government gave concessions to local people showed the risk of handing out cash.

"The local people cut trees in their concession areas and sell it to get money. It renders the project unsustainable," he said.

Millions of Indonesian rely on forests for their livelihoods.

The government has said the high poverty of people living near forests was the main driver of deforestation, leading to illegal logging.

Data from the ministry showed the deforestation rate breached 1 million hectares per year.
The government said REDD could be effective in Indonesia if the main instruments of deforestation, especially illegal logging and forest conversion, were properly addressed.
The REDD scheme was expected to be an alternative to cutting emissions to deal with climate change.

Deforestation contributes some 20 percent of global emissions.
Under the scheme, forest nations would receive financial incentives from rich nations to stop converting their forests to prevent the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

The government is developing REDD pilot projects in the forests of Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, East Java and West Nusa Tenggara provinces.

The governments of Australia, Germany and Korea have developed REDD pilot projects in Indonesia.

The projects would assess, among others, the drivers of deforestation, institutional and legal frameworks and the establishment of REDD incentive mechanisms.

The Environment Ministry said money from REDD schemes should be used to empower local people to encourage them to protect forests.

"The money could be used to improve education, health and infrastructure in the local area," Masnellyarti Hilman, the deputy minister for environmental damage control at the Environment Ministry, said.

Indonesia has signed a new agreement with the Norwegian government to reduce deforestation in Indonesia's forests and peatland.

In turn, Norway pledged to provide US$1 billion that would be disbursed based on emission reductions in the forest sector. It is unclear how much would be allotted to local people.
The government would set up a special agency to manage the money.

Indonesia was the first country to issue a regulation on REDD allowing indigenous people, local authorities, private organizations and businesspeople - both local and foreign - to operate REDD projects.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/19/people-may-not-receive-cash-redd-scheme.html

Monday, 14 June 2010

Blog posts this week

During this week I need to work on a special project with no interruptions, so please excuse me if there are no new postings here until next Monday.

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Sunday, 13 June 2010

Palm Oil Industry Seeks Clarity From Officials Over Plantation Moratorium

Palm Oil Industry Seeks Clarity From Officials Over Plantation Moratorium

- The Jakarta Globe

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/palm-oil-industry-seeks-clarity-from-officials-over-plantation-moratorium/380315

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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Published letetrs

If you are new to this Blog you might like to check out these published letters.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/search/sean%20whyte

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Orangutan rescue work in West Kalimantan (Borneo)

Orangutan rescue work in West Kalimantan (Borneo)


http://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/uploaded/06071453450_daily-mirror-07jun10.pdf

http://www.mirror.co.uk/video/

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Thailand's kickboxing orangutans

Thailand's kickboxing orangutans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiQJ7dXEWgI


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More funds may not mean better forest conservation

More funds may not mean better forest conservation

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/11/more-funds-may-not-mean-better-forest-conservation.html


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More hotspots detected despite pledge to reduce forest fires

More hotspots detected despite pledge to reduce forest fires

The Jakarta Post

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/11/more-hotspots-detected-despite-pledge-reduce-forest-fires.html

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Sabah defacto guardian of three wildlife species

Sabah defacto guardian of three wildlife species

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=73010

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Palm Oil Firms Safe From Forest Moratorium

Palm Oil Firms Safe From Forest Moratorium

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/resources/palm-oil-firms-safe-from-forest-moratorium/378410

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Another day, another orangutan rescue

A female orangutan rescued this week by COP. She is about one year old. Her mother was killed five days ago by hunters working for the Khaleda Palm Oil Plantation.
















Another orangutan rescued.

Also rescued very recently by COP.

RI to receive first $200 million grant from Norway

RI to receive first $200 million grant from Norway


Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Fri, 06/11/2010

Indonesia will receive the first US$200 million in grants from Norway between 2010 and 2011, as part of the $1 billion grant to reduce emissions from deforestation, a minister said.
In the agreement, Norway has pledged to disburse the money in three phases: Capacity building, in which the government will set up an oversight agency; a pilot project, in which the government will select one forest; and nationwide, in which the government will reduce emissions from forests nationwide.

“The first phase begins now until 2011. There will be consolidation and capacity building. We will build an internationally reputable financial institution, to be completed in October 2010, in which Norway will disburse $200 million,” Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said at the State Palace on Thursday.

He added that in 2011 the government would select one forest, which would comply with the MRV scheme. MRV stands for measurable, reportable and verifiable, in which every ton of emission cut should be assessed by independent auditors.

The already identified forests are located in East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Papua, Riau and either Jambi or Bengkulu provinces.

In 2013 all forests nationwide will be protected as part of the government’s effort to reduce Indonesia’s carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020 with its own resources, or by 41 percent with international help.

For the second and third phases Norway will disburse the money based on the amount of emissions cut, said Hatta.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono said the government would establish a credible financial institution to manage the $1 billion grant, in response to a memo sent by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, chairman of the Presidential Working Unit for Development Supervision and Control.

Kuntoro said developed countries had a perception that emerging countries tended to think funds were prone to corruption.

“The President said we should earn the trust of foreigners, particularly in relation to budgets,” he said.

Kuntoro has been named as a strong candidate to head the new financial institution that will manage the $1 billion grant, considering his capacity in managing the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency of Nias and Aceh, hit by the 2004 tsunami.

The Indonesia-Norway agreement also requires a two-year moratorium on new concessions on peat lands and natural forests.

Hatta said the palm oil industry would not be hurt by the moratorium as the government had already allocated 8.5 million hectares of land for the industry’s operations.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/11/ri-receive-first-200-million-grant-norway.html

Expeditions reveal environmental tragedies in Indonesia’s far-flung territories

Expeditions reveal environmental tragedies in Indonesia’s far-flung territories

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/11/expeditions-reveal-environmental-tragedies-indonesia%E2%80%99s-farflung-territories.html

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Govt's pledge to reduce forest fires questioned

Govt's pledge to reduce forest fires questioned

The Jakarta Post

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/12/govt%E2%80%99s-pledge-reduce-forest-fires-questioned.html

'Right of way' for wildlife

'Right of way' for wildlife

Published on: Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuaran: State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun pledged to seriously push in the State Cabinet for the reconnection of fragmented forests deemed high value wildlife habitats.

"This is to make sure conservation works in Sabah, the most critical component is to reconnect the fragmented wildlife corridors," he said, when closing the two-day workshop on Species Action Plans for Orang-Utan, Elephant and Rhinoceros at Rasa Ria resort in Dalit Bay, Friday.

"The time to do it is now while we have all the experts here helping us because the window of opportunities may not come knocking at our door again," Masidi said.

"This is the challenge now. Even with a 55 per cent forest cover, we cannot conserve if we cannot reconnect the fragmented forests that are spread all over and without the forests and our iconic wildlife, tourists have no reason to come to Sabah," he told participants of the workshop organised by the Wildlife Department, the Bornean Rhino Alliance (Bora), Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), French NGO Hutan and WWF-Malaysia.

He said the present wildlife predicament is a legacy of a spate of land alienation in the 1980s and 90s to meet a desire for fast development, especially in agriculture, as it emerged as the biggest revenue earner.

In the process, everyone "overlooked" the need to maintain animal corridors.


"The suggestion of creating a 500m riverine buffer in wildlife-rich areas is a good idea. We'll take it as a guideline but where to get it, I would like to think it will be donated by the planters. I know forcing is bad so we would like to give them ownership of the programme out of a desire and love to do it," said Masidi.

However, the Government will make sure all moves are politically correct as well. "We don't want to decide and create legal problems," he said.

Asked what if voluntary donations are not forthcoming, Masidi said that the Sabah Land Ordinance provides for riparian reserves, the only problem being it was not enforced.

"I don't think 500m is too much to ask for because we are talking about elephants which are big and need wider land to move and migrate from one place to another," he said. Masidi said the first line of action is to reconnect the fragmented forests but a time frame is needed to monitor its progress.

"The Action plans must ensure quantifiable progress," said Masidi who said he would not agree with the contention that anything green like oil palm plantation be called forest, no more than calling a green carpet a forest.

"All areas which are habitats of the Orang Utan, Elephant and Rhinoceros need to be kept under natural forest cover," he said.

"We need to create as much awareness as possible because we want to make sure that the Action Plans really work. If there are no more forests, there'll be no reason for the tourists to come to Sabah," Masidi stressed.

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=73000

Surrender your endangered animals, or else

Personal note: What we don't know is, what happens to confiscated animals and animal parts? My colleagues in Malaysia believe they are sold back into the trade by corrupt officials.

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Surrender your endangered animals, or else
http://www.mmail.com.my/content/39430-surrender-your-endangered-animals-or-else

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Friday, 11 June 2010

Orangutans in deep trouble

If you scroll down the right sidebar until you see MIKE SWAIN VISITS BORNEO you will see a moving film.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/video/

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Fueled by Concerns of Illegal Logging, Forest Trust Helps UK Firm Import

Fueled by Concerns of Illegal Logging, Forest Trust Helps UK Firm Import

http://www.tft-forests.org/news-detail.php?newsid=309

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Journalist living in fear for his life after report on illegal logging

Journalist living in fear for his life after report on illegal logging

http://en.rsf.org/indonesia-deforestation-army-threat-aceh-09-06-2010,37697.html

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Thailand's kickboxing orangutans

This zoo say's it is held legally accountable. It is not. In 2006 it was found with over 100, mostly young orangutans. 48 were confiscated and returned to Indonesia - thanks to Nature Alert and COP supporters; no one was ever prosecuted. If you were to visit the zoo you might wonder where many of the other rare mammals and birds came from.

The 11 orangutans we are currently campaigning to save from Thailand, if we were to give up (which we won't) could end up in disgusting shows like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiQJ7dXEWgI

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Indonesia's 'trust deficit'

Indonesia's 'trust deficit'

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STIStory_538284.html

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Co-oP supermarkets

Personal note: A shameful reply from the Co-Op to a supporter. There is no excuse for waiting until 2015 - there is plenty of sustainable palm oil available NOW.

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Thank you for contacting us about your concerns with the use of palm oil. We are naturally aware of all the issues regarding the production of palm oil and I can assure you this is something we take seriously.

Firstly, in line with our honest labelling policy, you will find that we label palm oil in the ingredients list of all our own brand products. This is not a legal requirement and the majority of other retailers will choose to use the generic 'vegetable oil' instead.

We feel that by giving our customers all the information regarding the ingredients that go into our own brand products, customers can then make informed choices about whether they buy these products.

The Co-operative Group is committed to the principles of sustainably managed agriculture. Sustainability being defined as agricultural practices which aim to optimise the needs of consumers, society, the environment and the farmer, including his or her community.
In view of this commitment, The Co-operative Food has set a target that all products that contain palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients must only use RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2015 at the latest.

We have also banned palm oil, or a blend containing palm oil, from being used to fry any Co-operative brand products.

In the interest of reducing our environmental impact we require suppliers to consider other types of oils, ideally from non-tropical sources, whilst still recognising these can be an important commodity for some communities.

We also reserve the right to suspend or delist any company within the palm oil supply chain that can be shown to have repeatedly exhibited practices not in keeping with the Principles and Criteria of the RSPO. This suspension will remain until we are satisfied that the issues have been resolved.

Regards,

SBY’s new hard act: To make REDD+ work

SBY’s new hard act: To make REDD+ work

Warief Djajanto Basorie, Jakarta Thu, 06/10/2010

Enlist NGOs. Engage local governments and local people. Turn loggers and planters into partners.

These are three of numerous possible actions President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono can take in light of a new Indonesia-Norway partnership to reduce deforestation.

To its credit, the Yudhoyono government has earned worldwide praise for two successful programs: The remaking of post-tsunami Aceh and the crackdown on in-country terrorism.
The Aceh Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency, BRR, under the skilful, accountable management of chairman Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, did much to rebuild the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island after the December 2004 devastating tsunami that killed more than 166,000 people.

Meanwhile, Special Detachment 88, the counterterrorism unit of the National Police, has gained glowing international reviews for its remarkable results in capturing, killing and also reforming radicals.

Now Yudhoyono has the chance to prove Indonesia can also succeed in handling the climate change issue. In Oslo on May 26, Yudhoyono and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg witnessed the signing of a letter of intent for a US$1 billion grant from Norway to protect Indonesia’s forests.

Norway will disburse the grant in line with progress in Indonesia’s program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and Enhancement of Carbon Stocks (REDD+). The program is part of Indonesia’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 26 percent by 2020 from present levels.

REDD is a mechanism to reduce the impact of global warming. It was proposed at the 11th annual UN conference on climate change in Montreal in 2005. The idea is that developed nations financially compensate developing countries that are able to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions due to deforestation.

In the 1990s, tropical deforestation released 1.6 billion tons of carbon gases annually. This amounts to 20 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Within Indonesia, half of its land area is forest. But the country has lost up to 60 percent of its forest.

Tropical rainforest covers 15 percent of the earth’s land area. Thirteen million hectares are converted to other land use each year. Land cover change is the second largest contributor to global warming.

More recently, REDD has become REDD+. This goes beyond reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The added objectives are conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks. These aims were underscored in the 13th climate change conference in Bali in 2007. REDD+ goes further to address rural poverty and conserve biodiversity.

Indonesia already has at least 24 REDD demonstration and voluntary activities, according to the Forestry Ministry. These cover Ulu Masen in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam to Jayapura Unurum Guay in Papua.

Although the 15th conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 failed to reach an all-parties consensus for a REDD mechanism, small groups of countries are already working on it. Norway, for instance, has begun cooperating with Brazil, the country with the world’s largest tract of tropical rainforest, in 2008. Now Norway is working with Indonesia that has the third largest forest expanse.

The Indonesia-Norway agreement signed in Oslo calls for Jakarta to establish a BRR-like agency to oversee the billion-dollar fund. Kuntoro, who now chairs the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, UKP4, is a shoo-in to head the agency.
Indonesia can learn from Brazil’s earlier start. Brazil has an Amazon Fund that manages the Norwegian pledge.

It supports conservation with research and sustainable development projects such as rubber tapping and drugs from trees. Another scheme to study is Brazil’s Terra-Amazon satellite system for large-scale monitoring of deforestation.

Yudhoyono stated at the signing that he had placed a two-year moratorium on new forest and peat land conversion into plantations. Existing palm oil contracts, however, are exempted. The government has a policy to use degraded land for the palm oil industry, the President said.
Environment organizations hail Yudhoyono’s moratorium announcement. Greenpeace stated it expected he would issue a presidential decree to stop all forest and peat land conversion that included “both existing and new concession permits”.

Earlier in April, Yudhoyono cited an illegal logging mafia as a major cause of deforestation in Indonesia.

He assigned his Judicial Mafia Taskforce to identify the loopholes in the legal system that allows illegal loggers to escape conviction.

Illegal logging, uncontrolled land conversion, graft, and mismanagement are challenges Yudhoyono must handle in getting his REDD+ act together. Monitoring is crucial. It is a weak wheel in the REDD+ machine. One thing to look out for is timber firms that cut trees above their harvesting limits.

Yudhoyono has at his disposal his mafia taskforce that comes under his delivery unit to clear the playing field.

Further, the forthcoming fund management agency that will report directly to him will devise a system with the proper accounting, environment and social safeguards.

Yudhoyono can count on vigilant NGOs such as the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law and the Indonesian Environment Forum as early warning signs.

As he thrives on positive energy, Yudhoyono can build all-hands synergy at every REDD+ field site involving local authorities, local civil society groups and the local population at large.
Further still, Yudhoyono can talk persuasively with the plantation and logging lobbies. His message to them: Value the long term win-win perspective of a workable REDD+ mechanism. Communicate to the public what (pulp and palm oil ventures) can do to monitor global warming.

The writer teaches journalism and has conducted workshops on development reporting at Dr. Soetomo Press Institute in Jakarta.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/10/sby%E2%80%99s-new-hard-act-to-make-redd-work.html

Ten orangutans to be released into Jambi forest

Ten orangutans to be released into Jambi forest

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 08:59 WIB Environment

Jambi (ANTARA News) - Ten Sumatran orangutans (Pongo Abelii) will be released into their natural habitat in Bukit Tigapuluh forest, Jambi Province, an environmentalist said.

The reintroduction of the primates to the wild was expected to increase the population of Sumatran orangutans in Jambi, Julius Paolo Siregar said here Tuesday.

The manager of Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS)`s Sumatran Orangutan Reintroduction Station said the population of these great apes in Jambi tended to decrease as a result of deforestation.The natural habitat of these primates was threatened by the opening of plantations in the province, he said.Siregar said there were only 6,000 orangutans currently living in the wild.

Therefore the reintroduction program was so important to increase the orangutan population in Jambi.The seizure of orangutans from the hands of people was also necessary, he said.About the presence of 10 orangutans, they had been transported by a truck from the Batu Mbelin quarantine station, Sibolangit, North Sumatra Province, on Monday afternoon. They were expected to have arrived in Jambi on Wednesday morning.

"The orangutans have been transported by a truck, accompanied by a number of veterinarians and rangers," he said.Shortly after arriving in Tebo district, Jambi Province, the orangutans would be loaded to two off-road vehicles to be driven to the Orangutan Reintroduction Station.To reach the station, the drivers need six to eight hours, Siregar said. Meanwhile, Yenny Saraswati, a veterinarian, said the average ages of the orangutans being sent to Jambi was six years old. "There is only one whose age is over ten years old," she said.They consisted of six females and four males. Most of them were seized from Aceh region.

One of the orangutans was named "Virina" by a farmer in Kutacane village who found him inside a wild boar trap, she said.The reintroduction of Sumatran orangutans to their natural habitat was part of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, co-organized by three NGOs. The NGOs were Pan Eco, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL Foundation), and FZS. They closely cooperated with the Indonesian Forestry`s Directorate General of Forest Protection and Natural Conservation. According to Siregar, since 2002, FZS had received 139 orangutans. As of March 2010, the FZS had released 116 orangutans to their natural habitat. (*)

COPYRIGHT © 2010
http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1276048764/ten-orangutans-to-be-released-into-jambi-forest

Kutai Park home to more than 2,000 orangutans

Kutai Park home to more than 2,000 orangutans

Wed, 06/09/2010 National Jakarta Post

BALIKPAPAN, East Kalimantan: Researchers estimate there are more than 2,000 orangutans inhabiting Kutai National Park in East Kutai, East Kalimantan, the forests of which were thought to have been too damaged.

The new findings on the orangutan population were the result of a survey conducted by experts from Mulawarman University, STIPER Agriculture School and NGOs Orangutan Conservation Services Program and The Nature Conservancy.

Survey team head Yaya Rayadin said the existence of the orangutans in the park showed that the forest remained a viable place for them to live in. -JP

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/09/kutai-park-home-more-2000-orangutans.html

Commission sets rules for green biofuel label

Commission sets rules for green biofuel label EurActiv

http://www.euractiv.com/en/sustainability/commission-sets-rules-green-biofuel-label-news-495063

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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

KPK Cop’s Move to Riau (Sumatra) Police Applauded

June 09, 2010
Nivell Rayda Jakarta Globe

KPK Cop’s Move to Riau Police Applauded

High hopes were raised that the Riau Police would be better able to combat rampant illegal logging in the province after a top police official serving with the Corruption Eradication Commission was appointed as the province’s chief.

On Tuesday, the National Police rotated 103 personnel, including 23 high-ranking officers, saying they would assume their new posts within two weeks. Among the officers shuffled was Brig. Gen. Suedi Husein, who was named head of the Riau Police after serving as director of investigations at the commission, also known as the KPK.

He will replace Brig. Gen. Adjie Rustam Ramdja, who will assume a position as expert staff at National Police headquarters in Jakarta. Mas Achmad Santosa, a member of the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force, said Suedi should be able to apply the same systems imposed at the much-respected antigraft body at his new post and bring about some much needed changes. “I hope the spirit of corruption eradication will stay with him at his new position,” Mas Achmad told the Jakarta Globe.

He added that Suedi’s “ultimate test” would be in pursuing illegal logging cases and bringing big business and top officials involved in graft to justice. The Riau Police have been under fire from environmental activists for failing to prosecute an illegal logging case allegedly involving 14 prominent companies.

The case was first investigated in 2007 but halted a year later. Green groups have even gone as far as to accuse police of protecting illegal loggers. In November, police arrested foreign journalists covering a Greenpeace protest of a logging site in Riau’s Kampar Peninsula. “I hope illegal logging cases that have been halted will be given top priority,” task force secretary Denny Indrayana said.

“Police need to re-examine why the cases were halted. If there is enough evidence to proceed to the next stage of the investigation, then the new chief must be courageous enough to revive these cases.” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has personally asked the task force to focus on illegal logging because of the environmental damage caused and the significant loss of state revenue.

He also told the task force to look into allegations of bribery in the logging permit process and failures in law enforcement. KPK spokesman Johan Budi said Suedi’s departure would not hamper current corruption cases, adding that the KPK chief of law enforcement, Ade Rahardja, would take over Suedi’s role. “Ade Rahardja will assume two roles. We will make sure that the current investigations will not be impacted,” he said. KPK Deputy Chairman Muhammad Jasin said the National Police had forwarded two names as potential replacements.

“Maybe in the future there will be more names. But the KPK still have to trace their track records and assess their capacities,” he said. “Maybe in a couple of months we will have a new director [of investigations].” But Danang Widoyoko, chairman of Indonesia Corruption Watch, said the position should be filled by a civilian.

“By law, there is no restriction that a director of investigations must come from the police force,” he said. “By having a police officer on board, there is bound to be conflicts of interest when the KPK investigates a police official because the police have a strong esprit de corps.”
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/kpk-cops-move-to-riau-police-applauded/379727

SHAME ON THE CO-OP

REPLY RECEIVED BY A SUPPORTER FROM THE CO-OPERATIVE FOOD GROUP UK There is no excuse or logical reason for waiting until 2015. There is ample sustainable PALM oil available now. The delay has more to do with buying cheaper oil at the expense of the oranguatns. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WRITE TO THE CO-OP WITH YOUR POLITE VIEWS ON THEIR PROCRASTINATION, THE ADDRESS IS Claire.Wolstenholme@co-operative.coop
www.co-operative.coop

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Thank you for contacting us about your concerns with the use of palm oil. We are naturally aware of all the issues regarding the production of palm oil and I can assure you this is something we take seriously.

Firstly, in line with our honest labelling policy, you will find that we label palm oil in the ingredients list of all our own brand products. This is not a legal requirement and the majority of other retailers will choose to use the generic 'vegetable oil' instead.

We feel that by giving our customers all the information regarding the ingredients that go into our own brand products, customers can then make informed choices about whether they buy these products.

The Co-operative Group is committed to the principles of sustainably managed agriculture. Sustainability being defined as agricultural practices which aim to optimise the needs of consumers, society, the environment and the farmer, including his or her community. In view of this commitment, The Co-operative Food has set a target that all products that contain palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients must only use RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2015 at the latest.

We have also banned palm oil, or a blend containing palm oil, from being used to fry any Co-operative brand products. In the interest of reducing our environmental impact we require suppliers to consider other types of oils, ideally from non-tropical sources, whilst still recognising these can be an important commodity for some communities.

We also reserve the right to suspend or delist any company within the palm oil supply chain that can be shown to have repeatedly exhibited practices not in keeping with the Principles and Criteria of the RSPO. This suspension will remain until we are satisfied that the issues have been resolved.

Regards,

An ape in a cage, and a cry for help

An ape in a cage, and a cry for help


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Alternative_media_43/An-ape-in-a-cage-and-a-cry-for-help.asp

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my # 3000 post to this blog!!

The bad news is, this National Park is being developed with roads, house, shops etc. and the park once held many more orangutans.
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Kutai Park home to more than 2,000 orangutans

Wed, 06/09/2010 Jakarta Post


BALIKPAPAN, East Kalimantan: Researchers estimate there are more than 2,000 orangutans inhabiting Kutai National Park in East Kutai, East Kalimantan, the forests of which were thought to have been too damaged.

The new findings on the orangutan population were the result of a survey conducted by experts from Mulawarman University, STIPER Agriculture School and NGOs Orangutan Conservation Services Program and The Nature Conservancy.

Survey team head Yaya Rayadin said the existence of the orangutans in the park showed that the forest remained a viable place for them to live in. -

JP
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/09/kutai-park-home-more-2000-orangutans.html

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

the ineffectiveness of CITES with helping other great apes.

Although not directly related to orangutans, it does illustrate the ineffectiveness of CITES with helping other great apes.

This film lasts about 30 minutes. Compelling viewing, but possibly upsetting to some.


http://www.karlammann.ch/assets/podcast/CairoConnection.mp4

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Fighting for Forests

Fighting for Forests

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/fighting-for-forests/379290

Facebook | Videos Posted by International Animal Rescue: Baby orangutans at play [HQ]

Facebook Videos Posted by International Animal Rescue: Baby orangutans at play [HQ]

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=393979934474

BBC News - Climate change made apes vanish in ancient Europe

BBC News - Climate change made apes vanish in ancient Europe

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10209492.stm


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Palm Oil Growers Have Until January to Shape Up

Personal note: Some greenwashing by the Indonesian government. Making up their own rules to meet their own low standards.

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Palm Oil Growers Have Until January to Shape Up

- The Jakarta Globe


http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/palm-oil-growers-have-until-january-to-shape-up/379256


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Walhi says land grabs degrading environment

Walhi says land grabs degrading environment

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Mon, 06/07/2010

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) alleges that land grabs by large-scale plantation companies are leading to rapid environmental degradation in West Kalimantan.

Local Walhi activist Hendrikus Adam said plantation companies that are expanding production opening new estates are damaging the most land.

Hendrikus made the statement while addressing a demonstration held in observance of the World Environment Day at Tanjungpura University in Pontianak on Saturday.

Activists at the demonstration demanded that the government stop illegal logging, land clearing and seizure of local community’s property.

Hendrikus said powerful plantation companies often intimidated locals who resist seizure of their land.

“Ironically, local governments are very generous when issuing new permits for plantation companies to open estates in West Kalaimantan,” he said as quoted by Antara.

Walhi’s statistics show 6,632 disasters from ecological degradation over the past 13 years.
Sawit Watch, a non-governmental organization that monitors oil palm plantations, has recorded 630 land-ownership conflicts between locals and companies so far this year. — JP

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/07/walhi-says-land-grabs-degrading-environment.html

Monday, 7 June 2010

Ensuring Redd is not mere pulp fiction

A good article which explains why simply giving more money to Indonesia is not as simple an answer as it appears. Millions of dollars in aid have already disappeared. Whenever you see REDD mentioned, anywhere, think really excellent oportunities for corruption.

Ensuring Redd is not mere pulp fiction, by Michael Richardson

http://www.eco-business.com/news/2010/jun/07/ensuring-redd-not-mere-pulp-fiction-michael-richar/

Policy against environmental damage needs to be firm: NGO

Policy against environmental damage needs to be firm: NGO

Sunday, June 6, 2010 20:58 WIB Environment

Banjarbaru, S Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The local government policy on environmental vandalism must be forceful, said an NGO activist.

"Measures taken by the local government on environmental vandalism committed by an individual or company were still not firm enough," South Kalimantan Walhi (Indonesian Environmental Forum) Executive Director Hegar Wahyu Hidayat said here Sunday.

He said that firmness of the local government and relevant bodies was needed to uphold policies against those who damaged the environment.

Environmental pollution was caused by mining activities in Tapin district and iron ore mining in Kotabaru district.

"Environmental pollution which has been continuing in those districts remain untouched by the law," he said.

Those who are proven to have damaged and polluted the environment must receive legal sanctions, he said.

On the other hand, the government`s stance on the environment which benefits the society must take precedence over providing benefits for individuals and companies in their environmental damaging and ecosystem disruption activities.

"We see that the local government still provides land clearing permits for coal mining and oil palm plantation expansion that show the fact that the society and the environment alignment is still low," he said.

Hopefully, under the newly elected South Kalimantan governor and deputy governor, who asked for partisanship in the society, the people`s welfare would be raised without fearing natural disasters.

"As long as the environment is damaged and not maintained, natural disasters such as floods and landslides might occur, and by the new leader`s policy on the environment the disasters would still increase," he said. (A050/S012)

COPYRIGHT © 2010
http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1275832731/policy-against-environmental-damage-needs-to-be-firm-ngo

Guest Speaker: Moratorium on natural forests, peat not prompted by Oslo grant: Forestry Minister

Guest Speaker: Moratorium on natural forests, peat not prompted by Oslo grant: Forestry Minister

The Jakarta Post

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/07/guest-speaker-moratorium-natural-forests-peat-not-prompted-oslo-grant-forestry-minis

Walhi says land grabs degrading environment

Walhi says land grabs degrading environment

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Mon, 06/07/2010

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) alleges that land grabs by large-scale plantation companies are leading to rapid environmental degradation in West Kalimantan.

Local Walhi activist Hendrikus Adam said plantation companies that are expanding production opening new estates are damaging the most land.

Hendrikus made the statement while addressing a demonstration held in observance of the World Environment Day at Tanjungpura University in Pontianak on Saturday.

Activists at the demonstration demanded that the government stop illegal logging, land clearing and seizure of local community’s property.

Hendrikus said powerful plantation companies often intimidated locals who resist seizure of their land.

“Ironically, local governments are very generous when issuing new permits for plantation companies to open estates in West Kalaimantan,” he said as quoted by Antara.

Walhi’s statistics show 6,632 disasters from ecological degradation over the past 13 years.
Sawit Watch, a non-governmental organization that monitors oil palm plantations, has recorded 630 land-ownership conflicts between locals and companies so far this year.

— JP
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/07/walhi-says-land-grabs-degrading-environment.html

Palm oil plantations destroy forests and all wildlife in them.

Palm oil plantations destroy forests and all wildlife in them.

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Tracking Sabah jumbos

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2010%2F6%2F7%2Fnation%2F6414520&sec=nation

Orphans of the forest

Orphans of the forest

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/06/07/orphans-of-the-forest-115875-22315767/

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Saturday, 5 June 2010

Govt not to develop oil palm plantations on peat land

Govt not to develop oil palm plantations on peat land

http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1275657686/govt-not-to-develop-oil-palm-plantations-on-peat-land

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Logging Firms Accused of Intimidating Journalists

Logging Firms Accused of Intimidating Journalists

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/logging-firms-accused-of-intimidating-journalists/378870





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RI to purchase unmanned aircraft

Personal note. Laughable. Sold to them no doubt by the US government.
See Corporate Hit Man book on right-side column.

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RI to purchase unmanned aircraft

http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1275673557/ri-to-purchase-unmanned-aircraft



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Sime Darby ships first segregated palm oil to Europe

Sime Darby ships first segregated palm oil to Europe

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/6/5/business/6406703&sec=business

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RI to apply sustainable CPO standards

RI to apply sustainable CPO standards

http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1275675870/ri-to-apply-sustainable-cpo-standards

Thursday, 3 June 2010

New Approach Could Be Elixir for Indonesia's Deforestation Malaise

New Approach Could Be Elixir for Indonesia's Deforestation Malaise

- The Jakarta Globe

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/new-approach-could-be-elixir-for-indonesias-deforestation-malaise/378593

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Moratorium could be 'futile'

Moratorium could be 'futile'

The Jakarta Post

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/03/moratorium-could-be-%E2%80%98futile%E2%80%99.html

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Butchered Camels Spark National Outcry to Fix Egypt's Giza Zoo

Butchered Camels Spark National Outcry to Fix Egypt's Giza Zoo

This zoo recently took delivery of three orangutans from the Al Ain zoo in the Emirates. I leave the rest to your imagination.


Subject: Butchered Camels Spark National Outcry to Fix Egypt's Giza Zoo - Bloomberg.com

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601093&refer=home&sid=akHkzF9OQ__c

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Reporters Sans Frontières - "Deforestation and pollution, high-risk subjects"

Reporters Sans Frontières - "Deforestation and pollution, high-risk subjects"

http://en.rsf.org/deforestation-and-pollution-high-03-06-2010,37654.html


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Be afraid, very afraid for orangutans as well as other animals at this 'zoo'.

This zoo recently took delivery of some orangutans from the Al Ain zoo in the Emirates. I leave the rest to your imagination.

Butchered Camels Spark National Outcry to Fix Egypt's Giza Zoo

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601093&refer=home&sid=akHkzF9OQ__c


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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wildlife ruling must go further

Letters - The Sun newspaper

Wildlife ruling must go further

SAHABAT Alam Malaysia (SAM) is relieved to learn that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has finally put a halt to the exploitation of captive wildlife in the form of animal shows and photographic sessions. This came about as a result of the shocking exposé on “Tiger being abused for money”. At the same time SAM would like to urge for an end to all photography sessions with animals and wildlife in zoos, resorts, theme parks and other animal establishments.

The mistreatment and exploitation of wildlife all under the name of tourism and entertainment is both shocking and bewildering. It is disgusting that animals are viewed as property to be exploited to the fullest. The use of these animals in photographic sessions is widespread with similar occurrences in the other zoos. Saleng Zoo for instance displayed a lethargic looking one-month-old tiger cub.

We believe the tiger must have also been doped to maintain such low levels of aggression due to its close proximity to the many unfamiliar humans. The response from zoos and resorts are nothing more than plain denial, often maintaining that the tiger’s sluggish behaviour simply reflects natural resting patterns after a well-fed meal.

For a fee, visitors including young children can touch, sit or stand in front or back of the animal to have their photographs taken. Staff prop up the tiger, prodding and poking to oblige them to adopt and maintain appealing poses and make them look compliant.When constantly subjected to handling and stress the cats become ticking “time bombs” waiting to launch a fatal attack on humans.

Tiger cubs used for photo are often still babies and are forcibly removed from their mothers, causing extreme stress to both mother and baby. In-breeding is also another area of concern. It is abuse as it is not natural. It is doing something that is contrary to the natural course of nature, producing cubs simply for the sake of making money. Tigers cubs born in captivity generally have a higher mortality rate and cubs handled by humans have a higher chance of death.

It would appear that commercial interests have long overtaken these considerations. Such activities appear to have been developed almost entirely with tourism, rather than to benefit the needs of tigers. The abuse of our wildlife in theme parks, resorts and zoos has not only drawn local but worldwide attention. SAM would like to question the legality of these shows. Such shows only survive because of human indifference and ignorance to such acts which go against the animals natural behaviour.

The animal welfare problems at such places are severe and include poor accommodation, lack of appropriate environments, veterinary problems, and deliberate physical abuse to make them compliant for visiting tourists.

These places make no discernible contribution to tiger conservation and the captive environment does not in any way meet or approach the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA’s) minimum requirements. SAM urges the ministry to have a comprehensive investigation into such animal establishments and resorts to expose and put a stop to such malpractices.

Govt delays peatland regulation after Oslo talks

Govt delays peatland regulation after Oslo talks The Jakarta Post

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/02/govt-delays-peatland-regulation-after-oslo-talks.html

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A bit of an uproar at resort over cruelty to animals

This is the same resort where recently the use of orangutans in circus-like shows was banned following complaints from Nature Alert supporters. This use/abuse of tigers was also stopped at the same time.
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A bit of an uproar at resort over cruelty to animals

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20100530-219149.html

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Indonesia says won't revoke existing forestry licenses

Reuters AlertNet - Indonesia says won't revoke existing forestry licenses

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SGE65109U.htm

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KitKat maker drops suppliers who wreck orang-utan habitat - Ellesmere Port Pioneer

KitKat maker drops suppliers who wreck orang-utan habitat - Ellesmere Port Pioneer

http://www.ellesmereportpioneer.co.uk/environment/ellesmere-port-environment-news/2010/06/02/kitkat-maker-drops-suppliers-who-wreck-orang-utan-habitat-55940-26564715/

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Jambi plans to convert forested areas

Jambi plans to convert forested areas
Tue, 06/01/2010

Sumatra

JAMBI CITY, Jambi: More than 120,000 hectares of Jambi's forests may be reclassified as auxiliary allocation areas (ARL) by the provincial administration after it discovered widespread deforestation, says an official.

"The areas were cleared by the residents. We have proposed to convert *the deforested areas* to ARLs to reduce conflict," said Donny, head of that Jambi Development Planning Board's Infrastructure and Facilities division.

The division discovered several private rubber and palm oil farms in the area, Donny said.
The government should find another way to preserve the forests, said Ade Chandra, spokesman of the group Warsi Indonesian Committee for Humanity (KKI Warsi).

Ade said that areas could be converted into community or village forests, which would permit people living in and around the forests to lead a sustainable life.

The conversion is part of the province's 2009-2029 master plan, he added. - JP

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/06/01/jambi-plans-convert-forested-areas.html

US urges more action on illegal logging imports

US urges more action on illegal logging imports

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/us-urges-more-action-on-illegal-logging-imports-20100601-wrmh.html

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