Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Commercial Sharks Still Circling Around Endangered Species

Jakarta Globe, Fidelis E Satriastanti, March 31, 2010

Sharks caught by fishermen at the port of Banyuwangi in East Java. Conservationists say growing demand for shark meat and fins around the region has drastically depleted stocks.  (AFP Photo)

No amount of scientific data will be able to protect endangered species unless countries have the political will to prioritize conservation over trade, environmentalists said following the disappointing CITES meeting in Doha last week.

The two-week meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ended without agreement on new trade measures to protect four species of shark with great commercial value — the Scalloped Hammerhead, Oceanic Whitetip, Porbeagle and Spiny Dogfish.

These species failed to make it onto CITES Appendix II, a second-level protection list, after big importing countries such as Japan, China and Singapore, with the support of Indonesia, one of the biggest exporters, voted down the proposals, keeping the sharks on the market and on seafood restaurant menus.

Marine expert Suharsono, who was a member of the Indonesian delegation to the CITES conference, said there was no controversy over the country’s decision to support the shark trade. He said numerous outstanding issues still had to be resolved before putting the sharks on the list.

“From a scientific point of view, the Indonesian delegation considered that the proposals were not based on complete scientific data and information,” he said. “The data presented to us came only from northern seas and the Caribbean, not worldwide.”

Suharsono added that no scientific findings had been presented on whether shark hunting caused environmental damage.

“The submitters relied a great deal on data from [the UN Food and Agriculture Organization] that shark populations are declining, but to us that was not strong enough,” he said.

The Doha meeting accepted 24 proposals, rejected 10 and seven were withdrawn.

Indonesia voted for all the conservation proposals except for those on marine species.

Its decision to reject efforts to conserve the sharks was criticized by Imam Musthofa Zainudin, the fisheries program leader at WWF-Indonesia, who said delegates should have put more trust in the scientists.

“The government did not feel confident about support the proposals because we still don’t have any data or information on the country’s shark populations, unlike for tuna, so it thought it was better for sharks not to be included in CITES,” he said.

“But these are critical species and numerous foreign research studies have over the years collected enough data and information to support protecting them.”

Imam said blaming its inaction on incomplete scientific data or information was “too cliched.”

“Scientific data supports the fact that these sharks are predators of the seas. If something goes wrong with them then it will affect the whole food chain,” he said. “It comes down to political will, as we know Indonesia is being criticized for being too pro-exploitation rather than supporting conservation.”

For Richard Thomas, communications coordinator at TRAFFIC International, the scientific evidence is incontrovertible and overwhelming that all the shark species up for listing are in serious decline .

“The scientific data is available and it is clear; the species warrant listing,” Thomas said.

“I believe the decision not to list shark species was not in the best interests of conservation. Unless measures are taken to protect sharks, their stocks will collapse and several species will soon become commercially, if not biologically, extinct.”

TRAFFIC says FAO data shows that from 2000 to 2008, Indonesia became the world’s top shark-catching country, with a total of 109,248 tons.

Imam said Indonesia had acknowledged sharks were in a critical state and needed more protection when it established a national plan of action for sharks.

“We have had our own national action plan for five years,” he said.

Even though it is not mandatory, the plan stipulates Indonesia’s commitment to ensuring the shark population does not decline.

“Since it was implemented we should have been preparing, doing more research to support data on our shark populations,” Imam said. “We should be embarrassed complaining that there is not enough research on the proposals to save sharks while not doing our own comprehensive research.”

Suharsono agreed Indonesia’s action plan on sharks had been poorly implemented.

Meanwhile, Willem Wijnstekers, secretary general of CITES, whose secretariat is administered by the UN Environment Program, said the rejection of more listings at the meeting reflected a transitional process of adjusting existing management of fishery stocks toward something more robust and coherent.

“The Doha conference was an important step in the long journey toward the conservation of commercial marine species,” he said. “The quality of the debate and the simple majority reached on three sharks and the red and pink coral proposals sent a strong signal to the international community on the urgent need to stop overexploitation.

“The results do not reflect well the real impact of this meeting, which will only be seen and understood when other international regimes discuss the fate of bluefin tuna and sharks in the coming months.”

Related Article:

New Zealand calls for whaling compromise

Many Import Documents are Forgeries

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 31 March, 2010 | 12:41 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Directorate General of Customs and Excise have found numerous violations using fictitious Certificates of Origin following the free trade agreement. As of early this year, at least 53 cases with false certificates of origin have been found in Tanjung Perak Harbor, Surabaya and Belawan Harbor, Medan.

Customs and Excise director-general, Thomas Sugijata, said that the findings consisted of 32 cases in Tanjung Perak and 21 cases in Belawan. They were exposed following checks carried early this year on goods unloaded in the two harbors.

The modus is allegedly to claim imported goods originating from countries which have not established a free trade agreement to come from those which have signed the pact. The aim is not having to pay tariffs.

According to Thomas, it is possible that similar cases occurred in other major harbors. “We have instructed that an investigation be carried as of early this year, especially on goods getting zero percent tariffs,” he said at a press conference in the headquarters of the Directorat General of Custom and Excise yesterday.

He was not able to provide information on the origin of the goods using the fake certificates, but he revealed that most of them used Chinese certificates of origin.

Indonesia has signed a free trade agreement with ASEAN countries as well as with China, Korea and Japan. “The tariff facilities will not be given to those who are not eligible. We will not allow this happen,” he said.

The Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, Muhaimin Iskandar, said that until now, there has been no significant impact following the launching of the free trade agreement.

“The Manpower Office chief has been instructed to keep on monitoring developments as a result of the China-ASEAN free trade agreement,” said Muhaimin in Bandung yesterday.

The Minister of Trade Mari Elka Pangestu said that Indonesia does not plant to sign a new free trade agreement in the near future. “More time is neededfor socialization,” said Mari in a separate occasion last week.

Mari explained that the socialization process carried out is about the positive side of free trade agreement. “We must also provide information about concerns (on the negative impacts), “she said.

Indonesia is still exploring the possibility of having a free trade agreement with Australia, New Zealand and Europe, which are grouped under the Europe Free Trade Association. Specifically on free trade between Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, the government has just completed a feasibility study.

Even though there has been no agreement yet, according to Mari, the process leading to free trade with the three countries is being prepared. “At this stage, we have involved the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” said Mari.


State Enterprises Ministry Discharge Indonesia Ferry Directors

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 31 March, 2010 | 19:29 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The State Enterprises Ministry have dismissed chief director of PT Indonesia Ferry and Finance Director, two members of Board of Directors of the state ferry company and announced resignation of the other four on Wednesday (31/3) following internal rifts between members of the board.

Chief Director Bambang Suryanto and Finance Director Made Sukarna had been permanently removed from Indonesia Ferry after their temporary dismissal earlier this month, a member of the board of commisioner, Ahmad Syukri said.

The other four said to have resigned their posts are Operation Director Pambudi Husodo, Human Resources Director Bonar Manurung, Business Director Johan Iskandar, and Port Business Ultra Amiruddin.

No information revealed about the internal row.

Ahmad said the company has selecting candidates from among senior staffs in the company, which have been proposed to the State Enterprises Ministry.

No time frame released for the selection process and until the State Enterprises Ministry announce its choices, the company will be run by borad of commissioner Danang Baskoro as General Director, Askolani as Finance Director, Basrowi as Technical Director, Sulaiman as Human Resources Director, and Ahmad Syukri as Business Director.


Five Indonesians Drown Near Malaysia

Jakarta Globe, March 31, 2010

Kuala Lumpur. Police say five Indonesians, including three children, have drowned and 17 others were rescued after their overloaded speedboat sank off Malaysia.

Local police chief Ibrahim Chin says the boat coming from Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province sank Tuesday near Tawau island in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah.

Ibrahim says a police sea patrol noticed the accident, believed to have been caused when the boat struck a piece of wood.

Three children are among the five who drowned. Ibrahim says the 18-feet-long (5.5-meter-long) boat had a capacity of 12 people.

He said Wednesday that police are investigating whether any passengers had valid travel documents.

Many Indonesians come to neighboring Malaysia illegally by boat to look for work. Dozens died last year in boat sinkings.

Associated Press

Maritime Minister to launch Sail Banda in Ambon

Antara News, Wednesday, March 31, 2010 13:45 WIB

Ambon (ANTARA News) - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad is scheduled to launch Sail Banda in Ambon on April 17, 2010.

"We are making preparation for the launch of the international marine event on April 17," Sail Banda local committee spokesman Cak Saimima said here on Wednesday.

Saimima said the maritime affairs and fisheries minister was appointed by Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on December 14, 2009 as Sail Banda national committee chairman, and thus the latter would launch the event in Ambon later in April but the specific location has yet to be decided.

"Sail Banda was launched at Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta on February 3, 2010, and hopefully we can decide the location in Ambon at a meeting here today (Wednesday)," Saimima said.

But he has yet to explain the detail of Sail Banda launch program in Ambon.

"After the specific location is decided, we will announce the detail of program and publicize it to net as many tourist as possible to visit Maluku," Saimima said.

Meanwhle, Fadel Muhammad has said the Sail Banda was aimed at turning Maluku capital of Ambon into easter Indonesia`s main tourist gate and promoting the province`s potentials to the world.

Fadel Muhammad said such an annual event was expected to attract foreign investors, including those of China to the province in the future.

"Providing people in coastal areas with health services is also the objective of Sail Banda. That`s why, the social welfare minister will come to the targeted areas," Fadel Muhammad said.

Sharing Muhammad`s views, Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono at the launch of Sail Banda at Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta early February said the international marine event was also expected to boost eastern Indonesia`s economic development.

"By promoting the natural, cultural and historical heritages that the areas have, we push the growth of tourism industry in eastern Indonesia," he said.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Making the Most of Makassar

Jakarta Globe, Nadia Bintoro, March 30, 2010

Tiny Samalona Island offers visitors tranquility and solitude. (JG Photo)

While Makassar boasts what some claim to be the largest indoor theme park in the world — Trans Studio — a trip to the biggest city in Sulawesi might be better spent outdoors exploring the warm, clear waters of surrounding islands or venturing off for a visit to the cool stream that feeds the Bantimurung waterfall.

Island Hopping: Samalona and Lae-Lae

Makassar, the provincial capital that has served as Sulawesi’s major seaport for hundreds of years, is cradled in the arms of a natural harbor that makes it hard for tourists not to be tempted to step aboard one of the marina’s tour boats and head off to the surrounding islands and atolls.

If you are looking to take a day trip, there is an array of islands to explore, including Samalona, which is a quick seven-kilometer hop, and Kapuposang, 70 km away from the city.

Be sure to arrive at Kayangan Marina, just in front of the famous Fort Rotterdam, early in the morning and try to haggle with a handful of tour guides before deciding on your itinerary. Just like any other tourist destination, the guides can smell a naive traveler and will likely hike up the price of a trip, so be ready to negotiate.

After some fierce bargaining I finally settled on Rp 350,000 ($38.50) for a visit to Samalona and Lae-Lae islands.

The crew of three quickly loaded the boat and my friends I set off for the 45-minute ride out to Samalona.

Arriving on the island is like reuniting with an old friend. Once on the island a warm familiar feeling, probably in part to the smiling faces of the locals, seeps over you. Most of the 15 families living there make their living catering to visitors or fishing the water that surround the tiny 300-by-600-meter, oval-shaped isle.

The island was very relaxing. I snorkeled here and there, changing spots every hour or so without being bothered.

While Samalona is beautiful, the underwater vistas leave something to be desired. Various marine life can be seen in the calm, clear waters, but the snorkeling is subpar at best. I read that Samalona was once famous for its surrounding reef, beautiful sea garden and colorful tropical fish, but these glories are now a thing of the past.

Nonetheless, putting my head down in the crystal waters and feeling the beach breeze at my back made for a very tranquil experience.

With no restaurants on Samalona, visitors usually just buy their lunch straight from the fishermen. During my trip, the catch of the day was fresh fish for Rp 20,000. But there’s another catch: Rp 20,000 gets you the fish and the fish only. You must pay an additional Rp 50,000 if you want rice and chili to go with your meal.

After lunch, it was time to climb back on the boat and set off for Lae-Lae Island.

Lae-Lae, just 1.5 km from the capital and easily visible from the mainland, is just a 15-minute boat ride from Makassar’s famous Losari Beach, where tourists flock each night to walk the pier and enjoy the sunset.

Unfortunately, proximity to the mainland leaves Lae-Lae’s beach riddled with trash, making the waters surrounding the island a bad choice for snorkeling or swimming. Nevertheless, wandering the island and strolling the shores of Lae-Lae makes for a cultural treat.

The densely populated island is home to more than 400 families who, for the most part, subscribe to the traditional way of life. Old men nap quietly in the shade as the waves lap softly against the hulls of the fishermen’s ancient wooden boats while children joyfully play outside the mosque, giving the island it’s own distinct rhythm.

Bantimurung Waterfall Park

The Bantimurung waterfall takes its name from the local phrase membanting kemurungan , which translates as a place to get rid of sadness, and the cascade’s name says it all. The tranquil setting, complete with rare butterflies, lush valleys and steep limestone hills, is clearly capable of washing away any sorrow.

If your feeling adventurous Bantimurung, which is 15 km from Makassar, is easily accessible by pete-pete (public minivan) or a taxi.

After an hour and a half and three separate connections, I was at the gates of Bantimurung Waterfall Park, which 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace referred to as the “kingdom of the butterflies.”

But sadly, the growing trade in catching and collecting the gossamer-winged insects for tourist souvenirs is making their kingdom slowly disappear.

The butterfly museum inside the park, meanwhile, fails to properly showcase Bantimurung’s biodiversity. The collection is sad. Torn butterflies are displayed in a dusty glass windows featuring discolored labels. Some pins and identifiers for the once-brilliant insects are even missing. The stained floor and gloomy atmosphere of the one-room museum only encourages visitors to head back outside and enjoy the splendid scenery as soon as possible.

The park is always teeming with visitors. Families come and throw blankets down for picnics, while children and teenagers enjoy the cool water of the falls.

As I climbed past the picnickers and up the pathway, the waterfall — a 15-meter cascade of sparkling water flowing down between rocky cliffs into a stream shaded by trees — came into view. There are two different ways to enjoy the waterfall and the stream that leads away from it. Older visitors are free to climb the stairs and enjoy the scenery from above, while young adrenaline junkies can rent an inner tube and brave the tiny rapids below. As for me, I chose to do both.

The view from the top of the waterfall is nothing short of mystical one of the most interesting things to do at the park is watch the various species of butterflies flutter along the river below.

About 800 meters up the hill from the main waterfall, visitors are free to explore Gua Batu (Stone Cave), which is full of stunning stalactites and Gua Mimpi (Dream Cave), which is renowned for its raucous bats.

Outside the park, hawkers bombard tourists with an array of butterfly souvenirs, from simple key chains and T-shirts to actual butterflies tucked under glass. Having a keepsake to remember your travels is always good, but visitors should think twice before putting Sulawesi’s biodiversity at further risk .

Iranian Immigrants Arrested in East Java

Tempo Interactive, Monday, 29 March, 2010 | 22:06 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: East Java Police arrested 47 Iranian immigrants in a regency about 210 kilometers southwest of Surabaya early on Monday (29/3), which were trying travel to Christmas island by boat.

Thirty eight male, seven female and four children were being detained by maritime police in Pacitan Regency in the southern coast of Java since their capture earlier today.

Head of the regency Marine Police Unit Adjutant Second Inspector Yahudi said the immigrants were in good condition. He said local fishermen spotted the immigrants on a life boat-like vessel about three miles of the coast of Pacitan and reported them to the police.

A translator helping police to communicate with the immigrants said the Iranians were trying to head to Christmas Island.

Police suspected the immigrants entered Indonesia legally and spent several times in a temporary shelter in Bogor, West Java before continue with their trip. No report on the persons who guided the immigrants with their movements in Indonesia.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Bantaeng Exports Sea Cucumber to Hong Kong

Tempo Interactive, Monday, 29 March, 2010 | 14:05 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Bantaeng: Bantaeng regency in South Sulawesi is preparing its first sea cucumber export to Hong-Kong. This follows the the regency’s succeess in exporting fish in the form of frozen surimi to Japan and kapok seeds to Korea.

The export of 4.2 tons of sea cucumber with a value of more than Rp 3 billion will be carried out by UD Mamampang Jaya, a local company in partnership with companies from the Philippines and Malaysia. Saing, the head of the company, confirmed the export to Bantaeng Regent, H M. Nurdin Abdullah, last week.

According to Saing, who came with his partners from Malaysia and Philippines, the sea cucumbers are obtained from areas around Bantaeng Regency, like Selayar, as well as several other provinces in Indonesia, including Papua.

“We collect the sea cucumber from various regions and provinces,” said Saing. He added that the export is waiting for the administration process to be completed this week.

Regent Nurdin plans to launch the Hong-Kong export in a special event. He welcomes Mamampang Jaya’s readiness. Even though the sea cucumber does not come from Bantaeng area, this shows that a local company is capable of exports.

“We will keep on encouraging various industries so that region can advance,” said Nurdin. According to Nurdin, besides sea cucumbers, in April taro will also be exported to Japan.

Sea cucumber is known as a marine export commodity which is being developed in a big scale, given its high economic value in markets overseas. Sea cucumber is exported in the dry form. Besides Hong Kong, sea cucumber export destinations are Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.


Eight locations in NTT await Sail Indonesia participants

Antara News, Monday, March 29, 2010 11:17 WIB

Kupang (ANTARA News) - The participants of Sail Indonesia 2010 will have a stop over at eight scenic locations in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province.

Rote Ndao district head Lens Haning said here on Monday that the Sail Indonesia participants this year would set sail from Darwin, Australia, on July 24, 2010 with a stop over at Kota Kupang, Rote Ndao, Timor Tengah Selatan, Alor, Sika, Ende, Nagekeo, and Manggarai Barat.

"The participants of Sail Indonesia in the previous years did not make a stopover at Rote Ndao but this year the district becomes their new destination," Lens Haning said.

Sail Indonesia 2010 will depart from Darwin on Saturday July 24, 2010, and during the following three months the participants will be served with a series of cultural festivals at different stopovers across Indonesia.

To anticipate Rote Ndao as a new destination for the Sail Indonesia participants, Lens Haning said various preparations have been made to set in order the surfing and diving sites at Nembrala beach.

He said preparation was also made for traditional Sasando music performance and the making of typical souvenirs to attract the participants from different countries and to make their visit pleasant.

In the southernmost Indonesian island and district of Rote Ndao, Haning said the participants would have the opportunity to go surfing and diving at Nembrala and Termanu beaches and to see a number of activities including "sopi" (alcoholic) distilling, palm brown sugar making, traditional "ikat" weaving, and Sasando traditional music performance.

Sail Indonesia is an annual sailing rally now in its tenth year that departs from Darwin in the middle of July and is followed by a three month program of linked events across Indonesia.

After visiting various tourists objects in Kupang and Timor Tengah Selatan for one week, the Sail Indonesian Participants will set sail to Rote Ndao and then on to Alor, Maumere, Labuan Bajo, and Komodo island.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Proposal mandates stricter pollution controls for ships

The Washington Post, by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, March 26, 2010; 5:41 PM

To curb air pollution, large tankers, container ships and cruise boats will have to use low-sulfur fuels when passing through U.S. and Canadian coastal waters, under a proposal adopted by a United Nations rulemaking body Friday.

Vessels traveling within 200 nautical miles of most of the two nations' coasts will have to cut their fuel sulfur content by 98 percent. The rules approved by the International Maritime Organization will be phased in from 2012 and new ships will have to use advanced pollution control technology starting in 2016.

"This is a change that will benefit millions of people and set in motion new innovations for the shipping industry," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement.

Rich Kassel, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, "Communities up and down the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts will feel the air quality improvements -- and the benefits will even extend hundreds of miles inland, reaching as far away as Nevada, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and the Grand Canyon."

While the cruise industry had opposed the plan for months, it did not object to the standards during Friday's vote in London, where the IMO is headquartered. Ramon Alvarez, a senior scientist with Environmental Defense Fund, said only a small number of ships have switched to the low-sulfur fuel voluntarily because it's twice as expensive.

More than 30 U.S. ports are in metropolitan areas that fail to meet federal air quality standards.

"It will mean higher operating costs, but we believe the tradeoff is to successfully address the problems U.S. port communities have faced," said Chris Koch, president of the World Shipping Council.

S. William Becker, executive director for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said the vote "demonstrates how effective the international community can be at solving a major health and environmental problem."

The United States and Canada jointly made the proposal a year ago.

Related Articles:

The 16 Ships Create As Much Pollution As All Cars in The World

The black marketeers stealing Indonesia’s islands by the boat-load

From The Times, March 23, 2010

Anak Krakatau has risen through renewed volcanic activity to a height of 300 metres (Richard Lloyd Parry, Krakatoa)

For the people of Sebesi Island, who spend their lives next to the world’s biggest natural time bomb, it seemed to be an offer that they could not refuse.

A businessman from the Indonesian mainland landed one day with a remarkable proposal: to make safe their deadly neighbour, the notorious volcano island of Krakatoa, hulking in the sea a few miles across the water.

When Krakatoa exploded in 1883 36,000 people died and the dust thrown up by the eruption lowered temperatures and darkened skies across the globe.

So the fishermen welcomed the offer of trenches to channel the lava and reduce the danger of the next explosion. However, when the boats arrived and the work began, they realised with anger that the kindly businessman was not renovating Krakatoa. He was stealing it.

“There was a huge barge, the kind you use to carry coal, and it was pumping up the sand through pipes,” said Waiso, an environmental activist who investigated the activity. “This is a national park and a Unesco World Heritage Site and you’re not allowed to touch it. The local people rely on the fishing and the income from tourism, and here they were taking Krakatoa away.” And Krakatoa is just one case among thousands.

With more than 17,000 islands — from the jungly immensities of Borneo and Sumatra to unnamed rocks jutting out of the sea — you might think that Indonesia would not mind if a few of them went missing. But the South-East Asian nation is fighting a losing battle against black marketeers who are, literally, making off with its territory by the boat-load.

Sea reclamation projects in China, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore are driving a black market in Indonesia’s abundant supplies of soil, sand and gravel. In 2007 Indonesia banned the export of its sand and soil and threatened a shoot on sight policy against foreign sand pirates and gravel bandits. But, thanks to corrupt local officials who sign off on permits and turn a blind eye to where the material ends up, the smugglers are winning.

Since 2005 at least 24 small islands have disappeared as a result of erosion caused by sand mining. Even where they remain above the waves, the mining process clouds and muddies the sea, devastating fish populations and destroying livelihoods.

“The small islands don’t have large populations but their function in the ecosystem is very important,” said Riza Damanik, of the People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries. “In the Riau Islands the fishermen have lost 80 per cent of their income as a result of sand mining.”

Because the trade is illegal, an accurate accounting of how much material is being removed is difficult. Before the ban, however, sand miners might have removed 300,000 tonnes a month from a single island. “I’m sure that the amount of material removed altogether is bigger than the volume destroyed by the Krakatoa explosion,” Mr Riza said.

The eruption of Krakatoa ripped the island to pieces, leaving only fragments of the original landmass but, 127 years later, it is once again a highly active and unpredictable volcano. In the late 1920s a new peak, Anak Krakatau, or Child of Krakatoa, rose out of the sea and has climbed to more than 300m (1,000ft) at a rate of about a centimetre a day.

Since 2007 it has had periods of intense activity when lava and ash have spewed from its crater. But for local people it is a crucial source of income from the tuna, snapper and lobster that live there and the few thousand intrepid tourists who visit every year, as well as being a site of religious reverence.

A legendary prince named Syech Dapur is said to watch over the volcano and protect the people of neighbouring Sebesi, who were very gratified when the sand mining operation began to go wrong.

The pump kept breaking down; a worker was injured when his arm was sucked into a pipe; and after the fishermen’s observations of the illegal activity were reported in the media the smugglers slipped quietly away.

“The spirit of the island was angry with them,” said Iman Faisil, a local tour guide with a smile. “And we are angry too. If they come back we will make a human shield. We will burn their boats. This island does not belong to them; it belongs to all the world.”

Krakatoa is highly active volcano but locals rely on it as a source of income from the tuna, snapper and lobster that live there, as well as tourism

Related Article:

Indonesia’s Islands Are Buried Treasure for Gravel Pirates

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama To Bring Climate Change Agenda To Indonesia

Antara News, Friday, March 26, 2010 04:14 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US President Barack Obama who has delayed until next June his planned visit to Indonesia will bring three agenda items on climate change, a WWF official said.

"There are three agenda items, namely forest and peat land management, clean technology and climate change, and coral triangle," WWF-Indonesia Program Director for climate and energy affairs, Fitrian Ardiansyah said here on Thursday.

Fitrian said that for the forest and peat land management, the United States would see how far Indonesia could cut its gas emissions and the chance for cooperation.

"There is a tropical forest conversion program where a fund would be made available for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme," she said.

If Indonesia is able to formulate it, there would be a clean technology such as renewable energy technology and energy conservation, she said.

Regarding the coral triangle, the United States will continue its scientific research and coral reef protection programs.

"We hope with the visit of Obama there would be comprehensive bilateral cooperation, but all this would depend on the ability of Indonesia to make use of this opportunity, provide a clear proposal and show its priorities to the United States," Fitrian said.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maritime Minister – Indonesian Navy Agree to Watch for Fish Thefts

Tempo Interactive, Thursday, 25 March, 2010 | 13:29 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Maritime and Fishery Minister Fadel Muhammad and Indonesian Navy chief of Staff Admiral Agus Suhartono have signed an MoU on maritime and fishery resources development.

“The scope of the agreement includes monitoring, controlling, and surveillance (MCS) system development," Fadel said in his office yesterday.

Fadel explained that the Maritime and Fishery Ministry and the Indonesian Navy will carry out patrols together.

“The patrols are intended to penalize fish thefts and enforcing the law in national jurisdiction waters,” he said.

The supervision has been increased because fishery resources are often stolen by other countries.

Both parties also intensified collaboration in the education sector as well as human resource development.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Panamaian yacht to call at Jayapura

Antara News, Wednesday, March 24, 2010 19:56 WIB

Jayapura (ANTARA News) - A yacht flying the Panamanian flag with 300 European tourists on board is scheduled to dock at Jayapura`s Yos Sudarso seaport on Thursday (Mar 25).

This was disclosed by the Jayapura immigration chief Roberth Silitonga here Wednesday.

The luxury boat will call at Jayapura for one day after visiting Papua New Guinea (PNG).

"Many of the passengers planned to enjoy the various tourist objects in Jayapura," the said.

Disputed Bay of Bengal island 'vanishes' say scientists

A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.

Beneath the waves

The BBC's Chris Morris in Delhi says there has never been a permanent settlement on the now-vanished island, which even in its heyday was never more than two metres (about six feet) above sea level.

In the past, however, the territorial dispute led to visits by Indian naval vessels and the temporary deployment of a contingent from the country's Border Security Force.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Loss of land is an annual reality for many Bangladeshis

Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.

And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.

"We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Prof Hazra said.

Related Article:

Ban Ki-moon: Don't wait for disaster

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Indonesia Helps Defeat Hammerhead Shark Protections

Jakarta Globe, March 23, 2010

Hammerhead sharks are prized for their fins, which are used in traditional shark fin soup. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, file)

Doha, Qatar. Indonesia, Singapore and Japan teamed up to scuttle a U.S.-backed proposal to protect the heavily fished hammerhead shark at a UN wildlife meeting on Tuesday.

Tom Strickland, the U.S. Assistant Interior Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, argued regional fisheries bodies have done nothing to regulate the trade in endangered scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead as well as the threatened smooth hammerhead, and their numbers have dropped by as much as 85 percent.

``The greatest threat to the hammerhead is from harvest for the international fin trade and the fin of the species is among highly valued of the trade,'' Strickland said. Shark fin soup is a much prized delicacy in China.

The measure was only narrowly rejected, failing by five votes to take the necessary two-thirds of the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to pass.

The tiny Pacific nation of Palau, which last year created the first ever shark sanctuary, joined the Americans in introducing the proposal. It called on countries to protect the species so they can be fished well into the future.

``We must preserve for our children these amazing species,'' said Palau's Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism Harry R. Fritz, adding that his country supports the protection of other shark species as well.

Japan, which successfully campaigned against an export ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna and regulations on the coral trade, led the opposition to the shark proposal. It argued that better enforcement, not trade restrictions was the answer. It also complained it would be difficult to differentiate the hammerheads from other species and would deprive poor fishing nations of much needed income.

They were joined by other countries dependent on the trade, including Singapore and Indonesia which catches the most sharks.

CITES was due to take up similar proposals to protect the oceanic whitetip shark which is also used in the fin trade, the porbeagle shark which is also killed for its meat and the spiny dogfish shark -- a chief ingredient of fish and chips and fish sticks.

Conservationist were outraged by the ruling, since it came after a string of defeats on marine species including a proposal last week on a shark conservation plan. Japan and China led efforts to kill that proposal as well.

Hammerheads, more than any other shark species, are killed for their fins and are the most threatened. Fishermen, both industrial and small-scale and many operating illegally, slice off the fins and throw the carcasses back in the ocean. There are as many as 2.7 million hammerheads caught annually.

Shark fin soup has long played central part in traditional Chinese culture, often being served at weddings and banquets. Demand for the soup has surged as increasing numbers of Chinese middle class family become wealthier.


Ambon to host coastal resources management conference

Antara News, Tuesday, March 23, 2010 16:00 WIB

Ambon (ANTARA News) - The 7th National Conference on marine, small islands, and coastal resources management will be organized in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon on August 3-7, 2010.

Maluku Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office chief Poli Kayhattu said over his cellular phone from Jakarta on Tuesday that at least two international experts on coastal resources management have confirmed to be the keynote speakers at the conference.

"Two small islands and coastal management experts, respectively from China and Maldives have confirmed to be the keynote speakers at the 7th National Conference on marine, small islands, and coastal resources management in Ambon," Kayhattu said.

He said the conference would be conducted as part of the upcoming international marine event of Sail Banda 2010, scheduled to last from July to August this year.

Kayhattu said that besides the international experts from China and Maldives, Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad would also act as speakers in the conference.

The coastal resources management conference is part of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry`s biennial activity, and the one this year in Ambon is themed, "To Knit the Integration of Marine, Small Islands, and Coastal Resources Management for Food Resilience and People`s Welfare."

According to Kayhattu, the objective of the national conference in Ambon was to increase communication and information exchange in relation with marine, small islands, and coastal resources management for people`s welfare and food resilience.

"The conference will be attended by around 500 people who are expected to optimally formulate a new coastal resources management strategy to improve the local people`s welfare," Kayhattu said.

He expressed optimism that the 7th National Congress which had been conducted since 1998 would run well and successfully because various preparations were currently being made for the event.

Keep fishin'

The Jakarta Post, Antara, Tue, 03/23/2010 1:35 PM

Two fishermen collect fish from their net at a dam in the coastal area of Wonorejo, Surabaya, East Java, on Tuesday. Bad weather has forced local fishermen to remain onshore and seek other alternatives to make a living. Antara/Bhakti Pundhowo

Monday, March 22, 2010

70 percent of mangrove forests in Pohuwato damaged

Antara News, Monday, March 22, 2010 14:55 WIB

Gorontalo (ANTARA News) - Some 70 percent of the total 25,688 hectares of mangrove forest in Pohuwato district, Gorontalo, were damaged, a source of the local community said.

"The opening of fish ponds in Pohuwato has contributed to the damage of mangrove forests in he area," Iwan Abbay, chairman of the local community concerned about the condition of the mangrove forests area, said here on Monday.

Iwan said Pohuwato district were used to own a large scale of mangrove area. In fact, Pohuwato was claimed as the biggest buffer zone for Tomini bay area which includes Gorontalo province and half part of North Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi provinces respectively.

According to data from local managing board for river basins s (DAS) in 2007, of the total 25,688 hectares of mangrove forests in Pohuwato district, 14,017 hectares were heavily damaged and 7,546 hectares slightly damaged. Only 4,123 hectares of the mangrove forests are still on good condition.

Mangrove forests protect coastal areas against erosion, storms (hurricanes), and the tsunamis. The mangrove`s massive root system is efficient at dissipating wave energy. Likewise, they slow down tidal waves so that sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles during low tide.

In this way, mangrove crops build their own environment. Because of the uniqueness of mangrove ecosystems and the protection against erosion that they provide, they are often the object of conservation programs including national Biodiversity Action Plans.

RI’s mangrove forests shrinks to 2 million ha

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 03/21/2010 11:31 PM

Indonesia’s mangrove forest area has shrunk from 4.2 million hectares in 1982 to 2 million hectares, according to an NGO.

People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries (Kiara) said Sunday the expansion of brackish fishponds was the main cause of the dwindling mangroves.

Kiara’s secretary general M. Riza Damanik said the deforestation had tipped the environmental balance in coastal areas, especially the declining fish production and rapid abrasions due to high waves.

“The government sees mangrove simply as a commodity that benefits a few people. The mangrove issue has demonstrated the government’s lack of environmental concern.”

The Royal Society, a science academy in Britain, recently released a report about the rapid loss of mangroves all over the world.

In Thailand, each hectare of brackish fishpond yields only US$9,600 for the owner. But the Thai government has to shoulder $1,000 in pollution cost, $12,400 in the loss of ecological functions, $8,400 in subsidies for local community and $9,300 to restore the mangrove forest.

Kiara notes the recent aggressive expansion of oil palm plantations had also worsened the situation because in some areas, the project affects coasts. — JP

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recession hurting cruise ship builders

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press , Miami | Fri, 03/19/2010 6:12 PM

The cruise industry is rebounding, but not for the companies who build the increasingly elaborate ships.

Executives from the major European shipyards say they're not getting enough orders to keep busy and profitable. Though cruise bookings and prices are up, a flood of new ships is crowding the market, and operators have shown little willingness to buy more ships.

Only one new order was placed in 2009, and only four so far in 2010. That's down from 21 in 2006, before the economic downturn began in December 2007.

"The cruise ship-building industry has slower reaction time and suffers from deeper distress in comparison with cruise lines," said Corrado Antonini, chairman of the Italian state-owned Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A.

If things don't improve, shipbuilding officials and observers said at an industry conference this week, the yards could lose key skilled workers, suppliers and subcontractors - if they can stay afloat at all. And that means trouble when operators do finally want new ships, with ever-increasing amenities like skating rinks, bowling alleys and climbing walls.

Fincantieri is one of just three companies in the world that dominate the specialty niche of cruise ship-building. Antonini warned that if new orders don't pick up soon, cruise ships will become more expensive to build and less efficiently made.

"The shipbuilding industry has an intrinsic inflexibility deriving from plant assets and specialized skilled resources, which cannot be simply frozen, moved or fired," Antonini said.

Fincantieri is the only of the three major builders with work on the books past 2012 - and they didn't have it until Carnival ordered two new ships last month. That's an uncomfortable prospect in an industry where a single order requires years of labor and planning, plus more than 10,000-gross tons of steel and other material.

The other major builders are privately owned Meyer Werft GmbH, based in Papenburg, Germany, and STX Europe AS, a unit of South Korean conglomerate STX Corp. that operates cruise ship yards in France and Finland.

RI planning to process all seaweeds at home

Antara News, Friday, March 19, 2010 01:05 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, the world`s biggest producer of the Eucheuma seaweed, plans to process the commodity at home, an official said here on Thursday.

"In the future we must process it more or, if possible, totally at home," the deputy for natural resource development technology of the Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT), Prof Dr Jana Anggardiredja said.

Prof Jana who is also the chairman of the Indonesian Seaweed Society said almost all of the Gracilaria sp seaweed production has already been absorbed at home because there has already been a gelatin plant, which is the world`s biggest, in the country.

However Indonesia still imports carrageenin, the raw material produced from the Eucheuma seaweed for use in various food products such as ice cream, sausages, milk, candies and alginate, produced from Sargassum sp, he said.

"We still import carrageenin and alginate," he said.

He said a lot of researches are still needed to raise the target of seaweed processing at home from 20 to 50 kinds.

He said China whose sea does not produce seaweeds has a lot of seaweed processing industries and therefore needs a lot of seaweed as the raw materials from Indonesia.

He said the world`s demand for carrgeenin in 2006 reached 40,000 metric tons a year worth US$335 million, while alginate 12,000 metric tons a year worth US$94 million and gelatine 10,000 metric tons a year worth US$181 million.

In 2014 he hoped absorption of domestically processed carrageenin would increase to 15 percent or around 4,000 tons while exports to reach around 22,000 tons.

He also hoped absorbtion of domestically processed gelatine would be 85 percent or around 4,250 tons and exports around 750 tons.

Besides increasing production he would also seek to improve the quality of Indonesian seaweeds so far still considered low.

The head of the Indonesian Seaweed Association, Safari Husen, said Indonesia has been nominated as host for the 21st International Seaweed Symposium in Bali next month.

"It means Indonesia has been internationally recognized not only as a seaweed producer but also producer of seaweed processing products," he said.

The forum would also study how to develop seaweed industries from upstream to downstream, he said.