Environmental Experts Prompt Government to Change Paradigm of Natural Disaster

Environmental expert of Airlangga University (Unair) Surabaya, Dr Suparto Wijoyo, SH, M. Hum request the Provincial Government (Pemprov) of East Java to change the paradigm of natural disaster.

"Do not just stand by with the disaster as a tradition. This framework of thinking is wrong, a disaster is not tradition, but the tragedy," he said in Surabaya, Sunday.

According to him, if the disaster is considered part of the tradition, the government will not be working to overcome the disaster.

"As it is a tradition, the disaster fund in the budget that had been budgeted for handling only, not for the response," he said.

He argues, as long as the government still considers the flooding some of the DAS of Bengawan Solo, Jatim as tradition, then at any time up to the disaster that will continue to occur.

"If we observed, the government is happy because with the disaster, the emergency budget that is in the budget can be disbursed immediately," said team member Mediator of the Ministry of the Environment.

But do not be so, if the government changes the paradigm about the disaster. "The government should know, Bengawan Solo flooding is not purely natural factors, but there are also technical factors that are ignored during this," he said.

It was revealed during the last two years, Pemprov Jatim is no longer doing revitalization at Bengawan Solo. "But in our records, in 2007 in the Bengawan Solo sedimentation has reached 6 meters, and in 2008 increased to 10 meters," he said.

Therefore, the first step must be done to address the government's flood disaster in the DAS of Bengawan Solo is the revitalization program.

"We think that, if executed seriously, the revitalization program is more effective and more efficient in the use of funds compared with the handling of the disaster. This should be the main agenda of Governor and Deputy Governor of East Java's new," said Suparto Wijoyo. (*)


Action Call: Love Indonesian Forest

Awareness of the importance of the people have rights in the control of natural resources to encourage the return of the movement of people on the management of natural resources for the sustainability of life, is the starting point of populist forest system movement in Indonesia. Underpin efforts to maintain and restore the resources of the population can develop strength of the people is very urgent to do. KpSHK Forest - Consortium of the support agreement, such as NGOs working with the vision of the realization of personal autonomy in the control and management of natural resources in a sustainable property. During the activity, KpSHK has published various publications, such as a media campaign against the populist regime of the forest as a source of life based on local wisdom and traditional.

As one of the dissemination of information, poured into an "sympathy action" with the theme of "love of forests in Indonesia", 14 February 2009 at Tugu Kujang, Bogor volunteer involving KpSHK, network support NGOs in Bogor and the involvement of the medias. The technical implementation of the action is attached in the order of events.

With this letter, we ask for NGOs, the will to contribute by providing assistance of volunteers and the publication of the institution concerned to take part in the action is nice.

Thus, a notification letter, and we present this request. Attention and cooperation, we thank you.

Contact Persons: KpSHK (62)251-8380 301
Nino (62)819-3110-1288


Seeking Happiness

The Jakarta Post -- WEEKENDER | Thu, 01/29/2009 7:13 PM | Greenlifestyle

Today’s materialistic culture often tempts us to spend more on things we desire, instead of on things we need. The more we earn, the more stuff we buy to make ourselves happy. But is this really the path to happiness?

Let me try to find the answer to that question. Some of my friends and I used to earn more than enough money to support ourselves each month. With my income, I could afford almost everything I wanted, from the latest gadgets and coolest outfits to the best meals in fancy restaurants. But somehow, the excitement of having all this lingered for only a very brief period. And so I began to have doubts about that materialistic life.

And I am not alone here. I have several friends – and I am sure there are some other people out there – who have shared the same experience and feel a void in their hearts. Something is missing, something that cannot be satisfied just by earning a sizable income and spending more on awesome gadgets or the trendiest clothes. It seems like we need more than possessions and purchases to find happiness.

Happiness can be perceived differently from one person to the other, so we need to find our own personal source of contentment. Here are some ideas to get you climbing on that ladder toward happiness.

1. Escape materialism – consume less
If we finally understand that binge-buying can only satisfy our ego for a short while, maybe now is the time to kick the habit. Start by systematically blocking out advertising, be it printed or electronic. Another good reason to go easy with the credit card is your environmental footprint. We buy not-so-important stuff and often end up discarding it fairly quickly. Some of the waste is burned, releasing carbon emissions and pollutants into the soil or waterways. So make sure that when you buy things, you do so because they serve a clear purpose. It might be helpful to bear this question in mind every time you intend to buy something: “Do I really need this?”

2. Stay healthy – choose your food better
Keeping our body fit and healthy – that’s probably a primordial rule in our quest for happiness. So arrivederci Big Mac, adieu beloved crispy chicken wing and so long fiendish banana split; downshift to slow food, a culinary philosophy that emphasizes organic farming and local and traditional food products. Rein in your food budget, and support your local traditional market.

3. Go green – back to nature
Philosophically, green represents peace, balance and growth. It is also the color of nature and symbolizes self-respect and well-being. Moreover, green is the most restful color for human eyes and is believed to have great healing power. Going green, in the sense of going back to nature, can be a source of happiness. For example, spending a weekend in a place with views of a green landscape might bring us peace and joy, more than drooling in front of shop windows in frenzied malls will. Sometimes what our heart and mind need is just a relaxing moment free from the hustle and bustle of our superficial activities. So, give yourself some time to decompress and make a good connection with Mother Nature.

4. Practice random acts of kindness – be useful
When we practice good deeds, we feel good about ourselves. That explains why there are people who volunteer their time and energy to help others. The feeling of being useful, not only to our fellow humans but also to other living creatures, gives meaning to our life. Joining communities that are concerned with environmental issues might be a good start. Think of an issue you care about: poverty, empowerment of women, wildlife loss – take your pick. Then find an organization or project that is working on this issue close to where you live, and tell them you want to help. Here’s an NGO directory to get you started: http://www.smeru.or.id/ngolist.php.

5. Make connections – develop friendships
It’s only natural that we have the urge to share our feelings with other people. Having good, supportive friends and close relationships with our family can make us much happier. Developing new friendships with people from various walks of life will also trigger joy and excitement. If you succeed in your volunteering efforts (see previous point), you will find yourself exposed to new people, opening your eyes to a world that extends well beyond your daily worries and concerns.

So, despite the controversy surrounding the various interpretations of the lyrics sung by the fabulous four of Liverpool, I do believe that happiness is a warm gun indeed. I have my own interpretation of what John Lennon meant by “… a warm gun means you’ve just shot something”. After taking a shot at finding good quality of life, happiness creates a warm feeling within our heart.

+ Shinta Nurwulan

Greenlifestyle is a mailing list to share information and tips on greening your lifestyle in Indonesia’s cities. How to save on utility bills? Where to recycle paper in Java and Bali? Reducing the amount of water you use at home? All legit questions can be sent (in Indonesian or English) to greenLifestyle@googlegroups.com.or greenlifestyle@gmail.com


What's The Carbon Footprint of Sending A Text Message?

As I have known, Google did indeed issue a statement describing in detail how it had arrived at the figure of 0.2 grams of CO², after first calculating it requires 0.0003 kWh of energy to perform a typical search. Or to put it another way, it claimed that a typical individual's Google use for an entire year would produce about the same amount of CO² as putting a single load through a washing machine. The bulk of this energy expenditure is due to the vast network of servers and data centres that a company such as Google has to maintain. Mobile phone network providers are not dissimilar in that they are also in the business of processing and "transporting" huge quantities of digitised data.

As one of telecommunications provider, Vodafone agreed to put its brightest brains to the task of calculating the footprint of a text message. "Last year, the Vodafone network used 2,600 gigawatt hours of energy to carry 60,000 terabytes of data," said a spokeswoman. "Since a single SMS has a maximum length of 140 bytes, we estimate that last year it took an average 5 microwatts-hour (a microwatt being one millionth of a watt) to deliver an SMS message." To put this in terms of emissions, that's 0.000003 grams of CO².

Vodafone added a few caveats, though: it is only including the energy used to power its "radio access network" (which includes its masts) and not the "core network" it leases from providers such as BT. It also isn't including the energy used by handsets. This at least goes some way to explaining why the figures seems so low compared to Google's. After all, if you accept both Vodafone's and Google's figures, a text message produces 60,000 times less CO² than an internet search.

However you crunch these figures, though, the most significant energy burden is still going to be the power needed to produce, distribute and then charge your mobile phone. And, frankly, there are other far more energy-intensive areas of our lifestyles to tackle first.

source: Guardian - Environment

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