Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Warning Light for Aceh Forests

by Fachruddin M. Mangunjaya

Quoted from: Koran Tempo Tuesday, 9 January, 2007

EnvironmentalistTWO years after the tsunami catastrophe in Aceh, the fears of other ensuing disasters voiced by environment lovers and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) turned out to be proven. Floods recently hit five regencies in Aceh. Head of the Mount Leuser National Park, Ir Wiratno, affirmed that the floods had resulted from illegal logging already left uncontrolled for years in the zone (Koran Tempo, December 26, 2006).

A year ago (December 5, 2005), the Aceh Forest Advocacy Working Group rejected the Minister of Forestry Decree to increase Aceh's timber quota from 47,000 cubic meters in 2005 to 500,000 cubic meters in 2006 by reactivating forest concessions. According to the working group comprising various NGOs, the move taken by the Department of Forestry was hasty and unreasonable.

Carefully calculating, even preventing, deforestation in Sumatra constitutes an absolute condition to forestall any recurrence of ecocide (killing of people by natural disasters) due to faulty policies.The World Bank estimated that the remaining lowland forests in Aceh were increasingly reduced. Its records for 15 years from 1982 to 1997 concluded that the forest damage affecting this region reached an average of 22,500 hectares a year.

Global Forest Watch noted that until the mid-1990s, Aceh's degraded forest areas covered 1,025,858 hectares and denuded areas 362,835 hectares. These figures have not yet been revised following the tsunami and destruction caused by widespread post-reform illegal logging over the last 10 years.>>more

Monday, January 29, 2007

My New Children Book: The Last Tigers, Harimau Harimau Terakhir

I am surprised with my new book, that finally published entitle The Last Tigers (Harimau-Harimau Terakhir) published by Wahyu Media, Jakarta (December, 2006). Dolly Priatna (the second author) has tried his effort to make the book published with the sponsor of Denver Zoo so the books will be available free for school children in Sumatra. We tried to popularize the book and make it as much as posible children to touch it. So the book available also in some book stores in Jakarta, Medan dan other cities.

This books is actually the friends of other series--Orangutan Pesta Buah Durian and Keluarga Gajah-- triying to replace the 'old stile' of malay fabel (on animal stories, popularize by the kancil or the mouse deer). If the old story was telling our children with the wisdom of cleaver mouse deer with its trick (and lies). Then our book telling children of science fiction: it based on the scientific evidance in the real life of the animals. Hopefully the book will help children--including parents-- begin to understand of the real condition of the wildlife in Indonesia. We are keen if sometimes this little book could be translated in some other languages, including english to make children aware of this critical conditions to the animals.

Both Dolly and I, was experienced in seeing the plight of the tiger since we worked in the conservation organization. We have been in the deep forest for months to see their natural habitat degraded by human greed. If we stand up in the forest and the seeing the human being just like 'pacman' to tractors, land clearing, logging and others, there seem nothing you can do. But we tried the last devotion to our childrens, hopefully they inspired with our real stories and change their mind to manage the nature better than us.