A national consciousness on environment

Posted on: October 29, 2008

This article was published by The Jakarta Post on November 17, 2008. Read the article on The Jakarta Post, here.

Everyday I read news on how corruption is being fought by people who still care about this country’s future. As a young Indonesian I feel proud of today’s achievement; a few years ago we wouldn’t have been able to see corrupt officials being scared to death of having the possibility to be sent to jail by The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

But no one is talking about our environment; no one is talking about the destruction of our environment every single day done by irresponsible citizens, foreigners, and, sadly, government officials.

Those people should be punished as severe as those who corrupt people’s money; what they are doing is also considered corruption, endangering our ability to face the future as a strong country. We have to start to talk more about the future of our environment, and young Indonesians have to be on the frontline.

The latest issue of National Geographic shows how we are losing Kalimantan (Borneo) due to our greed. Along with Malaysia and Brunei we have killed thousands of animals and destroyed countless trees. We have, without shame, transformed Kalimantan into a greedy palm oil industry.

Being the world’s largest palm oil producer is definitely not a sinful thing. We Indonesians should be proud of that fact. But if turning ourselves into the number one palm oil producer also means that trees and animals are killed, then we need to rethink the better way to boost people’s welfare and preserve the environment at the same time too.

Our yearly celebration of  flood crisis in Jakarta is another example of how we have become an ignorant society when it comes to environment.

We keep blaming the local government for not giving us solution; every year it is the same promise that we receive from them (that new facilities will be built to prevent flood next year). I think that’s a legitimate accusation, but we need to realize that at the same time we are not being respectful to our environment too; we throw trash everywhere as if this earth were just a big trash dump.

It seems to me, I hope I’m wrong on this, that our people including my young fellow Indonesians don’t have any interest on this issue. They speak loudly about economics and politics, but when issues on environment arise they choose to be silent and passive. They think that earth will fix its problems by itself like it has been doing for centuries.

If that’s the mindset we all have, then I think it’s just completely wrong.

We need to understand that our lives depend so heavily on our natural resources. Thus, maintaining the environment is an obligation that should be exercised not only by the government but also all of us. We need to understand that global warming is no longer a myth, Al Gore through his documentary film An Inconvenient Truth has made green movement a trend since 2006; and we need to be part of this global movement too.

It’s a shameful fact that last year this country was ranked 3rd largest carbon producer in the world due to deforestation. The government tried to give some excuses and different arguments, but we all knew that it sounded true. But sadly, until now we haven’t done much to improve the condition.

If the government is not willing to talk about environmental issues, then it’s the people’s duty to speak up the truth. It’s the duty of young Indonesians, people like you and me, to spread out the word of wisdom on how to treat the environment better.

We should remind other people that economy and environment can go hand in hand; that politics and environment should be beneficial to each other. We should remind other people that environment is crying for help, and it’s time for us to take action.

As we are celebrating Indonesia’s 80th Youth Pledge, I believe that environment should be put among the most important issues that this young generation needs to discuss.

I believe when we meet and try to formulize new strategies to improve the economy, we need to formulize economic strategies that can be advantageous to both the people and the environment. When we formulize political policies, we need to formulize policies that are not harmful to the environment. And we need to do that now.

Picture taken from here.


6 Responses to "A national consciousness on environment"

Exactly. People so hesitant talking about environment damage (compare to other issues). Whereas, the impact of this is very-very serious. We don’t realize because it will not happen at the time the perpetrator did it, but someday after.

So sad when we see the campaign about environment gets very few response from public (even no response at all), the environment activists scream “save our planet” but its voice disappear in the air, and the perpetrators against environment walking freely in front of our nose.

Cukong so easy to get HPH (Hak Pengusahaan Hutan) covering very huge area, e.g. (just to mention a name for example): Adelin Lis – the owner of PT. Keang Nam Development Indonesia (KNDI) who has 58,590 hectare. Can you imagine how huge it is? But after he caught as suspect of illegal logging in Mandailing Natal (North Sumatera), he then acquitted by the judge (in Nov 2007).

When the environment minister was Nabiel Makarim (2005), the govt drafted a bill to punish illegal logging perpetrator with minimum 12 years jail to death sentence as maximum. The minimum term is important because even the max jail is death, but many times the vonis only few months. I don’t know whether the bill has been enacted today.

Let’s start from ourselves to protect our environment responsibly, at least not throwing any garbages carelessly.

tes tes tes

yay it works! :mrgreen:

maybe because we never care about our environment, we have never been taught how to take care environment even from the simplest thing such not to litter, and worse…our elders never give good examples on how to love our environment, so we think littering, cutting trees are fine.

yippie, yaaaayy, hooray….i’m happy for no reason 😛

Tasa, Indonesia is the third largest co2 producer because we are such a huge country. If we divide this per capita, we are in no comparison against US, for example.

We do not talk about environment because the impact of environmental damage is usually not direct/instant. so we rather hold the issue and prioritize the others which causing instant damage.

But i do agree with u that campaign on public awareness should be raise for this issue.

Are you back in Jakarta, yet?

It sadden me to see there is no pristine tropical forest left in Kalimantan. I happen to work in a mining-contractor which operates in Kalimantan. When you fly from Banjarmasin to Tabalong, you’ll see that there is no forest anymore. All gone. And along with it also gone many plants and animals which may beneficial for our survival.
Ten years ago when I worked in North Barito regency, I still found a relatively good forest. But now it all gone to legal and illegal logging. No wonder Kalimantan often gets huge flood recently.
When will we learn the lesson?
The world is not enough to satisfy one greedy person.

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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