Indonesia Green Chronicle

Yansen – University of Bengkulu and James Cook University

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Earth and the ‘ecological’ credit card

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The Jakarta Post, June 18, 2011

We have witnessed several tragedies in banking sector in Indonesia lately. Irzen Octa, the holder of credit card issued by a multinational banking company, died while discussing his credit card bill with debt collectors. Separately, Malinda Dee, a former Citibank employee, allegedly embezzled from her customers.

At the same time, our society has also been suffering from massive ecological calamities. Flash floods resulting from deforestation have become a never-ending story. Ecosystem catastrophes as a result of poor mining practices are commonplace. People in Sidoarjo just marked five years of misery caused by the Lapindo mud tragedy. There are clear signs that the balance of our natural ecosystem is in peril. The latest caterpillar population boom is also part of that indication. These are signs of significant disruptions to the natural processes.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

June 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Indonesia and the great challenge of natural disasters

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The Jakarta Post, November 2, 2010

Indonesia has become a land of tragedy. Just after the flood tragedy in Wasior, West Papua, an earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra. While we were still shocked by those disasters, Mount Merapi erupted. Hundreds of people have been killed in the recent calamities. Natural disasters have become a great challenge for Indonesians.

There are two impacts of disasters: Economically and psychologically. In terms of Indonesia’s economy, natural catastrophes damage property and stop economic activity, which consequently result in significant financial loss for the people. Furthermore, the series of natural disasters create more burden on the national budget to finance post-disaster rehabilitation. On a macro scale, the increase of natural disasters in this country directly multiplies the number of people living in poverty.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

November 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

The vicious cycle of natural disasters

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The Jakarta Post, March 25, 2010   The Brunei Times, March 26, 2010

The seasonal curse has not stopped yet. The wet season causes months of suffering for many of our fellow citizens. Floods have inundated several places in West Java, Lampung and the Musi River delta in South Sumatra. Earlier this month, Kediri was also inundated with floods (The Jakarta Post, March 10). Landslides in Ciwidey and Cianjur add to the list of dark images of disasters in this country.

Indonesia is besieged by two kinds of disasters: natural and man-made. Unpredictable earthquakes, for example, haunt its people. The movements of tectonic plates along the Ring of Fire which engulfs this country force us to be ready at anytime. On the other hand, the failure to take care of the environment results in endless catastrophes that could be avoided.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

March 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Is it really possible to save our biodiversity?

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The Jakarta Post, 9 February 2010

By declaring 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, the United Nations has demonstrated its strong commitment to saving threatened biodiversity around the world. The fact that the most diverse ecosystem on Earth is the tropics should make us those who live in tropical countries more aware about threats to biodiversity.

Tropical forests contribute to large portions of nature’s rich diversity, just as coral reefs are a major component of marine biodiversity. The massive destruction of these species’ rich ecosystems will lead to a global species extinction crisis. The question is then could we really save our biodiversity? I am pessimistic.

An ecosystem is an integrated living system. The loss of one species does not only mean that we just lose that species, but also means it is a decline for the ecosystem. Since humans are part of nature’s system, the loss will also affect human survival. The lost biodiversity may have medical importance or act as a biological control.
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Written by yansenbengkulu

February 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Our ecologically illiterate presidential candidates

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the-jakarta-post1

The Jakarta Post, June 26, 2009

Concerns have been expressed regarding the presidential candidates’ lack of consideration of environmental topics. AnPresidential debate editorial in the June 22, The Jakarta Post lamented that in the first presidential debate, the candidates’ responses to environmental problems, in this case the Lapindo mudflow tragedy, were disappointing. Economic issues have dominated the campaign season. This is understandable, as economic matters play a very substantial role in people’s lives. However, without paying attention to ecological sustainability, the hope for long-term economic prosperity can only be a dream.

But is this only their fault? I would argue not. As professional politicians, the candidates are fully aware of political market behaviour. They understand their dependency on voters. Voters are their consumers, as well as “the king”, even though this special position is only recognized during the election time. Because those leaders fully realize what their constituents want, environmental issues are not a major concern. They know that we citizens and voters are ecologically illiterate. Environmental subjects are not “sexy” or marketable. As a result, the importance of the sustainability as a foundation for natural resource-based economics is not a significant issue.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

June 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Visi lingkungan dan peran pendidikan

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Indonesian version of the post “Our ecologically illiterate presidential candidates

Ada kerisauan yang besar tentang tak mencuatnya visi dan komitmen yang kuat para kandidat capres/cawapres saat ini terhadap isu lingkungan. Kerisauan ini perlu dijadikan bahan pemikiran. Selama masa kampanye, ekonomi tetap menjadi primadona. Tidak ada yang salah memang.  Ekonomi adalah tema pokok kehidupan berbangsa. Namun, tanpa visi kelestarian lingkungan, cita-cita kesejahteraan ekonomi hanyalah mimpi semu.

Namun, apakah ini sepenuhnya salah mereka? Sebagai pelaku politik profesional, para kandidat tersebut sangatlah menyadari sifat dasar pasar politik. Mereka pun sangat melek dengan posisi voters sebagai konsumer dan ‘raja’, walaupun dalam pasar politik Indonesia, keistimewaan ini hanya terjadi pada saat pemilu. Karena mereka menyadari keinginan para pemilih inilah, isu lingkungan tidak mengemuka. Para pemimpin tersebut tahu, rakyat negeri ini masih buta ekologis. Isu ini tak layak jual. Alhasil, tema keberlanjutan sistem lingkungan sebagai fondasi dasar keberlanjutan sistem ekonomi sumberdaya tak mencuat. Kalaupun ada, ia hanya menempati pinggiran lembaran-lembaran manifesto, poin tak penting kontrak politik atau catatan tambahan kampanye.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

June 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Pendidikan dan riset

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Harian Republika, 29 Oktober 2008

Comstech (Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation) baru-baru ini mengeluarkan Wise Index of Leading Scientists and Engineer. Ini adalah sebuah daftar yang memuat nama para ilmuwan dan akademisi terdepan di berbagai bidang dari negara-negara anggota Organisasi Konferensi Islam (OKI). Indeks ini didapatkan terutama dari citation index, yakni seberapa tinggi hasil penelitian ilmuwan yang bersangkutan dirujuk oleh peneliti-peneliti lain. Tentu saja, indeks ini meningkat dengan semakin banyaknya publikasi yang dilakukan oleh sang peneliti.

Indonesia menyumbang enam ilmuwan dalam daftar ini: Tiga di bidang Fisika, dua medis dan satu ilmu Kimia. Masuknya enam ilmuwan Indonesia dalam daftar ini sangat membanggakan, sekaligus juga menyedihkan. Ini seperti oase di tengah gurun. Dalam himpitan permasalahan dunia pendidikan yang seakan tak berujung, masih ada para akademisi negeri ini yang mampu menyodok papan atas ilmuwan dunia, setidaknya ilmuwan dari negara-negara anggota OKI. Namun, angka enam adalah angka yang menyedihkan. Kalau kita menegok ke Asia daratan, Bangladesh mampu memasukkan lebih banyak sarjana mereka dalam daftar itu. Tak perlu jauh-jauh, 27 orang akademisi Malaysia masuk dalam daftar ini. Apalagi jika dibandingkan dengan Pakistan yang menyumbang sangat banyak sarjananya.

Dari daftar urutan universitas yang baru saja dikeluarkan oleh Times Higher Education Magazine-QS (THE-QS), urutan universitas di Indonesia juga tidak mengesankan. Tiga universitas besar negeri ini, yakni UI, ITB dan UGM, hanya mampu bertengger di kisaran angka 300. Bandingkan dengan National University of Singapore yang bertengger di posisi 30. Atau, Chulalongkorn University di Thailand yang mampu menembus deretan 200 universitas dunia. Jika tiga universitas raksasa Indonesia saja begini, tentu sudah bisa diduga universitas menengah dan kecil lainnya di penjuru nusantara.

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Written by yansenbengkulu

October 28, 2008 at 6:35 am

Posted in Education, Indonesia