20140424 ‘Owa Jawa’ family returns to the wild
Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Environment | Tue, April 22 2014, 12:24 PM
Fifteen hundred meters up the slopes of Mount Puntang in Bandung, West Java, , a 15-year-old male owa jawa (Javan gibbon) leads his family into the wild after years of rehabilitation.
came out of the cage as soon as the door was opened from afar, leaping around from one tree to another checking the surroundings to ensure that it was safe enough for his family to follow his steps.
A few minutes later, Bombom, ’s partner, also came out of the cage, leaping around the trees nearby also surveying the local environment.
Their offspring, Yani a 4-year-old female and a year-old male, Yudi, were still playing in the cage, probably too afraid to play outside because of the dozens of people watching them from around 20 meters away.
Bombom made a sound, as if trying to tell the little ones that it was okay to play outside. Then Yani timidly stepped out, but Yudi remained in the cage.
It was not until all the observers had left the site and made a territorial call did Yudi finally come out.
Bombom (left) and her son Yudi.
The release of the gibbons was initiated by the Forestry Ministry, state-run forestry company Perhutani and the Javan Gibbon Center (JGC) to increase their population in the wild.
“Owa jawa cannot be released individually as it is feared they can’t survive without companions,” JGC manager Anton Ario said.
The family spent a month in the area before the release to adjust to the weather and their new surroundings. They stayed in a spacious cage so they could move freely and comfortably.
Unlike other animals that are released into the wild, owa jawa require as little human interaction as possible during the process in order to maintain their wild behavior.
Anton said that the team had chosen Mt. Puntang for the location of the release because it was part of the Malabar protected forest, which is home to 120 plant varieties favored by gibbons.
The owa jawa family is the first to be sent back into the wild. Last year, a pair of owa jawa, Kiki and Sadewa, was also released in Mt. Puntang. Now, they have traveled approximately 4 kilometers from the place they were first released.
and Bombom were brought to the JGC in Lido in Bogor, West Java, in 2008 after being confiscated by the West Java Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) from residents who kept them as pets.
“They were in a very bad shape — so skinny because they did not eat well. But what shocked us was when we found a bullet in Bombom’s stomach,” Anton said.
“That could mean she was shot during the capture.”
Owa jawa are subject to poaching because when young they are regarded as a cute pets. However, to separate a young gibbon from its mother, the poacher must first kill the mother.
In the center, they were taught to behave according to their nature. And to help increase the population, JGC also matched the gibbons during the rehabilitation.
“ and Bombom were attracted to each other very quickly, after only around two weeks. They got along very well soon after we put them side by side. They flirted just like a couple when we put them in the same cage,” Anton said.
Two years after the couple got together, Yani was born and was then followed by Yudi.
Anton said it was usually hard to match gibbons, whose average lifespan is 25 to 30 years, because they took quite a while to get along. But if they find their soul mate, they will be loyal to their partners for the rest of their lives.
“And they can only have one child in three years,” he added.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the owa jawa are categorized as an endangered species. It is also listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, as a species which may not be traded, including its body parts.
A survey by the Indonesia Primate Observers Association in 2010 showed the population of the gibbons stood at between 2,000 and 4,000 individuals in the wild.
They live mostly in forests in West and Central Java, such as in Ujung Kulon National Park, Mount Gede Pangrango, Mount Halimun Salak, Mount Slamet and Mount Dieng.
“They can move very quickly. But thanks to their morning calls, we can detect their whereabouts,” Anton said.
The monitoring will also be conducted by members of the military who are posted around the area.
“Through this opportunity, we will participate in protecting the owa jawa. I have also told my men not to damage the environment, and that includes protecting the owa jawa, during their training in the jungle,” Siliwangi Military Commander chief Maj. Gen. Dedi Kusnadi said.
— Photos courtesy of Javan Gibbon Center
20140214 Big catch
The Jakarta Post | Environment | Sat, February 22 2014, 12:26 PM
Big catch: A worker pushes a cart of sharks at the Muara Angke fish auction in North Jakarta on Friday. Sharks, often captured by fishermen in the Java Sea, are a high-value commodity but are endangered due to the high number of captures. Sharks are often captured only for their fins, while their carcasses are dumped back into the sea or processed into salted fish. (JP/PJ Leo)
Tens of Millions Indonesians Still Practice Open Defecation
TEMPO/Marifka Wahyu Hidayat
Monday, 14 April, 2014 | 05:22 WIB
Tens of Millions Indonesians Still Practice Open Defecation
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TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – At least 57 million Indonesians still practice open defecation with 40 millions of them living in rural areas, according to a World Bank report.
“Indonesia is facing a huge challenge in basic sanitation because half of those living in villages have no access to proper toilets,” said President of the the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, in an official statement, Saturday, April 12, 2014.
World Bank estimated that around 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to toilets.
The figure includes those who practice open defecation in the rivers and in open spaces.
The practice can potentially spread viruses and bacteria from feces to water, food and clothes. As a result, it can cause diarrhea, which is blamed for the death of thousands of children every day.
Almost 1.9 billion of the world population has had access to proper toilets since 1990s and this issue has become one of the main priorities of the Millennium Development Goals.
However, in its implementation, the target has not met the expected results.
World Bank said that it has given its supports to the government in terms of improvement of sanitary access through the clean water project.
20140424 Preserving and protecting the forests of Baduy
The Jakarta Post | Feature | Tue, April 22 2014, 12:49 PM
Careful step: Jasmapala members traverse the bamboo bridge in Gajebo village in Baduy Luar.
As the Earth is getting warmer, people are encouraged to actively take part in programs dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment because it is everyone’s responsibility.
Recently, Jasa Marga Pegiat Alam or Jasmapala nature’s club visited Cibeo village in Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), Banten, to help preserve the environment.
“Baduy people realize that their lives greatly rely on the environment, so they know that they have to preserve the environment. There are rules for everyone who come here that are part of their nature’s preservation efforts,” a Jasmapala member Chandra said.
During the visit, the group brought mahogany seeds to be planted. Its small leaves that form the canopy make mahogany tree (Swietenia mahagoni) an ideal tree to provide shade. Its fruits are also good for medicinal purposes.
The club actually visited the village during the restriction period that runs from February through May. The Baduy Tribe Council urges visitors not to visit three villages in Baduy Dalam — Cibeo, Cikartawana and Cikeusik — during the period.
“Thanks to our great connection with the people, we found no trouble when we came and stayed in people’s houses,” said Toto Purwanto, Jasmapala’s coordinator. “We always respect their culture and tradition every time we come here.”
Baduy tribe is among Banten natives. They live at the foot of Kendeng Mount in Kanekes village, Lebak regency in Banten.
Planting mahogany: Jasmapala members give mahogany seeds to Cibeo village residents of Baduy Dalam that takes place in Balimbing village in Baduy Luar. The group gives the mahogany seeds to every village in Baduy Luar that is passed over.
Harvesting: An old woman from Baduy Luar is out on the paddy field. Both people in Baduy Luar and Baduy Dalam plant the paddy using the rainwater harvesting system on the hills.
Daily chores: Young women of Baduy Luar carry groceries from the markets to their homes on their shoulders.
Keep it spinning: A girl of Baduy Luar spins the yarn. Besides spinning yarn, children of Baduy Luar are also good at weaving.
Greenery: The scenery from Cibeo village, Baduy Dalam.
Kanekes village is the final track for vehicles that take people who want to visit Baduy and transport people who live in Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy) outside the village.
Unlike people in Baduy Luar, those in Baduy Dalam are not allowed to travel using vehicles; instead, they must travel by foot.
Visiting Baduy is actually a trip to a remote and serene place that has no lights, no electronics and is free from sound pollution. The birds’ chirping, the sound of water flowing in the river, the wind blows are the kinds of sound we will hear in Baduy.
— Text and photos by P.J.Leo
Citarum river, The dirtiest river in the world
It was once a gently flowing river, where fishermen cast their nets, sea birds came to feed and natural beauty left visitors spellbound.
Villagers collected water for their simple homes and rice paddies thrived on its irrigation channels.
Today, the Citarum is a river in crisis, choked by the domestic waste of nine million people and thick with the cast-off from hundreds of factories.
So dense is the carpet of refuse that the tiny wooden fishing craft which float through it are the only clue to the presence of water.
Their occupants no longer try to fish. It is more profitable to forage for rubbish they can salvage and trade – plastic bottles, broken chair legs, rubber gloves – risking disease for one or two pounds a week if they are lucky.
On what was United Nations World Environment Day, the Citarum, near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, displayed the shocking abuse that mankind has subjected it to.
More than 500 factories, many of them producing textiles which require chemical treatment, line the banks of the 200-mile river, the largest waterway in West Java, spewing waste into the water.
On top of the chemicals go all the other kinds of human detritus from the factories and the people who work there.
There is no such luxury as a rubbish collection service here. Nor are there any modern toilet facilities. Everything goes into the river.
The filthy water is sucked into the rice paddies, while families risk their health by collecting it for drinking, cooking and washing.
Twenty years ago, this was a place of beauty, and the river still served its people well.
As one local man, Arifin, recalled: “Our wives did their washing there and our children swam.”
Its demise began with rapid industrialisation during the late 1980s. The mighty Citarum soon became a garbage bin for the factories.
And the doomsday effect will spread. It is one of two major rivers that feed Lake Saguling, where the French have built the largest power generator in West Java.
Experts predict that as the river chokes, its volume will decrease and the generator will not function properly.
The area will be plunged into darkness.
But at least the factories will be stilled and their waste will stop flowing.
And perhaps the river will begin to breathe again.