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DRY SPELLS SPREAD TO WIDER INDONESIA AREAS, AFFECT FARMING

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The extreme dry season has impacted 102,746 hectares (ha) of agricultural area and ruined 9,358 ha.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Earlier this year, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reminded the regional authorities to step up their vigilance over possible forest fires and droughts as this year’s dry season was forecast to be drier than that of the previous year.

The extreme dry season has affected several areas since May and is expected to last until September, with the condition likely to peak in August. In the beginning, dry spells were reported mostly on Java Island. Currently, drought has cast a pall over 100 districts and cities in the Aceh, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provinces, the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry’s data stated.

“Most parts of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara have not received rains for over 30 days. Drought has affected some 100 districts and cities,” Sarwo Edhy, director general for agriculture infrastructure and facilities at the Agriculture Ministry, revealed on July 8, 2019, following a coordinating meeting to discuss mitigation efforts.

The extreme dry season has impacted 102,746 hectares (ha) of agricultural area and ruined 9,358 ha. East Java is the worst hit, with 34,006 ha of rice fields having dried up, and 5,069 hectares spoilt; followed by 32,809 ha in Central Java going bone dry and 1,893 ha spoilt; and 25,416 hectares going dry and 624 hectares ruined in West Java. Yogyakarta has been ailing from the impact of the drought, with 6,139 ha going dry and 1,757 ha spoilt; 3,464 ha in Banten; 857 ha in NTB; and 55 ha in NTT, with 15 ha ruined.

Sumardjo Gatot Irianto, the ministry’s director general for crops, affirmed that the ministry will accrue data on farmers covered under insurance, and the government will distribute seeds to farmers not having insurance cover.

He stressed the need to build more water pumps and wells; restore the irrigation system; and optimize the utilization of water from nearby rivers, lakes, and dams to cope with the impact of droughts. The agriculture ministry will also intensify the planting of crops on dry land. During such a dry season, it is time to plant in productive swamp areas, he suggested.

The capital city, Jakarta, has also been advised to be prepared for droughts. Rawa Badak and Rorotan in North Jakarta have gone for 30-61 days without rains.

In fact, in May and June 2019, some areas had experienced a shortage of water, according to the Head of Climate Information Analysis of BMKG, Adi Ripaldi, in Jakarta, on July 4. The people of Jakarta have been urged to use water wisely for every need, including irrigation and watering their plants.

In Karawang, West Java, nearly 23 thousand residents in 14 villages have been running short of clean water due to this year’s drought.

To address this scarcity, the regional government-owned drinking water company, Tirta Tarum, has filled water tankers to distribute clean water to the villages. Similarly, the local environment and sanitation office will build water reservoirs to anticipate droughts in the Tegalwaru sub-district.

Meanwhile, the Kupang Climatology Station has hinted at the possibility of six out of 22 regions in East Nusa Tenggara Province potentially reeling from a drought this year.

Head of the Kupang Climatology Station, Apolinaris Geru, remarked that the six regions were the districts of Sikka, Lembata, Sumba Timur, Rote Ndao, and Belu, as well as the Kupang municipality.

In general, East Nusa Tenggara fell in the category of medium (11-20 days) to very long (31-60 days) for the number of days without rain, he explained. However, the six regions in East Nusa Tenggara fall in the extreme category (>60 days) for the number of days without rain, he pointed out. Hence, he affirmed that the regions had the potential to experience meteorological droughts this year.

“Last year, precipitation during the dry season was less than 20 millimeters a month, and this year, it can go lower,” Adi Ripalsi, head of the agency’s climate information analysis sub-unit, noted recently.

This year’s drought also affected 3,150 families in 12 villages in Central Java’s Banyumas District.

In addition, a total of 17 villages in seven sub-districts in Cilacap, Central Java, have been reeling under the impact of droughts since June.

“Droughts affected a total of 21,660 residents, grouped in 7,123 families, in the 17 villages,” Tri Komara Sidhy, head of the Cilacap disaster mitigation office, stated.

The Cilacap district administration has allocated 110 tankers of clean water this year, which are far from adequate, as 65 villages in 15 sub-districts in Cilacap are prone to droughts, Sidhy noted. (ant)

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MINISTER WANTS MUSEUMS DEVELOPED AS SYMBOLS OF CIVILIZATION

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Education and Culture, Minister Muhadjir Efendy.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Efendy has appealed to Indonesia’s regional governments to seriously manage museums as a symbol of civilization and a means for the younger generations to study the journey of this nation.

“I am thankful to the Jakarta provincial government for its serious efforts to manage museums professionally so they can attract foreign and domestic tourists. The success sets an example for other provinces,” he said during the peak commemoration of Museum Day 2019 in Jakarta Saturday (12/10/2019). The government is serious about caring and maintaining museums because they are symbols of civilization, he said.

The government has set aside Rp129 billion in a special allocation fund (DAK) to care for museums. Besides, it also has formed Rp1 trillion worth of cultural endowment funds, he said.

As a symbol of civilization, museums must be maintained. If a nation aims to become an advanced country it must have well-maintained and advanced museums, he said.

The public must also frequent these museums because they keep historical messages that all sides, particularly younger generations, need to know.

“The messages of civilization found in the museums must be introduced and socialized to younger generations or our students so they will be proud of (achievements) and will become more aware of themselves,” he said. (ptv)

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MINISTER HIGHLIGHTS EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS TRIGGERED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

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Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Quoting the results of scientists’ study, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar drew attention to the current extreme temperature being one of the upshots of climate change.

“The extreme temperature is ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation), both in the form of La Nina and El Nino,” she remarked while opening a climate festival at the Manggala Wanabakti Building in Jakarta on Wednesday (2/10/2019).

The climate change may raise the frequency of La Nina and El Nino weather phenomena. Usually, the weather phenomena is a five- to seven-year cycle though currently cut short to three to five years, she pointed out.

La Nina has triggered flooding due to high-intensity rainfall, while El Nino has caused extreme drought owing to low rainfall, she stated.

Not only Indonesia but also the rest of the world has borne witness to natural disasters induced by the extreme climate. The current land and forest fires in Indonesia also contributed to climate change, she remarked.

“Forest fire is one of the examples. However, as compared to two weeks back, the condition is far better now,” she stated.

By and large, land and forest fires engulfing various parts of the country had resulted in several floral and animal species being wiped off the face of earth. Land and forest fires had inevitably raised greenhouse gas emissions, thereby raising global temperatures, she noted.

Indonesia, as one of the parties to the Paris Agreement, remains resolute in its efforts to tackling climate change.

“This reminds us of the need to strengthen the effort to control climate change,” she stated. EDITED BY INE (mzf)

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INDONESIA TAKES ROLE IN EFFORTS TO SAVE THE EARTH : KALLA

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Vice President, Jusuf Kalla.

Greatindonesia.co.di, Jakarta – Indonesia plays an important role in saving the earth by contributing to carbon absorption and maintaining the rate of global warming, Vice President Jusuf Kalla noted.

His statement was made during a business forum organized by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry-USA Committee (KADIN’s KIKAS) at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York on Wednesday (Sept 25).

“Indonesia has an important role in saving the earth and the future of life, so Indonesia should not be blamed and discriminated against as a country that does not pay attention to the environment during its development,” Kalla said in a statement on Thursday (26/9/2019).

With a potential natural wealth of 120 million hectares of tropical forests, mangrove forests and peatlands, Indonesia has a strategic position as a country that leads the way in efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Also in New York, Vice President Kalla witnessed the signing of the collaboration between Indonesian and US businessmen, the SMPP Consortium with PT Ekuator Wana Lestari and PT Aceh Nusa Indrapuri.

The cooperation between private entrepreneurs is being carried out to meet the target of Indonesia’s national determined contribution in reducing carbon emissions. Synergy between the private sector and the government is an important element in supporting the global warming control program.

Fast action by the private sector can be a counterbalance to the bureaucratic and regulatory systems on the part of the government in charge of the restoration and conservation of forests, mangroves and peat.

Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Mahendra Siregar said he expects the Indonesian private sector to work closely with international carbon verification agencies in providing credible and verified data, which is internationally recognized.

With the signing, the Indonesian private sector has taken the initiative to implement a peat and mangrove forest restoration program to contribute to the agreement of world leaders in reducing global warming. (fra)

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