This post is dedicated to commemorate of Blog Action Day ’09

Few weeks ago, an earthquake took place in Padang, hundreds were perished perished under the debris, while hundreds more were missing due to landslides triggered by the quake. The area where they built their houses lost most of its forests, so basically there’s so few roots that keep the ground steady. One unfortunate event turn the place they called home into mass graveyard.

People are becoming more and more defenseless at the lashes of natural disasters, especially those who life in island nations. Are we ready to be displaced?

Reports said that climate change could trigger massive human displacement and threatened national stability.

It strikes me, haven’t we all took advantage of the earth? And since everybody’s doing it one way or the other, does it make it okay?

Seriously, the thought was sad.

Here are the realities of our Indonesia, the largest archipelago in the world.

Our own water world

We have some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world, yet we benefitour seas by poaching the fishes, use chemicals to make fishing easier, bombed and bleached our coral reefs.

Watching Nemo hundreds of times doesn’t mean that you’re well informed about the ocean and marine biodiversity.

Coral reefs are the lungs of the oceans. In Indonesia coral destructions are massive and this will eventually threaten our marine diversity.

Corals depend on other ocean creatures to stay alive. In many Indonesian waters unhealthy fishing practices caused irreversible damage and disruption to the ocean food chain.

Scissors beat paper, paper beat tigers

Indonesia is (again) listed on Guiness Book of Records  for the highest rate of forest devastation in the world, according to Greenpeace an area of rainforest about the size of Manhattan being cleared on a daily basis. And sadly, even if the government banned timbering altogether (forest moratorium), slowing down deforestation is nearly a mission impossible. Why? Because 90% of the ongoing deforestations are done illegally. See some compelling pictures on The Guardian by clicking here.  You might think, “there’s plenty where they came from”, well to think that is just dead wrong. The world is not getting any younger, and you can’t teach old dog new tricks.


An aerial photo by a French photographer Yann-Arthus Bertrand: Borneo land clearing for palm oil

When we were kids, some of us may know the game rock paper scissors. Well right now it’s rock beats scissors, while paper beats everything, including the endagered wild animals. At least that’s from the environment activists in Sumatra and Kalimantan, where many forests have been transformed, or going to be transformed into industrial forests that produce paper (yes, it includes toilet paper and pocket tissue, our forests go down to the loo so stop eating chilli too often), rubber, and palm oil.

According to Institute for the Studies on Free Flow Information (ISAI), Indonesia has lost 72% of its original forest. Terrible forest management and consession are to be blamed for all these losses.

So what can we do to make things better? You don’t have to do heroic things..

Try small, yet repetitive acts of humility that will go miles.

  • When you spend, spend wisely, don’t put your cents to forest destructors.
  • Choose budget airlines that concern about carbon footprints.
  • Take time to update yourself with what’s happening out there. Be proud of science breakthrough, new species discoveries, support greener technologies. Read, learn, knowledge is power.
  • Take your pushbike for a spin, if you happen to live in Jakarta where weekend is the only time to do it, then do it anyway.. Support Car Free Day, Bike to Work initiatives, use common transport  🙂
  • Last but not least, ask your leaders both in big league (Jakarta) or little leagues (provinces), questions their policies, ask them to sober up with their forest concession “giveaways”.

In my opinion, Indonesia as a country has bigger problem than poverty, economy – nature preservation. Let’s face it, the axis of our economy is nature.

Our esteemed leaders, your people are the best investment for the country’s future and the world’s.

Please stop fooling yourself by saying that you live in urban areas and far away from the “wild”.

Face it, in one way or many, people contribute to climate change and further devastation of this earth. So let’s start slowing down the destruction and allow the earth to grow back what it needs to remain our host. Because we are all guest on earth, let’s show some respect.


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