Indonesia’s new cabinet a ‘marriage of oligarchs,’ environmentalists say

first_imgConservation, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Forests, Governance, Mining, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Politics, Rainforests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_img Environmental activists have expressed disappointment with the new cabinet unveiled by President Joko Widodo for his second and final term in office.Among those staying on are the environment minister, widely criticized for failing to crack down on companies violating environmental laws, and the coordinating minister for maritime affairs, who has extensive business interests in the mining industry.The popular and effective fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, was replaced in favor of an aide to Widodo’s election rival, while the new energy minister has a record of championing fossil fuel and palm biodiesel projects.Activists warn that the new cabinet consolidates power in the hands of oligarchs, political elites, and military and police generals, making it likely that environmental protections will be unraveled and violations more common in the name of investment and growth. JAKARTA — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has announced his new cabinet for his second and final term in office, naming controversial figures with strong ties to the extractive industries.Introducing the new ministers as part of his “Indonesia Advance” cabinet in Jakarta on Oct. 23, Widodo said his focus would be on boosting investments, developing human resources and creating jobs. He also reminded the ministers not to engage in corruption. Two ministers from his first term were arrested and charged in separate corruption cases, while two others have been implicated in other cases. (None of them were retained in the new cabinet.)“Everybody must be serious in their work. Otherwise, be careful, I might fire you midway,” Widodo said.President Joko Widodo, front row center, poses for a group photo with his new cabinet at the State Palace in Jakarta on Oct. 23. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Cabinet posts pertaining to the environment saw a mix of old and new faces. Popular fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti wasn’t retained, spawning the trending hashtag #WeWantSusi on social media. Instead, Widodo introduced the following lineup:Coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment: Luhut Binsar PandjaitanLuhut retains the portfolio he has held over the past five years, which oversees the management of natural resources onshore and offshore, including mines and palm oil. This time he has an additional mandate of “dealing with investment barriers, and realizing huge investment commitments,” Widodo said.A former military general and close confidante and business partner to the president, Luhut also has significant business holdings active in the natural resources, power generation, and agriculture sectors, through his Toba Sejahtra Group. The NGO Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) earlier this year published a report showing that Luhut’s coal-mining companies expropriated land from farmers in Borneo, leaving behind dozens of mining pits that they were legally obliged to rehabilitate.For the next five years Luhut will run point for the administration’s push to expand domestic consumption of palm oil biofuel under the B20 program (a blend of 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent diesel).“The president gave me a directive to resolve investment problems for petrochemical, B20, and to reduce gas imports,” Luhut told reporters in Jakarta on Oct. 22.Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Minister of Environment and Forestry: Siti Nurbaya BakarSiti is one of several ministers to retain her post, though her brief this time around seems to be less about enforcing environmental regulations than about loosening them to allow for ease of investment in extractive sectors. She said the president wanted her to ensure the implementation of a bulk deregulation package of 74 laws covering three key areas: investment, location and land, and environmental issues.“The environment ministry must improve on two of those — helping and supporting investment without abandoning natural preservation,” she told reporters in Jakarta on Oct. 22.Widodo said Siti would also be responsible for matters related to green industries, social forestry, carbon trading, and forest fires. Siti also said the president had asked her to guarantee environmental protection in the new planned capital city, which will be built in Borneo’s East Kalimantan province, Indonesia’s coal and oil heartland.Environmentalists, however, are unimpressed by Siti’s performance over the past five years, particularly in stopping forest fires and restoring burned land and peat forests.Siti Nurbaya Bakar. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Minister of Land and Spatial Planning: Sofyan DjalilSofyan also retains his post in the new cabinet, where he’s responsible for ongoing land certification and redistribution — a hallmark pledge from Widodo’s first term. Under the program, the government is supposed to grant title deeds to more than 90,000 square kilometers (34,750 square miles) of land, with indigenous and forest communities among the targeted recipients, but it’s only achieved a fraction of that figure to date.Under Sofyan’s leadership, the ministry also continues to stonewall on releasing information about right-to-cultivate permits for plantation and farming businesses, known as HGU permits, even after the Supreme Court ordered it to comply with a freedom-of-information ruling. The HGU documents are vital because withholding them enables land-grabbing, with companies often laying claim to community lands without showing their concession maps.Sofyan has also held top positions in coal companies, such as PT Berau Coal and PT Berau Coal Energy.Sofyan Djalil. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources: Arifin TasrifArifin is a new face in the cabinet, replacing Ignasius Jonan. And while he told reporters his job would be to ensure the implementation of renewable energy and reduce oil and gas imports, his track record suggests otherwise. He most recently served as Indonesia’s ambassador to Japan, where he was instrumental in securing a deal between the two countries to develop the Arafuru Sea gas field, known as the Masela block. The agreement was 18 years in the making. Arifin was also a key part of former minister Jonan’s efforts to secure Japanese cooperation for Indonesia’s palm biofuel program.The $20 billion Masela project will be carried out by Japan’s Inpex Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell. In April, Luhut said he would meet a top Shell executive to discuss the development of the gas field, estimated to hold 18.47 trillion cubic feet of proved and probable gas reserves, or 3.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent. Indonesia’s current gas production stands at about 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.Before his 2017 appointment as ambassador, Arifin was chief executive at a slate of state-owned fertilizer companies, including PT Petrokimia Gresik and PT Pupuk Indonesia.Arifin Tasrif. Image courtesy of Embassy of Indonesia in Tokyo, Japan.Minister of Agriculture: Syahrul Yasin LimpoSyahrul is another newcomer to the cabinet, replacing Amran Sulaiman, the cousin of tycoon Andi Syamsudin Arsyad, popularly known as Haji Isam. The president said the minister would deal with food supplies, “incorporate farmers [into a collective],” and increase agriculture productivity.Syahrul was the first elected governor of South Sulawesi province, and served two terms, from 2009 to 2019. He’s a scion of the Yasin Limpo clan that has controlled top posts throughout the province, including as district heads and local legislative leaders. His sister, Dewie, was arrested on corruption charges by the anti-graft agency, the KPK, in the development of a micro-hydro power plant project.As governor, Syahrul pushed the Centre Point project in Makassar, the provincial capital, which was hailed at the time as “the first building complex in eastern Indonesia.” The project called for massive land-reclamation activities to create five artificial islands off the coast of Makassar. Local fishing communities have rejected — and attempted to physically blockade — dredging activities for the project, which they say will destroy their livelihoods. In January 2016, Syahrul was sued by the NGO Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) for issuing a permit in 2013 allowing the reclamation to commence despite the developers allegedly having failed to follow the correct procedures.Syahrul Yasin Limpo. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries: Edhy PrabowoFormer minister Susi Pudjiastuti was widely hailed at home and abroad for her tough, no-nonsense approach to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Indonesian waters, including banning (and blowing up) foreign fishing vessels and unsustainable fishing gear. But for his second term, Widodo has chosen to go with Edhy Prabowo, the longtime right-hand man to Prabowo Subianto — Widodo’s rival in the last two elections. (Prabowo himself scored a cabinet post as minister of defense, in a move that has flustered Widodo’s supporters but that the president says is part of efforts to rebuild political unity after a divisive campaign.)At the time he met Prabowo, Edhy had been dismissed from the military academy for disciplinary reasons. He later served on the board of Prabowo’s paper company, PT Kiani Lestari Jakarta. From 2014 to 2019, he served in parliament as a member of Prabowo’s Gerindra Party, chairing the committee overseeing agriculture and fisheries affairs.Edhy Prabowo, left, and Prabowo Subianto. Image courtesy of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Environmental activists in Indonesia have previously called for more stringent environmental laws amid the push for big investments under Widodo’s final term. But the makeup of his new cabinet, particularly the posts that pertain to the environment, has prompted concerns of further environmental destruction for the sake of economic growth.“It seems that there won’t be any new approach in making policies for tougher environmental protection,” Nur Hidayati, executive director of Walhi, told Mongabay by phone after the official cabinet announcement.She called on the environment minister to enforce tougher punishment against corporations found to be burning their concessions to clear land for planting — some of which are repeat offenders that have faced no serious consequences.Instead of pushing for investments in environmentally damaging extractive and plantation industries, Nur said there was a huge opportunity for investment in ecosystem restoration (such as burned peatlands or disused mining pits) and climate change mitigation projects that would benefit small and medium enterprises, as targeted by the president.“It’s the work of the ministers and everyone to influence the president to stop pushing for economic growth through business as usual,” Nur said, adding that the focus on big capital and monoculture had failed to boost growth in recent years, particularly for people in rural villages.The new cabinet has also raised red flags among environmental activists because of the mix of business and political oligarchs coupled with former military and police generals, said Merah Johansyah, the executive director of Jatam.He noted that other ministerial posts had been given to people involved in the energy industry, including Johnny G. Plate, who is now the minister of information and technology, and Airlangga Hartanto, the coordinating minister for economic affairs.Johnny is a close confidante of Riza Chalid, who was named part of Indonesia’s oil and gas “mafia”  and with whom Johnny founded an oil and gas company. Airlangga, meanwhile, has been implicated in a corruption case centered on the development of a coal-fired power plant in Sumatra’s Riau province. Airlangga also reportedly wrote a letter to the president in support of lobby groups that wanted an exemption from a peatland-development moratorium because they had already received a permit to plant on peat that was already drained.Merah also highlighted the appointment of Erick Thohir, a businessman and Widodo’s campaign chairman, as the minister of state-owned enterprises. Erick is the brother of Garibaldi Thohir, who founded Jakarta-listed PT Adaro Energy, which mines coal and indirectly owns a coal-fired power plant in Central Java’s Batang district.“The country will be open to any kinds of investment, particularly investment in the extractive industries,” Merah told Mongabay on the phone.He also questioned the appointment of former national police chief Tito Karnavian as the home affairs minister, saying there was a real danger of further repression of those critical or opposed to dirty and destructive investments.“A key element in attracting investment is security,” Merah said. “There will be a lot of criminalization of the people who resist investment. Tito could justify it by labeling someone as a radical.“The new cabinet is a marriage between oligarchs in politics, mining, military, and now the police,” Merah added.A protest banner on the Welcome Monument in Central Jakarta reads “Good People Choose Good Energy.” Image courtesy of Greenpeace Indonesia.The expansion of Luhut’s brief to include attracting foreign investment is a sign that Widodo is no longer focused on achieving his key pledge from his first term to make Indonesia a global maritime power, said Ahmad Marthin Hadiwinata, who heads the legal department at the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Union.Marthin added that the appointment of Edhy, a political appointee, to replace Susi, an entrepreneur with a proven track record in the fisheries industry, indicated that fisheries policies in the future would serve more political interests.“The livelihoods of traditional fishermen, which make up 80 percent of Indonesia’s fisheries, must be made the top priority,” he said.On the morning before Widodo revealed his new cabinet, commuters passing by two Jakarta landmarks were treated to the unusual sight of giant banners put up by activists from Greenpeace Indonesia. The posters read, in Indonesian, “Fight Against Forest Destroyers” and “Good People Choose Good Energy.”Arie Rompas, forest campaigner at Greenpeace, said the protest was a call for Widodo’s new cabinet to reform Indonesia’s forest and coal sectors. Arie said he was disappointed by the reappointment of Siti, who he said had failed at stopping deforestation and forest fires, and of Sofyan, who has consistently refused to publish palm plantation maps.“It will be very challenging to save the forests in Indonesia, which continue to be threatened,” Arie told Mongabay. “Land-based investment continues to be the agenda in the country for the next five years, and as the oligarchs are now consolidated, it will be very smooth to profit from destroying forests in Indonesia.”Walhi’s Nur praised the protest led by Greenpeace, even as the activists were arrested by police. She said it was a great reminder for the people that the nation faces threats to its democracy and environment from oligarchs and elites.“The only answer is the people’s movement,” she said.A protest sign on the Dirgantara Monument in South Jakarta reads “Fight Against Forest Destroyers.” Image courtesy of Greenpeace Indonesia.Image banner of an intact rainforest in Indonesian Borneo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Indonesian palm oil firm hit with $1.8m fine for 2015 fires

first_imgDeforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Law, Law Enforcement, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia’s environment ministry has won a long-awaited court judgment and $1.8 million fine from a palm oil company that experienced fires on its concession in 2015.The company, PT Kaswari Unggul, had challenged the initial administrative sanctions issued in the wake of the burning, and continued to stonewall against the ministry’s efforts to hold it responsible for the burning.Ironically, the company’s resistance to the sanctions, which would have compelled it to introduce fire-prevention measures on its land, may have contributed to fires flaring up on the same concession again this year.The ministry has welcomed the recent judgment, but has yet to collect on any of the combined $224 million it’s been awarded in similar cases, thanks to legal stonewalling and a Byzantine court bureaucracy. JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has fined an palm oil company $1.8 million for fires that occurred on its concession in 2015, capping a four-year ordeal by the government to bring the firm to justice.The South Jakarta District Court ruled on Dec. 10 that PT Kaswari Unggul, a subsidiary of Jakarta-listed Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, was responsible for the fires that burned 129 hectares (319 acres) of its land in Sumatra’s Jambi province in 2015, and ordered it to pay a fine of 25.5 billion rupiah.“We see the verdict as evidence that land and forest fires constitute an extraordinary crime,” said Rasio Ridho Sani, the head of law enforcement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which brought the case against the company.The ruling and fine mark the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the ministry and Kaswari. Shortly after the 2015 fires, the ministry imposed administrative sanctions on the company and several others. But Kaswari challenged the sanctions by reporting the ministry to various government agencies, including the national ombudsman and the office of the president, according to Jasmin Ragil Utomo, the ministry’s director of civil litigation.“Kaswari is a company that’s naughty,” Jasmin said. “Instead of carrying out the administrative sanction, they reported [us] everywhere.”The company’s resistance culminated with a complaint filed at the State Administrative Court in May 2017, seeking to nullify the administrative sanctions. Kaswari argued that it was the victim of the 2015 fires, which it said had started in an unlicensed forest area more than a mile from its plantation and had spread out of control.“There’s no reason whatsoever for PT Kaswari Unggul to burn its oil palm plantation that’s still very productive,” the company said in a statement in 2016. “In fact, PT Kaswari Unggul suffered a lot because of the fires that destroyed oil palm trees that were still very productive. There’s no economic benefit at all, such as insurance claim, because [the plantation] wasn’t insured.”The administrative court rejected the company’s complaint in October 2017.For flouting the administrative sanctions, the environment ministry proceeded to bring a civil lawsuit against the company, as well as a criminal complaint. The criminal case is currently being heard at court.“If they had just complied with the administrative sanctions [in 2015], they wouldn’t be facing these heavier [fines],” Jasmin said.Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Burning againThose initial sanctions, which called for, among other things, rehabilitation of the burned area and introduction of fire-prevention measures, could also have prevented a repeat of the disaster.Instead, the same concession experienced fires across 11.6 ha (29 acres) this year, prompting the environment ministry to seal off parts of the concession and put Kaswari on a list of repeat offenders.As it did with the earlier fires, Kaswari blamed this year’s burning on fires that spread from outside its concession. Sugeng Rahayu, the company’s head of agronomy, said the fires originated from the nearby Londerang protected peat forest, where WWF and the government’s Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have been working to restore degraded peat areas.The Londerang peat forest is surrounded by five oil palm plantations and two logging concessions.Rasio said all concession holders in Indonesia, including Kaswari, are liable for fires in their concessions, regardless of where the burning started. That same concept was adopted by the Jakarta court in its recent ruling against Kaswari.Rasio said the environment ministry would continue going after companies with fires on their land, regardless of how long ago the burning occurred.“We can trace trails and evidence of previous fires with the support of experts and technology,” he said. “Land and forest fires are a serious crime because they directly affect the public health, economy, ecosystem degradation over a long period of time.”The ministry has to date taken 17 companies to court over fires, winning judgments against nine of them with combined fines of 3.15 trillion rupiah ($224 million), Jasmin said. He added more lawsuits were planned in 2020 over this year’s fires, which were the worst since 2015.However, the government has yet to collect any of the fines, thanks to a combination of legal stonewalling by the companies and a Byzantine court bureaucracy that renders rulings practically unenforceable.last_img read more

New L.A. airports head gets orders

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The new director of Los Angeles airports met the press Thursday and talked about the “tremendous things” still to be accomplished at LAX and its satellite airports in the suburbs. And then Gina Marie Lindsey, a well-regarded and veteran airport executive, got a long list of goals from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some of his City Council colleagues. Renovate terminals. Build new gates. Get the Green Line’s tracks into LAX. Get more flights into Ontario and Palmdale. Keep the airports competitive. And, oh yes, keep the neighbors happy. Time and again during her brief introduction Thursday at LAX, Lindsey was reminded that the airports now under her watch are at a historic crossroads. LAX is struggling to maintain its title as a gateway to the world, while the smaller Southland airports are struggling just to get business. Alan Rothenberg, president of the airport commission, told Lindsey it was “a time of great opportunity, and great challenge.” Lindsey comes to the job with a record of transforming airports. She oversaw a $3 billion renovation and reconstruction project as the director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Before that, she established Anchorage International Airport as an international cargo hub as its director of aviation. She has worked for a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm in recent years, focusing in part on airport-related issues. Villaraigosa chose Lindsey over 70 other candidates for the city’s top airport job, citing her record as an “innovative industry leader.” He called her the perfect candidate to carry out a “big, bold vision” for the city’s airports. Lindsey moves into the executive offices of Los Angeles World Airports next month. She succeeds Lydia Kennard, who stepped down as the city’s director of airports earlier this year but has stayed on as a paid consultant. Several candidates who interviewed for the job questioned how much freedom they would have to run the airport department with Kennard still in the background. Lindsey’s appointment still must pass a review by the City Council, but that’s not expected to present a problem. The airport area council members who turned out for her introduction praised her experience and leadership. [email protected] (310) 543-6649last_img read more

Humboldt State men’s basketball loses fifth straight as Chico State sweeps season series

first_imgArcata >> A return home to Lumberjack Arena couldn’t cure all of the Humboldt State men’s basketball team’s ills of the past three weeks.That had a lot to do with what the opposition was doing from start to finish on Thursday night.Behind the red-hot shooting of junior guard Corey Silverstrom, Humboldt State’s No. 1 nemesis, No. 19-nationally ranked Chico State, rolled into Arcata and claimed a 100-83 win to extend the Jacks’ losing streak to a season-high five games and keep them winless in …last_img read more

NBC Sports Bay Area & California network has a new chief

first_imgNBC Sports Regional Networks today announced the hiring of Matt Murphy as senior vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Bay Area & California, effective Jan. 2.Murphy, a native of Connecticut, will be responsible for the network, its multi-platform content and the relationships it has, as rights holder, with the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, Oakland A’s, Sacramento Kings, and San Jose Sharks.The announcement was made by Bill Bridgen, President, Group Leader, NBC …last_img read more

Oscar stars as Team SA ends on a high

first_img9 September 2012 Natalie Du Toit was South Africa’s leading performer, as she had been in Athens and Beijing, winning three gold medals and one silver medal. Oscar Pistorius, with two gold and one silver, was next best for Team South Africa. “This has been the most phenomenally successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, and I think the world is finally seeing that Paralympic sport is truly elite.” Reliving the race, he said: “Seeing the Chinese guy next to me, I knew a normal dip wasn’t going to do it, so I thought I’d give it a dive. In the final, however, the Russian, improved by almost five seconds to take victory in a world record time of 1:04.02. Paul smashed the African record, touching the wall in 1:05.70 to take silver, and Furong Lin set an Asian record of 1:07.40 to win bronze. Fastest qualifierKevin Paul qualified fastest for the final of the 100 metres breaststroke in the SB9 class, over two-and-a-half seconds ahead of the next fastest qualifier, Pavel Poltavtsev, setting a personal best of 1:06.21 seconds. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Same timeBoth Van der Merwe and China’s Yongbin Liang were timed in a world record of 11.51 seconds, but Van der Merwe, with a desperate dive at the tape, was revealed by photos to have crossed the line fractionally ahead of the Chinese athlete. Van der Merwe had qualified fastest for the T37 100 metres final, the first event of the evening track programme, by equalling the world record in the heats with a time of 11.52 seconds. The final proved to be a real humdinger and if it had been any tighter, two men would have walked away with gold medals. The defending champion in the T12 200 metres, Hilton Langenhoven, finished fourth in the final in a time of 22.29. Poland’s Mateusz Michalski broke the world record to win in 21.56, Russia’s Fedor Trikolich set a personal best of 21.81 to finish second, and Yansong Li of China set a regional record of 22.04 to take third place. Medal tableThe two gold medals and three silver medals lifted Team South Africa to a final total of eight gold, 12 silver and nine bronze medals, for a total of 29 medals, one less than in Beijing in 2008. “I was very nervous for the final because it is my main event, but it was really something to run my personal best,” Liebenberg said afterwards. South Africa finished in 17th place on the medal table, and second among African countries behind Tunisia, which finished in 14th place with nine gold, five silver and four bronze medals, for a total of 18 medals in all. The Chinese captured 95 gold medals, 60 more than second placed Russia’s 35, as well as 71 silver and 65 bronze medals. Top medal winnersAustralian swimmer Jacqueline Freney was the leading medal winner, taking home an incredible eight gold medals. center_img “Going over the line I didn’t actually know if I had him or not, but seeing the replay I saw I’d won and I was just overwhelmed with joy.” Dyan Buis took his personal haul in London to two silver medals and one bronze medal by finishing second in the men’s 200 metres in the T38 class. Pistorius, though, the first disabled track athlete to compete in the Olympics, was the star of the show on the final evening. Team South Africa finished on a high as Oscar Pistorius stormed to victory in the men’s T43/44 400 metres in the last track event of the 2012 London Paralympic Games on Saturday. A Fanie van der Merwe gold in the T37 100 metres and three more silver medals added further shine to the team’s efforts. The gold medal count, however, fell from 21 to eight. The most obvious factor in this was undoubtedly a massive improvement in the standard of competition, which produced a tidal wave of world records throughout all sports. Personal best for silverWomen’s 200m T46 bronze medal winner, Anrune Liebenberg, moved up to a silver medal in the 400 metres. She clocked a personal best 56.65 seconds, but was beaten by Yunidis Castillo of Cuba, who won in a world record time of 55.72. ‘The most amazing feeling’“Usually I’m so focused and so in my zone, but I could hear the crowd and it was just the most amazing feeling that I could have possibly had. At the top, China, with 231, more than doubled the number of medals won by Britain, which was the next highest country in the medal count with 118. He set a regional record of 22.51 seconds, but Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon was a convincing winner of the gold medal in a world record time of 21.82. Union Sekailwe, who won bronze in the 400 metres, ran a personal best of 23.66 seconds to finish sixth. Looking back on his performances during the Games, Pistorius added: “I guess my 200, I was very surprised by losing my first race ever, but I’m very happy I set a world record in the 200 heats. I set a world record in the 4 by 100 and I set a Paralympic world record tonight, and I can’t be upset with that.” With just four marathon events remaining on Sunday, the Russians (35, 38, 28, 101) had claimed second place from Great Britain (33, 42, 43, 118) in a great tussle. Ukraine (32, 23, 28, 83) and Australia (31, 23, 29, 83) completed the top five finishers. He won by a massive distance, finishing almost three-and-a-half seconds ahead of Blake Keeper, who nonetheless ran an American record of 50.14. It couldn’t touch Pistorius’ Paralympic record of 46.68, however. Pistorius told reporters after his victory: “For one of the first times, I thought I could actually hear something coming into the home straight.last_img read more

SA extends new power plant deadline

first_img8 July 2013 South Africa’s new Medupi coal-fired power station, under construction in Limpopo province, is unlikely to deliver its first power to the country’s grid by the end of this year as planned, state power company Eskom confirmed on Monday. Medupi’s unit 6, the first of Medupi’s six 800 MW units, was due to deliver its first power to the grid by December 2013. A more realistic target for the first synchronisation of unit 6 to the grid is the second half of 2014, Eskom said. Medupi, one of the two large coal-fired stations that Eskom is building, is a 4 764 MW coal-fired power station located near Lephalale. It will the first South African power station to have “super-critical” technology, and one of the world’s largest dry cooled stations, so it will much more efficient than older coal-fired stations. The other station, Kusile, is located in Mpumalanga province and will have the same technology but with the addition of flue-gas desulphurisation – a first in South Africa. Flue-gas desulphurisation is a state-of-the art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur from the exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil.Labour unrest, contractor failures Medupi has battled with labour unrest as well as under-performance by key contractors, putting the timelines of the project, which began in 2005, in question. Eskom has been engaging with contractors Hitachi and Alstom to resolve critical technical issues regarding the welding on the station’s boilers and the control and instrumentation systems for its units. Inadequate post-weld heat treatment had meant that multiple welds needed to be retested and fixed, while welds made using unqualified procedures needed replacement. Eskom said on Monday that effective interventions had been put in place to address these issues while the progress of the repairs was being closely monitored. “Some progress has also been made in resolving the control and instrumentation issue. However, there has been continued under-performance on the control and instrumentation contract, despite active interventions by Eskom over the past year, and it is now clear that the issues on the control and instrumentation for unit 6 will take time to resolve.”Interventions to support revised target The revised 2014 target is based on in-depth independent and internal assessments of the project which Eskom has undertaken. “The revised schedule is based on certain assumptions and depends on the success of interventions to ensure [that] critical timelines on the boiler and control and instrumentation contracts are met in the next few months, as well as the stability of the labour force,” Eskom said. Eskom’s board is closely monitoring the project, while senior executives are on site on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Eskom project team has been strengthened with specialist support. A bi-monthly meeting has been set up between Eskom executives and the chief executives of all the major contractors, including a site walk, in order to resolve all the issues hampering progress. Significant progress has been made to restore effective labour relations on site since March. In June, Eskom, the contractors and labour signed an innovative new “partnering agreement” which should bring stability. “We have done everything in our power to meet the December target date,” Eskom CEO Brian Dames said in Monday’s statement. “However, it is now clear that the boiler and control and instrumentation issues cannot be resolved in time for the first unit of Medupi to deliver first power to the grid by 2013. “We are communicating this pro-actively, in line with our commitment to keep South Africa informed on the progress of the build projects.” Ensuring security of supply The company is working to ensure South Africa’s security of supply despite the delay, with a revised outlook indicating that there could be a potential gap in supply in 2014 – the most likely scenario being a gap in the region of 700 MW. “The power system will remain tight … and we are working to put initiatives in place to close the gap,” Dames said. “We remain determined to keep the lights on, with the help of all South Africans. This is being done with support from government.” Once unit 6 is online, the remaining five units of Medupi will be brought online at intervals, so that the entire power station should be fully commissioned by 2017. Meanwhile, the cost to complete Medupi has increased to a maximum of R105-billion (excluding interest during construction, transmission costs and claims against contractors), from the previous estimate of R91.2-billion. The increase would be funded from existing capex allocations and would not affect electricity tariffs, the company said, adding that the cost remained within international benchmarks. “We expect to get more than 3 800 MW of new capacity online by 2015, from Medupi, Kusile, Ingula and our Sere wind farm,” Eskom finance director Paul O’Flaherty said. “We have had the programmes and the costs independently reviewed. “We are working very hard indeed to make sure that we deliver, and we have the commitment of the major contractors to achieve our goals.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Djokovic becomes father of baby girl

first_imgSerbian tennis player Novak Djokovic smiles as he delivers a press conference in Belgrade on July 26, 2017. FILE PHOTOTwelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena have become parents of a baby girl, local media reported on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Jelena gave birth on Saturday evening and their second child will be named Tara, Blic newspaper reported on its online edition.The couple have a two-year-old son Stefan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe 30-year-old Djokovic announced in July he would miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.The Serb retired from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych in July because of the problem, from which is suffering for a year-and-a-half. McKines wishes players well, hopes SMB wins Grand Slam Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES MOST READ Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Between mid-January 2015 and June 2016, Djokovic won 17 of his 22 finals played in 24 tournaments. It seemed nothing could interrupt his dominance of world tennis.But for months the Serbian national hero — now fourth in the world rankings — has been a shadow of his former self.Since winning the French Open last year to complete the career Grand Slam, he has failed to claim another major title.He crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round and the French Open in the last eight.Djokovic said in July he would need a couple of months without the racket but that surgery was “not an option”.ADVERTISEMENT With Andre Agassi continuing as his coach while he recovers, Djokovic now intends to be ready to start the new season at the beginning of 2018.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidelast_img read more

Synching your online & offline marketing

first_imgHere is today’s fundraising and marketing tip from Network for Good! You can sign up to receive them via email here.Online fundraising only makes up a portion of your overall marketing plan. It’s not a stand-alone initiative–it’s an integrated part of your communications strategy. Not only is your strategy multi-faceted, but your donors are too! Below, check out our tips for integrating your offline and online tactics to best reach your donors across all channels in your online plan: Offline Mailing Tips: •Ask your donors their preference. No, we’re not talking about pizza toppings or movie genres. Reach out to your donors and find out what communications and donation options they prefer. You may think the majority of your folks are strictly offline (or exclusively online). Don’t assume! Get to know them! •Send a cultivation mailer to your lapsed donors inviting them to visit your website. Direct them to a special page on your site that makes an appeal for why they should make another gift. Learn how to make this landing page compelling. •Use email to boost direct mail response. Remember: Your donors hang out in multiple channels, and you want to give them options. You can email your subscribers telling them to watch the mail, or wait for the call. You can also try following up a special appeal with an email, saying, “We hope you read our recent letter, just click here to make your donation online today. It’s convenient and saves us money.” The first renewal effort might be conducted by email, followed by the usual multi-letter series, and eventually a phone call. •Develop a program to gradually gather the e-mail addresses of direct-mail donors who want to add email to their communications with you. Test asks in the direct mail (P.S., buckslip, reply device, etc.) and track response to find the most effective and least expensive ways to gather e-mail addresses without depressing gift response. •Follow up with email. Email is the fastest and cheapest way to let your donors know what happened after they donated. If your donation appeal made the situation seem urgent, your donors will be left scratching their heads if they don’t hear anything else from you about it. •Create complementary content. Entice donors reading your printed communications to visit your website for “exclusive” content. Not sure what to offer? Maybe you have educational tips (“Download 10 tips for managing your diabetes!”) or other downloads of content people can’t get from a postcard or letter. Tips for Other Channels to Consider: •Events. Having a fundraising walk? Hosting an educational program? Create an email list sign-up sheet to capture in-person email opt-ins. •Marketing collateral. Craft your call to action on your brochures and handouts–and let that action have an online option! If you’re requesting donations, give potential donors the address/directions to donate online if they so choose. Remember: Include your website on everything you print/produce. •Business cards. In a previous article we advised building your email list in a variety of ways, including email opt-in information in your email signature. Next time you order business cards, why not include a small call to action? (Ex: Donate online at… Or, Visit our website to learn more…) •Phone calls. Did you just collect a donation over the phone? Does a donor want some follow up? Try this: After you finish a telemarketing call, tell the donor, “We’d like to send you a receipt to acknowledge your gift. The most efficient way is via e-mail – that way we don’t have to waste paper and postage.” (Thanks to the great Madeline Stanionis for this tip!)last_img read more

The benefit exchange: Make it value-able!

first_imgWe can’t easily change what our audiences believe, but by plugging into their existing mind-set we unleash great power behind our benefit exchangen — and our message.The values of our audience may have nothing to do with our cause, but we can still use them. Consider the messages we see every day and the values they represent. Ads for women’s running shoes are all about strength and empowerment. They practically scream, “I am woman!” Pharmaceutical ads during the nightly news show how certain drugs help seniors attain what they want: a happy and independent life. During a televised basketball game, an ad for men’s deodorant shows a woman ripping a man’s clothes off in an elevator. No need for interpretation there. Each of these ads reflects a value the target users of the products care about, think about, and deeply desire. And each is fairly far removed from the product in question. Is self-actualization related to running shoes? Does arthritis medication buy happiness? Are deodorants the first thing that comes to mind when you think about sexual desire? Probably not, but the associations work because the values in question are close to each audience’s heart.A famous, frequently cited example of the value-based principle at work in social advertising is the successful Don’t Mess with Texas campaign. The phrase has become so famous that many people outside Texas don’t even realize that this is not a state slogan but rather a long-running marketing effort to get people to stop littering. The young Texan men who were the target of the campaign didn’t care about littering, but they did care about their macho image, and no one doubted the fierce pride they had for their home state. By tapping into these powerful feelings with the Don’t Mess with Texas concept, which didn’t have a thing to do with trash, the ad agency that created the campaign (GSD&M) drastically reduced roadside litter.Remember: Make your message about what your audience’s values, not your own, if you want people to listen.last_img read more