Yesterday, I woke up and stepped out of my 19th-floor apartment, on the way to church. Passing the light well, its orientation one that scoops in sea breezes, the first thing I smelled was that familiar odour of distant fires. I realise now that it was probably blowing in from Sumatra's Jambi Province, Desa Rimau … Continue reading Jambi Province Sumatra where 90% of fires are deliberately lite
My interest in the rights of Indigenous people dates back many years. As an Australian, of European descent, I acknowledge the prior ownership and customary land rights of Australia's Indigenous nations. This is an interest that I've revealed elsewhere on this blog and one that was well expressed by our former Prime Minister, Paul Keating. … Continue reading Encountering the #Indigenous people of #Riau proved cause for wider reflection
Fred Pearce writing in his book The Landgrabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns The Earth makes the point that "Until the late 1980s Riau was 80 percent jungle. Today the figure is just 30 percent. I've never met Fred but I have met the people of Sungai Tohor who face the consequences of a systematic destruction of peatland … Continue reading Competition for land in Riau Province: Pressure from Oil Palm and Wood Pulp Corporations
In 2015 I was forced to leave Singapore when the smoke haze, mainly from fires burning on Sumatran peatlands, became so heavy it was unhealthy for me to remain. My exit was easy but the people in Sumatra and Kalimantan, particularly Central Kalimantan, were not so fortunate. All of those in affected areas were living in far … Continue reading Tackling the smoke #haze problem with alternative sustainable #peatland production
Harvard and Columbia University researchers have used air pollution readings to calculate exposure to the toxic smoke haze that drifted across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, last year. Their research suggests 100,000 premature deaths in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, arising from this event.
In China the Mekong River is called the Lancang River. For some years I've been concerned about dam construction on the upper part of the Mekong that flows through China. International Rivers advises that Seven megadams have already been built, and over 20 more are under construction or being planned in Yunnan, Tibet and Qinghai. … Continue reading #ElNino’s impact in #Asia looms as one of the most serious and is exacerbated by dams
Recently I became aware of a website Idenesia Arsip Positif or Idenesia Positive Archive. The title is a clever and typically Indonesian play on words. The word for idea in Indonesia being ' ide. So this is an archive of positive ideas from Indonesia. It's an initiative aimed at gathering and promoting short films and documentaries … Continue reading Idenesia Arsip Positif a new #Indonesian Website
This past week I attended the premier of Pria Viswalingam's latest documentary Decadence: Decline of the Western World. I wasn't disappointed. Although I'm broadly familiar with Pria's basic thesis on the decline of the western world and share most of his views, I was still surprised by this extraordinary treatment. Pria explores and lays bare … Continue reading Decadence: Decline of the Western World
So the problem continues. When I visited Kingscliff near the border of NSW and Queensland, in April this year, I was both intrigued and dismayed at the small disaster in coastal management that was so evident. There was a road to nowhere, in the waterfront park come parking area. Beyond the green mesh barrier was … Continue reading Continuing mismanagement of #Australia’s #coastal zone: Is there any plan for future sea level rise?
Several days ago I was impressed by the sheer magnitude of the Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. It could certainly be described as a small town given it's extent and it's complexity of functions and services. The base line is that there's a vast number and variety of shops with a mind-boggling volume of goods. An … Continue reading #Smoking rates in #Indonesia increasing: advertising largely unrestricted.