Rice-Fish Farming: Sleman Farmers Kill Two Birds With One Stone Reply

Jakarta Globe Monday January 23, 2017

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JAKARTA, Indonesia:  Farmers in Sleman, a district of Yogyakarta, has been using a method called “rice-fish farming” to boost their income and promote a more ecosystem-friendly approach to rice farming by avoiding the use of pesticides.

Rice-fish farming, a method of planting rice and breeding fish at the same time, was introduced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in close collaboration with the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry in late 2015 in Sleman, Yogyakarta, and Limapuluh Kota, another district in West Sumatra. More…

Indonesia President Jokowi Wants 400,000 hectares Peatlands Restored Reply

TEMPO.CO Wednesday January 11, 2017

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ANTARA/Rony Muharrman

JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is targeting to restore 400,000 hectares of peatland this year. By 2020, Widodo wants 2 million hectares of peatlands restored.

“The government is committed to restoring peat lands in seven provinces: Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Papua,” Jokowi said when opening a closed cabinet meeting on peatland restoration on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. More…

Conserving Protected Indigenous Karen Landscape in Myanmar Reply

By Mizzima Tuesday January 10, 2017

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Photo: Karen Environmental and Social Action Network

The Salween Peace Park, an indigenous Karen landscape conservation initiative dedicated to the conservation of bio-cultural and ecological diversity in one of Southeast Asia’s last greatest natural landscapes, has made a major step toward reality, KESAN said in a statement on 9 January. Following a public referendum, a draft charter for the Salween Peace Park, memorializing the inalienable right to self-determination, and local governance of indigenous Karen over their ancestral land, was completed and received wide support. More…

Indonesia’s BMKG Predicts More Fire Hotspots in 2017 Despite “Neutral” Weather Conditions Reply

Jakarta Globe Friday January 6, 2017

Kepulan asap membumbung di areal hutan dan lahan yang terbakar di Desa Medang Kampai, Dumai, Riau, Senin (9/8). Pemerintah Provinsi Riau melalui Satgas Karhutla terus melakukan operasi pemadaman kebakaran hutan dan lahan melalui udara dan darat agar dapat meminimalisir 'hot spot' yang ada di Riau. ANTARA FOTO/Rony Muharrman/foc/16.

Jakarta. Indonesia may experience more fire hotspots this year than last year despite predicted “neutral” weather conditions, its state weather agency said.

Indonesia experienced its worst land and forest fires on record in 2015 amid a strong El Niño weather pattern, whereas wildfires in 2016 were less severe due to the La Niña. More…

Dozens Myanmar in Myitkyina Township Protest Myitsone Dam Meeting Reply

By MOE MYINT / THE IRRAWADDY| Saturday, June 4, 2016

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Protesters against the Chinese-funded Myitsone dam in front of the Palm Spring Resort, Myitkyina Township, Kachin State. (Photo: Moe Myint / The Irrawaddy)

MYITKYINA, Kachin State , Myanmar – Some 40 residents of Kachin State’s Myitkyina Township staged a protest on Saturday against a meeting between Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang, Chinese investor China Power Investment (CPI) and president of the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP) Tu Ja over attempts to renegotiate the Chinese-funded Myitsone dam.

The protest took place between 8 and 9am in front of the Palm Spring Resort in Myitkyina. According to Zaw Naing, a participant, ralliers based their decision to protest on information they received prior to the meeting that CPI representatives would arrive at the hotel in the morning and would afterward meet with the KSDP to discuss the dam project.

Wearing headbands that read “No Dam” and carrying banners that said “Stop killing the Irrawaddy” and “CPI, get out of Kachin State,” protesters stressed their dissatisfaction with attempts to renegotiate and demanded that plans for the project be completely withdrawn.

Zaw Naing speculated that Myitkyina residents would probably accept small hydropower plants along the Irrawaddy River, but that CPI’s project calls for very large plants to support a dam located along a fault line, which could create even larger problems in the event of a natural disaster. Geologists are also allegedly wary of the project, voicing criticism that it is likely to do good neither for environmental conservation nor for local villagers.

Tu Ja told The Irrawaddy after the meeting: “I urged them to do what residents wish. If they want to build the dam, they should do so elsewhere. But CPI said they will stick to the contract and that if Burma wants to terminate the project, it will have to pay a large amount of money as compensation.”

Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) general secretary Tsa Ji accused CPI of persistently trying to convince “uneducated” villagers to come around to the project by offering them food, accessories and other sorts of commodities.

According to local reports, Kachin State chief ministers said that they will listen to people’s demands and stand together with the will of Burma’s citizens, while adding that the decision is ultimately up to the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.

Tsa Ji emphasized that the previous government suspended the controversial project and that the country’s new, people-elected government should do the same, saying that this would be an opportune time to “unveil detailed information about the [project’s] contract.”

The Myitsone dam project is jointly run by Burma and China. Construction began in 2009 but was suspended in September 2011 due to intense pressure from the public.

Saturday’s protest was disbanded by police. No violence was reported.

From THE IRRAWADDY,Myanmar

http://www.irrawaddy.com/burma/dozens-myitkyina-township-protest-myitsone-dam-meeting.html

Myanmar forestry officials call for end to corruption Reply

By Mai Sara Htwe Mizzima Tuesday 17 May 2016

CAM Forestry-department-staff

Forestry department staff will submit an 8-point demand calling for the control and eradication of corruption.

The natural resources and environment conservation department director general Nyi Nyi Kyaw speaking at a forest resources sustainability workshop held on May 15 said that the demand would be discussed with union ministers and would be presented to parliament.

This 8-point demand calls for better pay and allowances to public servants, action against both sides in relation to corruption i.e. takers and givers, establishing an effective complaints system, issuing department policy and procedures for public awareness, relaxing and decentralizing procedures, and having an independent monitoring team to control and eradicate corruption in the department.

One former forestry official said that most corrupt officials in the forestry department were high ranking officials and they took large amount of bribes in relation to forest products extraction and sale. Lower ranking officials were only involved in small scale corruption such as collecting protection money from smugglers.

Director General Nyi Nyi Kyaw said that government staff should have good morals as the first phase in controlling corruption in the department.

– See more at: http://mizzima.com/news-domestic/forestry-officials-call-end-corruption#sthash.jEwgfnfa.dpuf

 

Indonesia to Establish First EU Licensing Scheme for Legal Timber Exports Reply

FROM JAKARTA GLOBE, INDONESIA

Jakarta Globe Friday April 22, 2016

JAKARTA –  Indonesia will be the first country to implement a timber licensing scheme for exports to European Union, as part of the country effort to reduce illegal logging and promote trade to the economic bloc.

The country has been negotiating the Indonesia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU for over a decade. The agreement is aimed at promoting trade in legally produced timber between the two parties and to improve forest governance and law enforcement. More…

Myanmar Environmental Network Demands Incoming Govt End Salween Dam Projects Reply

By YEN SNAING / THE IRRAWADDY| Monday, February 22, 2016 |

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A stretch of the Salween River in Karenni State. (Photo: Alex Ellgee / The Irrawaddy)

YANGON — Save the Salween Network (SSN), a group of nine river protection and ethnic civil society groups, released a statement on Monday calling on the incoming government to halt all projects on the Salween River, which extends through China, Myanmar and Thailand.

“In accordance with the new government’s promise to guarantee ethnic rights and set up a federal democratic system, the Save the Salween Network urges the new government to stop all plans to build dams on the Salween River, as they will have disastrous impacts on the lives of countless ethnic communities in Myanmar,” the statement read.

“This is not only going to create misunderstanding between ethnic peoples and the new government, but will also have impacts on ethnic armed groups and the current peace process.”

Saw Tha Phoe of Karen River Watch, a network member, said that the SSN is worried about news of an agreement between the Chinese and Burmese governments on Feb. 2 to build 18 new dams along Myanmar’s rivers, though details of the agreement were not publicized.

“The government did not officially release any details about the 18 dams. We just know that there are plans to build dams along the Salween River,” Saw Tha Phoe told The Irrawaddy.

“We want to know why this is being so hurriedly done when the government’s term is ending. When the NLD [National League for Democracy] government takes power, they will have to take care of what the previous government did.”

According to Saw Tha Phoe, six hydropower dams are already underway on the Salween River: Kunlong, Mann Taung, Mong Ton (Tasang) and Naung Pa in Shan State, Ywathit in Karenni State, and Hatgyi in Karen State.

The Myanmar Rivers Network has said previously that these dam projects, which have a combined capacity of 15,000 megawatts and which are funded by Chinese, Burmese and Thai investors, pose a threat to the future of locals and to the Salween basin’s rich biodiversity.

“The Mong Ton dam, planned on the Salween River in Shan State, will be the largest hydropower project in Southeast Asia, and will threaten the lives, homes and property of countless communities in Shan, Karenni, Karen and Mon states,” the network said.

“According to research along the Salween by earthquake experts, the building of dams will have seismically disruptive impacts on major fault lines, and should definitely not go ahead,” the network added.

The current Salween dam projects, the network said, are also violating the human rights and indigenous rights of local people.

“The Salween dam projects are fuelling tension and conflict between different ethnic armed groups,” SSN said. “Government troops are also using the pretext of providing security for the dams to expand their presence in ethnic areas. This is threatening the peace process and the lives, homes and property of local ethnic peoples.”

Environmental Network Demands Incoming Govt End Salween Dam Projects