• Indonesia plants bamboo to fight climate change

    By: The Jakarta Post   Cultivating bamboo could help Indonesia mitigate the impacts of climate change, an Indonesian environmental scientist said during a side event of the United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany. At the event, Arief Rabik, founder of the Bambu Lestari Foundation, said planting bamboo was a very effective way to rehabilitate degraded land and absorb and store carbon dioxide, adding that citizens could reap economic benefits from cultivating the plant. The discussion was held on Tuesday at the Indonesia Pavilion set up by the Indonesian delegation at the UN Climate Change Conference ( COP23 ), which runs from Nov. 6 to 19. One cluster of bamboo could store up to 5,000 liters of waters, demonstrating its role in soil water management. Meanwhile, one hectare of bamboo could absorb up to 50 tons of greenhouse gases per year. Bamboo can also be cultivated in a wide range of soil types, making it easy for locals to manage. "Bamboo is the winner when it comes to rejuvenating degraded land," Arief said as quoted by a statement released by the Environment and Forestry Ministry. Arief, however, said bamboo still had a low economic value compared to other plants. In fact, he said, bamboo could be harnessed to produce products ranging from textile fiber to panels for construction. Arief said his group, with the help of the ministry, was working on a project to cultivate bamboo in 1,000 villages across Indonesia. It is hoped that each village can cultivate at least 70,000 bamboo seeds. Desi Ekawati, a researcher with the ministry's research and innovation development agency, said her team was developing a new bamboo cultivation method to help spur Arief's 1000 bamboo villages project. Called "spartan seedling," Desi said the method could cut the period before harvest from eight or nine months to two or three months. (ahw)


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  • Indonesian city gets better access to affordable and clean water

    Sukabumi, Indonesia - Through the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Engagement Building Small Grants project “Development of Healthy Water Management with Rain Water Reservoir”, the residents of Sukabumi City can now access potable water at affordable prices. In support of the City Resilience Strategy, ICLEI in close partnership with local authorities addressed the lack of access to clean water, a major problem in Sukabumi. There are two main sources of water in the city –the PDAM tap water and ground water. The residents, however, rarely use these for their household and drinking needs due to its poor quality. To address this issue, a rain water harvesting facility was installed in Al-Muhajirin mosque, kel. Nenggaleng. The facility successfully converts rain water into potable water. Called Aquarain, water harvested from this are sold for Rp 3.5000 (USD 0.26)  per gallon, a much affordable price compared to the price of Aqua which ranges from Rp.18.000-20.000 (USD 1.35-1.50) per gallon. One of the notable milestones of this initiative is the significant and extensive participation of the religious community in the Al-Muhajirin Mosque. The community provided financial, manpower, and technical support which made the installation of rain water harvesting facility possible. Maintenance and security of the facility have also become a community effort. According to Sukabumi Mayor Mohammad Muraz, “Through this [ACCCRN] program, ICLEI has opened the door for Sukabumi to the outside world and to meet with many people from different nations. We wish this can be continued in the future.” He further stated that through the small pilot funded by the ACCCRN Small Grants Project, rainwater can be reserved and can be processed to reach drinking water quality. For the next development, the two small grants projects in Sukabumi will to be replicated in other areas. Mr. Dasita Juju, Chairman of RW 7 and Pusyantek, commented that the technology used in this facility is the product of his research on similar technologies applied in other countries such as the United States and Japan. ICLEI envisions to replicate this technology in other communities in Sukabumi. Selamet Daroyni, Project Officer in ICLEI Indonesia, stated that the revenues from Aquarain can be used as funds in developing similar facilities in other mosques in Sukabumi. Apart from the rainwater harvesting facility, ICLEI supported the installation of Simple Water Treatment Plant (IPAS) in kel. Cikundul, also in Sukabumi. The plant is capable of treating water from the river to clean water.


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