We're securing these people, I have yet to decide whether they'll be questioned at offices of city police or sub-district police
Jakarta (ANTARA) - At least a dozen environmental activists climbed atop the two main monuments in Jakarta on Wednesday, to unfurl a yellow fabric sheet with messages of "Good People Choose Clean Energy" and "Fight Against Forest Destroyer". The campaign might act as alerts to the new ministerial cabinet of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) that was inaugurated here, Wednesday.

The campaigns which were organized at the "Selamat Datang Monument" in Central Jakarta and "Dirgantara Monument", South Jakarta, aimed to call on Indonesia's government and its new cabinet to halt use of coals, and immediately switch to cleaner and renewable energy, the Greenpeace Indonesia's forestry campaign manager, Arie Rompas stated in Jakarta.

The fabric sheet was installed by five activists at 7:00 am and was later removed after being displayed for around eight hours. After the activists installed the fabric sheet, several police officers detained them and brought them to the office for further questioning.

"We're securing these people, I have yet to decide whether they'll be questioned at offices of city police or sub-district police," the Menteng Subdistrict Police chief, Police Commissioner Dedy Supriadi said near the Selamat Datang Monument, Jakarta.

During the campaign, Indah, one of the climbers of the Dirgantara monument, said that she and other student activists aimed to prompt Indonesia's government and the people in the country to raise their awareness on the destructive impact of global warming and climate change.

"We must start now on protecting our environment. As a country of thousands of islands, Indonesia is prone to climate change effects such as wildfires and long-drought. Therefore, we prompted Indonesia's government to review all its measures and its policies to save our environment," Indah stated in a one-minute video aired by Greenpeace Indonesia's Twitter account.

Despite some student activists being detained by security officers, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan applauded the campaign. For Baswedan, Greenpeace's messages were not specifically intended for the provincial government of Jakarta, or Indonesia's government.

"The campaigns are messages to the world, not only Jakarta, not only Indonesia, but it is for all of us," Baswedan remarked as a response to Greenpeace's actions.

Therefore, he had sent officials to the campaign locations to ensure the safety of the climbers, Baswedan told the press.

"We had asked them (the activists) about their campaign's durations, so our men can help to pull down the fabric sheet," he added.

Indonesia has been dubbed as one of the world's largest coal exporter and starting 2020, the Jokowi administration had planned to run the 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Batang District, Central Java. The power plant was claimed to be the largest facility both in the country and in the Southeast Asia region.

Apart from the facility, another coal-fired power plant with 1,026 MW in capacity was also set up in Celukan Bawang, Bali, which officials claimed was part of the country's energy security program.

For the environmental watchdog, Jokowi's plan to ramp up the use of coal energy would accelerate the deforestation in some of the country's pristine forests, and the emissions might contribute to global warming and climate change.

"Around 58 percent of the country's energy use was generated from the coal-fired power plant, and it would halt any efforts of shifting to renewable energy," the Greenpeace Indonesia's campaign manager on forestry, Arie Rompas said in Jakarta.

In Greenpeace's record, at least 600 thousand hectares of forest were burned every year. Meanwhile in mid-2019, to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry's figure showed at least 8,578 square kilometers of land were burnt by wildfires that covered the country's two largest islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan with thick smoke for months.

The 2019 fires, which was claimed to be worse than the 2015 land fires, occurred because of the slash-burn practices at the fire-prone peatlands, followed by the long drought season in the country, the officials remarked.

Following the fires, the Environment and Forestry Ministry had suspended the operational permits of 42 companies in several provinces such as West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Jambi, and Riau. Most companies were local entities, but some of them were funded by investors from Singapore and Malaysia, the ministry's law enforcement Director General, Rasio Ridho said in September this year.

Today's campaigns of Greenpeace coincided with the inauguration of Jokowi's new cabinet for the 2019-2024 period.

In Jokowi's new line ups, the president retained some ministers of his first cabinet such as the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar; Maritime and Investment Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan; Foreign Affairs/International Trade Minister Retno Marsudi; Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly; Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Public Works and Public Housing Affairs Minister Basuki Hadi Muljono, and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi. (INE)


Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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