Sunday, June 05, 2011

Save our world!

IT seems that people are genuinely starting to care about the environment. This is reflected in the recent activities of several companies in Jakarta, including Astra World. Supported by Auto2000, the Jakarta Environmental Management Agency and PT Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada, AstraWorld conducted a free emission test at the Rest Area of the Tanjung Priok 1 Toll Gate, in Plumpang, North Jakarta, on May 30 and 31.
The free emission test was conducted in observance of the World Environment Day which fell on June 5, 2011, with the theme “Save Our World--Free Emission Test”. It helped car owners to find out the emission level of their cars. Vehicles with emission levels below the benchmark received certificates and stickers indicating that they had passed the test. “This activity is Astra’s commitment to protecting the environment as well as our support for motorists,” Bambang Gunawan, Head of Customer Channels Management AstraWorld, said.
PT Sharp Electronics Indonesia (SEID) demonstrated a similar commitment to saving the environment. The company joined the planting of mangrove trees in Angke-Kapuk Forest and in the Ecotourism Park off Sedyatmo toll road, in Jakarta recently. The activity was conducted in cooperation with the Jakarta Green Monster and the Marine Affairs and Agriculture Agency. The type of mangrove tree planted was Rhizopora mucronata. The company has so far planted more than 5,000 trees all over Indonesia.
While companies like Astra and SEID are going green, urban households actually play an important role in preserving and sustaining plant life. They can grow trees in the front yards. Urban forests have an important role to play in reducing noise and air pollution.
Basically a forest can be defined as a group of trees which can create its own micro climate, different from those in its surroundings.  “A group of trees growing in a 0.25 hectare area could create its own micro climate. Therefore forests could be planted in urban areas or even in the gardens of private homes,” said Sampe Paembonan, a professor at the Faculty of Forestry, Hasanuddin University in a public dialog in Makassar.
He said that one ton of trees would absorb 1.5 ton of CO2 and 1.6 ton of H2O and release 1,066 ton of oxygen into the atmosphere. “This means forests play an important role in preserving the environment,” he said.
Damage to forest areas has reached 1.5 million hectares annually, while reforestation only covers an area of 0.5 million hectares annually.  “Forests have an important function for the balance of human life and the life of other living creatures. Therefore tree plantations are an efficient program to preserve the environment,” an expert staff of the environment minister Yanuardi Rasudin said recently.
That is why the efforts to protect the environment should involve all parties, including industries. They should go green, save energy and adopt environmentally friendly operations. The fact that the climate change threat is apparent should encourage us to immediately adopt a green lifestyle.
World Environmental Day was first launched in 1972. It was part of a series of environmental activities two years before, when American Senator Gaylord Nelson observed how this earth had been severely polluted by human activities. Along with several NGOs, he took an initiative to devote a day for efforts to save the earth.
In April 22, 1970 Gaylord Nelson proclaimed the day as Earth Day and since then the date has been annually observed as the Earth Day. The UN Conference on the Environment was held on June 5, 1972 in Stockholm and the date was observed as the World Environment Day. Indonesia took part in the conference by sending Prof. Emil Salim, who was then head of the National Development Planning Agency. We should preserve this tradition because we do not want to inherit a “damaged earth” to our children.
The environment is not inheritance from our ancestors, which could be treated as we like. It is the legacy for our future generations. Preserving the environment is an urgent need that has become our collective responsibility. Everyone needs to join hands to help save the earth. Every little contribution counts toward protecting the environment so that future generations can live in a world that is worth living. (Burhanuddin Abe)
The Jakarta Post, June 05, 2011

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