Indonesia’s Plastic Trash Crisis

Indonesia’s Plastic Trash CrisisIndonesia, the second-largest contributor of plastic waste to the world’s waters after China, has pledged US$1 billion per year to attempt to reduce the junk in its waters by 70 percent by 2025, according to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairsi. It is not surprising that Jakarta has made such a decision, given…

Indonesia Can’t Get its Tourism Act Together

Indonesia Can’t Get its Tourism Act TogetherMillions of television viewers in multiple countries often see advertisements encouraging them to come to “Wonderful Indonesia.” The nation does indeed have an amazing number of actual or potential tourist attractions – historic sites, natural wonders, beautiful beaches, interesting buildings, wildlife, arts and local customs. It also now has okay hotels, a web of air…

Indonesia’s Woeful Education System

Indonesia’s Woeful Education SystemIndonesia’s education system is saddled with a long series of difficulties including poor education funding, arbitrarily changing educational curricula, political favoritism, with teachers’ jobs dependent on the sufferance of principals and many other problems. That has led to a ranking by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment of 62nd…

Eco-tourism and a Stunning Sumatra Rainforest

Eco-tourism and a Stunning Sumatra RainforestPerched on a steep rainforested hillside in the mountains near Lake Toba, Sumatra is a cluster of wooden bungalows with a majestic view across a misty tropical valley of an even higher mountain range, also clothed in jungle. From both sides of the valley the hooting of Siamang gibbons mixes with the mournful wailing of…

The Hornbill Hunters of Sumatra

The Hornbill Hunters of SumatraIn 2011, a Taiwanese businessman named Hsien arrived in Indonesia with a plan to make himself rich and in the process to systematically wipe out one of the world’s most majestic and rarest birds, the helmeted hornbill, Rhinoplax vigil, also known as the “King Hornbill”  in the provinces of Kalimantan and Sumatra. He has made…

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in Indonesia

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in IndonesiaThe increase of Indonesia’s health budget allocation from 3.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the 1990s to 5 percent in 2017, totaling Rp104 trillion (US7.28 billion), is designed to alleviate some of the country’s healthcare delivery problems, with  75 percent of citizens still greatly depending on public health care. But one of the biggest…

Disability Issues and the Lack of Data in Indonesia

Disability Issues and the Lack of Data in IndonesiaAid for the disabled has long been an intractable issue in Indonesia. Services and facilities are minimal, with the budget incapable of providing welfare pensions, according to a study by Inside Indonesia, formerly known as the Indonesian Resources and Information Program. Funds are inadequate to meet needs in health, education, employment and public access. There…

Tiger Emergency in Sumatra

Tiger Emergency in SumatraThe year-old Sumatran tiger male, nearly fully grown, wandered out of the old-growth forest in the Habaduan hills near Lake Toba near nightfall, leaving the family’s hidden den on his own for the first time. He glided downhill into the edge habitat of degraded forests and finally the plantations on the lower slopes –first bananas…

The Woeful State of Education for the Disabled in Indonesia

The Woeful State of Education for the Disabled in IndonesiaSeven-year-old Puji, a child in Jakarta, was born with physical disabilities in both her hands and feet and is confined to a wheelchair. She is unable to write normally, leaving her unable to enjoy the dreams of many children of her age. She can’t play outside with her friend.  But all she can think about…

Massive Break Illustrates Indonesia’s Prison Dilemma

Massive Break Illustrates Indonesia’s Prison DilemmaOn May 5,  when officers unlocked detention rooms to allow inmates to perform Friday prayers, 448 of them  suddenly attempted to breach the main gate of Sialang Bungkuk Prison on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and, having failed that, boiled out of a side gate, overwhelming the outnumbered officers.  In the midst of utter pandemonium, the…
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