Clean & Green Cities

Sep 21st, 2011, in Featured, IM Posts, by

City of culture, Yogyakarta, takes home the coveted Green Region awards for 2011.

The Indonesia Green Region Awards (IGRA) for 2011 were announced recently, and out of a bevy of 36 cities/regencies ten were chosen as finalists, with the top five ending up as:

  1. Yogyakarta
  2. Surabaya
  3. Denpasar
  4. Palangkaraya
  5. Banda Aceh

The also-rans from the finalists were Payakumbuh (West Sumatra), Kuningan (West Java), Berau (East Kalimantan), Jepara (Central Java), and Gorontalo city (Gorontalo).

Sonny Keraf, a member of the IGRA selection panel, said Yogyakarta was tops for cleanliness because of its 3 R's program - (reduce, reuse, and recycle) - which had succeeded in reducing the daily rubbish pile by 28%, and as it had freed up lots of land for park space, and 'revitalised' the rivers.

Rubbish in River
Not Yogyakarta

Surabaya had apparently managed to double the amount of green space in the city, while Denpasar had made heroic efforts in the direction of promoting bicycle use over vehicles. Palangkaraya had set aside vast areas of jungle as protected, while Banda Aceh's environmental charms left Sonny silent. [1]


21 Comments on “Clean & Green Cities”

  1. avatar stevo says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    The rubbish problem in Indonesia is heart breaking. Yet another example of poor central government.

    Those guys in the boats are about as close as things get to waste management.

  2. avatar bonni says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    It is already became a ‘culture’ to throw rubbish carelessly here, eventhough you can see signs everywhere…

    This sign below says, “hanya monyet yang buang sampah disini.” But still…

  3. avatar ET says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Denpasar had made heroic efforts in the direction of promoting bicycle use over vehicles.

    Heroic efforts??? What efforts? As long as people here consider riding a bicycle as only befitting children and peasants there will be a heck of a lot more needed than sosialisasi programs to change Balinese gengsi attitude. At 4,500 Rp per liter gasoline why would anyone mandi keringat pushing the pedals and risk scorn and ridicule?

  4. avatar Chris says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I remember reading a story in “Time” magazine a few years ago about pollution problems in South-East Asia’s cities. Jakarta rated a special mention because there was so much trash in the rivers that sometimes people could “walk on water”.

    Another interesting tidbit about Jakarta, rivers and trash. About every 5 years, Jakarta has a major flood from a “bonus round” of extra rain during the wet season. The last two were in 2002 and January 2007. I remember the latter, because my wife walked through shoulder high water in West Jakarta for 5km to get home, and other friends were stuck in the city. There were also some classic photos like this one:
    Airport Buses on Flooded Airport Toll Road

    The next Jakartan flood is due in January 2012.

  5. avatar Chris says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Bonnie,

    This sign in Surabaya used to make me chuckle too, threatening litterers with fines of Rp5 000 000 ($US550) or 3 months jail.

  6. avatar bonni says:
    September 21st, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Yes, we just can’t get enough!

  7. avatar Lairedion says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Bandung Berhiber (Bersih, Hijau, Berbunga), euy!

  8. avatar Sharron says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I dont live in Indonesia and have only visited. Although there is a problem with waste please do not end up like us the English, where you have to spend a great deal of time sorting rubbish into bins boxes bags skips and goodness what else. There is also the fear of not having your rubbish collected if you dont follow every guideline eg not having bin lid fully closed. Im not elderly yet but find it all terribly confusing and time wasting, although I do want to be a green person. My mother who is 86 and still living by herself finds the whole thing too much altogether. Indonesia try and get it right for your own sakes.

  9. avatar agan says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 5:30 am

    ^ Ah thanks for the heads-up, God bless your mother still able neatly sorting out different types of garbage, what type goes to what color of bag and on what particular day- but like they say the “devil is in the details” – what happen if she ever made a mistake? Will the garbage still be picked up or gets warned/fined?
    Thanks to the pemulung guys here who go around the hoods sorting/recycling our garbage before the wagon arrives.

  10. avatar Oigal says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 9:49 am

    On the plus side (and I do acknowledge the overbearing greens at times), I believe you can now catch fish again in the Thames :-).

    I heard recently that Singapore is busy extending and widening a number of their major storm drains, the big wide ones obviously (which are already pretty significant) to the stage they can actually take small passenger boats. Just matter of raising the water level to a constant state. How nice it would be to have working, clean usable rivers in say Jakarta.

    It has always been a curious fact on life in Indonesia with overt and some would say rampant Nationalism continually on display leads to bizarre nonsensical outcomes like 10 years jail for raising the a flag (on the other hand murder a judge or a human rights campaigner) or calling for war on your nearest neighbours on the most trivial matters. Yet, when it comes to showing the most basic respect for the land in which you live, the vast majority of people have no issues in soiling her with litter, crap (literally) with no thought of the legacy they leave behind.

    I was recently on plane with a bunch of tourists who had spent a month long diving trip to the most famous dive locations in Indonesia. What were they talking about? The beaches, the coral, the fish…None of those, just the filth at every single location they visited.

  11. avatar bonni says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I was recently on plane with a bunch of tourists who had spent a month long diving trip to the most famous dive locations in Indonesia. What were they talking about? The beaches, the coral, the fish…None of those, just the filth at every single location they visited.

    Oh so sad… Setitik nila rusak susu sebelanga… :(

    Agan,

    Thanks to the pemulung guys here who go around the hoods sorting/recycling our garbage before the wagon arrives.

    As a matter of fact, I found this sign…

  12. avatar agan says:
    September 22nd, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Jeez, the sign is so mean…. not all pemulungs are created equal
    some are more resourceful than others, you know.

  13. avatar ET says:
    September 23rd, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Jeez, the sign is so mean…

    In various banjar here in Bali you also find these signs Pemulung dan penggepeng dilarang beroperasi di sini (scavengers and beggars are not allowed to operate here).
    Downright sickening, putting beggars and pemulung in the same league. Was it not for those little pemulung entrepreneurs the island would sink into the sea under the weight of its garbage.

    Pulau indah, pulau sampah.

  14. avatar agan says:
    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Pulau indah, pulau sampah.

    The lure of Pulau indah is its natural pristine beauty and cultural setting but tourism industry has not only brought much needed economic growth but also unregulated sampah within a finite space. Hope you still have a soft spot for pulau sampah, haven’t you?

  15. avatar ET says:
    September 24th, 2011 at 12:53 am

    agan

    The lure of Pulau indah is its natural pristine beauty and cultural setting but tourism industry has not only brought much needed economic growth but also unregulated sampah within a finite space.

    Tourism isn’t directly to blame for the waste problem. It’s not the tourists who litter and make a mess, at least not materially. Most of them come from places where environmental conservation and public hygiene have already become part of the general mindset. The economic opportunities created by tourism in Bali however have caused an enormous influx of transmigrants and perantauan with the consequence that the island now has to support a population of 3 million and counting – most of them concentrated in the Bandung and Gyaniar kabupaten – while studies have shown that the infrastructure of the island fits only a population of 1 million. As long as the indigenous and migrant population are not made aware that under these circumstances and if they don’t change their sloppy attitude they will saw the branch on which they sit, the situation remains hopeless.
    On the other hand, whether the so-called ‘needed’ economic growth had to come mainly from tourism is highly debatable. A rich and elaborate culture like the Balinese with its myriad ceremonies and rituals can certainly not have been built on empty stomachs. Apart from a few isolated pockets the island has always been able to sustain itself and leave enough time and means to build and maintain thousands of temples and create what is maybe the most squandering culture in the world.

    Hope you still have a soft spot for pulau sampah, haven’t you?

    Yes, (sigh).

  16. avatar David says:
    September 24th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I liked this chair on a beach in Bali, you know, in case you wanted to have a sit down…

  17. avatar william says:
    September 24th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    It’s the biggest problem in indonesia after traffic jam. This rubbish things lead to big flood and put our health in jeopardy.. i wish that we could do something about that

  18. avatar stevo says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 7:04 am

    It would be good to see central government organise some sort of cohesive collection program nationwide. This would require public education in order to work and to get the population to buy into the idea. It could be contracted out to private enterprise, with oversight by a government body. It would not need to involve expensive recycling programs. If recycling is economically viable, then private enterprise will do it without government interference. Indonesia cannot afford the indulgence of subsidised recycling. The first problem is simply just picking the rubbish up and Indonesia is a long way from doing that.
    I would hope that there would be some sort of social & economic benefit; maybe reduced disease rates, a more positive image for the tourists, and as Willaim suggests, less flooding.

  19. avatar Oigal says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Of course Stevo, there are a few issues with your plan. The only effective government oversight in Indonesia is on their personal bank accounts. Private enterprise without government intervention would disrupt the rivers of gold into personal accounts.

    Don’t mistake public pious statements and posturing for substance.

  20. avatar stevo says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I was going to include a similar observation Oigal.

    I suspect it’s the root cause behind many problems. The self-serving nature, of those in positions of authority, is a major obstacle to positive change. The place has so much potential to do better. Those Indonesians who want change are handicapped by those who have the power, but not the will to help.

    A depressing lack of social conscience seems to prevail. It’s every man for himself. That is understandable amongst the poor and desperate, but unforgivable amongst the privileged few. (now I am sounding like a commie!)

    People can agree on the problem, but practical solutions are fewer.

  21. avatar Lairedion says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    The Indonesian indifference towards environmental issues is appalling. Even fellow ASEAN nations are fed up with it:

    Asean Nations to Shame Indonesia Over ‘Environmental Vandalism’

    Vandalism? Terrorism is more appropriate.



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