Monday, July 17, 2017

1) HSBC triggers investigation into palm oil company over deforestation allegations


5) Cultivating Sakura Trees in Jayawijaya

1) HSBC triggers investigation into palm oil company over deforestation allegations
NGOs praise the bank’s move as they step up pressure on investors to stand by environmental and social commitments on palm oil

HSBC has triggered an investigation into Noble Plantations following allegations the company was preparing to clear thousands of hectares of rainforest in Papua for oil palm cultivation.
In a decision hailed as a first by a major bank, HSBC has asked the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a sustainability body for the palm oil industry, to investigate the claims.
The move follows pressure from campaigning organisations Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace, which last month wrote to four banks linked to a new $750m (£580m) bond issued by commodities giant Noble Group. 
The NGOs asked HSBC, ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank to take action on allegations that Noble Group’s subsidiary, Noble Plantations, was gearing up to clear 18,000 hectares of pristine rainforest in Papua.

Map of Papua

None of the banks made a formal complaint, according to Greenpeace, but HSBC did pass the documents on to the RSPO, which instigated the probe into Noble Plantations. While declining to comment on specifics, a spokesman for HSBC said the bank “is keen to ensure that the RSPO’s standards are observed and that any credible allegations of non-compliance are investigated”.

Palm oil, which is a common ingredient in a huge number of consumer products, is an important driver of deforestation. Palm plantations cover an estimated 27m hectares of land worldwide and oil palm was responsible for an average of 270,000 hectares of forest loss a year from 2000-2011, according to one study.
“Given the seriousness of the allegations and supporting documentation,” said an RSPO spokeswoman, “the RSPO has advised the company to stop all further development on the concession pending full independent investigations and assessment by RSPO, and possible referral to its complaints panel.”
A spokeswoman for Noble would only refer to the company’s sustainability document (pdf), which states that work on its plantations in Papua is on hold pending “additional sustainability analysis”.

Campaigners say banks have traditionally lagged behind companies when it comes to supporting ethical palm oil practices. But Greenpeace says HSBC’s move is the first public evidence that the bank is taking its palm oil policy seriously. “After years of turning a blind eye, the financial sector is finally starting to take a tougher line on rogue palm oil companies,” said Jamie Woolley of Greenpeace UK.
HSBC was recently the subject of Greenpeace’s “Dirty Bankers” report, which accused the bank of providing funding to palm oil companies complicit in environmental destruction.
In response HSBC announced a stricter lending policy based on a “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” commitment. While saying the bank’s policies show it has “no interest in financing illegal operations,” HSBC Group CEO Stuart Gulliver admitted “the financial sector can play a greater role”.

HSBC Group CEO Stuart Gulliver on the bank’s stricter palm oil policies.
Audrey Versteegen of EIA agrees: “Banks could do so much more, it’s frustrating to see that they don’t,” she says. While she called HSBC the “most progressive bank out there”, she criticised its decision not to make a formal complaint to the RSPO, urging it to act more assertively when it comes to the negative social and environmental impact of its clients.
A spokeswoman for ING said the bank was not involved in financing Noble Plantations but “we have raised the matter with the RSPO”. An ABN Amro spokewoman said the bank could not discuss individual client relationships publicly but that its policy prohibits the clearing of uncertified primary forest and it will investigate any indications of client non-compliance. A Rabobank spokeswoman said “we are concerned by the reports and we apply our sustainability policy both in letter and spirit also in this case”.

Following the money to clear up palm oil

Where previously campaigners for sustainable palm oil have focused on brands and consumers, they are now starting to focus on banks and investors to put pressure on them to stand by their ethical commitments.
Research last year from forests NGO Fern said that EU-based banks and investors have played a huge role in financing companies implicated in concerns over land grabbing and deforestation. US investors and pension funds were the target of a Friends of the Earth report (pdf) accusing them of fuelling environmentally and socially damaging palm oil production through investing billions into companies driving deforestation and land grabbing.

US-based sustainability organisation Ceres launched its Engage the Chain reportearlier this month aiming to help investors better understand the risks of investing in food companies. It details the environmental and social threats associated with commodities including palm oil.

“Palm oil supply chains are perhaps the clearest example of where investors have seen the environmental and social impacts translate into financial risks,” said Allan Pearce of Trillium Asset Management. “Investors have seen share prices drop as producers fail to protect forests.” 
Following HSBC’s move, other banks are starting to make public commitments. French bank BNP Paribas last month announced a new set of guidelines around palm oil investment, requiring companies to comply with stricter policies around deforestation and emissions.
The move was praised by campaign organisation Mighty Earth as a “breakthrough” in forest finance. “Banks and investors need to stop giving deforesters a lifeline,” said Deborah Lapidus, campaigns director at Mighty Earth.
Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered have also been under pressure to publish stricter palm oil policies. A spokeswomen for Standard Chartered said the bank is “enhancing its policies to incorporate no deforestation, no peat and no exploitation requirements with independent verification”. She said more would be published over the coming months. A Deutsche Bank spokesman said “we are currently reviewing our environmental and social policies and guidelines”.
Versteegen says banks need to step up their commitments and quickly. “At the end of the day, money is the only argument everybody understands so [banks] have a huge role to play.”


Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar stated that the decision to stop the legal process of Tolikara election criminal case which allegedly involves the Chairman of DPD DemocratParty  Papua, Lukas Enembe (LE) by the Integrated Law Enforcement Center (Gakkumdu) must be accepted.
“Yes, it is a mechanism agreed in Gakkumdu, so whatever the outcome Gakkumdu is determining party,” said Boy Rafli in Papua Police headquarter, Friday (July 14).
According to him, the police handed over (the case) completely to Gakkumdu center which consisting of police, prosecutors and election watch body (bawaslu). And the element of police who are in Gakkumdu center has done its job.
“Police investigators are responsible for conducting an investigation, the criminal act of election is against the law and if any process of meeting Gakkumdu center has been decided is a result that must be respected. Mechanism to decide is through meeting, to determine the violation or crime of election is also through the meeting,” he said.
And, according to him, the decision of making LE as a suspect is not a recent decision.
On July 7, 2017 it has done the process of reporting law. Investigation process of the report came in May 28, 2017 and Gakkumdu had the time to determine administrative or criminal violations. It’s just that the news had just been spread out earlier this week.
However, he added it does not mean there is no coordination between the prosecutor and the police in the case. (*)


Jayapura, Jubi – At least 300 volunteer teachers or non permanent elementary to senior high school teachers in Paniai District, Papua, went on strike the whole week.
It was triggered because their salary during the first six months of this year has not been paid by Paniai Education and Teaching Office (P and P).
Hundreds of teachers also rallied to the offices of Paniai Education and Teaching Office, Madi, Paniai Timur District, Paniai, to claim their rights

“Monday, three days ago and today, head of the office P and P Paniai had promised to meet, but he did not come and said that he was ill,” said Yohanes, field coordinator who is also a non permanent teacher when contacted by Jubi from Jayapura, Thursday (July 13).
According to John, since January 2017 to July their salary has not been paid. “Approximately Rp 3 million per semester,” said alumnus of Biology Education, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education (FKIP), Cenderawasih University (Uncen).
The strike of non permanent teachers resulted in the process of teaching and learning in a number of schools stalled. Because most teachers in school, he continued, is a contract or non permanent teacher.
A staff member of the Education and Education Office of Paniai who did not want his name to be written said per cell phone to Jubi on July 13 that he was not at office when the hundreds of teachers rallied.
Nevertheless, he said the related contract has been included the salary of non permanent teachers. “I also do not know why the payment has been delayed,” he said. (*)



Merauke, Jubi – There are 542 women were detected with cervical cancer in 2017, Merauke Regency. Head of Merauke BPJS Representative, dr. Hendra Jemmy Rompas said the number of women affected by cervical cancer this year are more than previous year, which was 265 people.
“This is a concern for all of us and it is expected that regular checks is conducted necessarily. So it is more quickly to be detected and get treatment,” he said during a press conference with a number of journalists at BPJS Branch Office Merauke, Thursday (July 13).
“We also cooperate with several Healthcare Units. And it is recommended that women, who have married, do not hesitate to come to check, “he said.

Head of Health Service of Merauke Regency, dr. Adolf Bolang explains the cause of women cervical cancer is exchanging sex partner without using any safety (condoms).
“To prevent the cancer, it needs to regularly condicted health checks. The cancer is more vulnerable to adult women who have a family,” he said.
With a routine examination, he continued, it can detect early cervical cancer. If there are symptoms, he suggests coming to the clinic or hospital to do the examination to get treatment quickly.
The disease did not attack men or women who are still girls. It is only to women who have active sexual intercourse.(*)

MONDAY, 17 JULY, 2017 | 13:58 WIB
5) Cultivating Sakura Trees in Jayawijaya

TEMPO.COJakarta - Climate in Jayawijaya may be suitable for cultivation of cherry blossom, or commonly known in Japan as sakura.
Hence, the the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) is making every effort to expand cherry blossom, the typical Japanese plant, in Biological Garden of Wamena in Jayawijaya District, Papua Province.
A cherry blossom (sakura) is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus serrulata, which is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere.
Many of the sakura varieties have been cultivated elsewhere for ornamental use, and therefore, LIPI is trying to develop in Wamena, according to Soekarno, a LIPI researcher who is also assistant of the Biological Garden of Wamena.
In the Jayawijaya district town of Wamena, Soekarno remarked on Sunday that Sakura flower cultivation aims only to introduce the people of Papua with this typical plant from Japan.
For the Japanese, Sakura is a sacred plant and when it blossoms, it is a delight to behold. In the spring over a hundred thousand tourists come from every corner of the world to Japan to admire the famous cherry blossom.
Cultivation of sakura in Papua is expected to succeed well, and if this happens, then Indonesian tourists no longer need to go all the way to Japan, but to Wamena instead to enjoy the beauty of the flower.
As Japan is made up of a series of islands with different climatic conditions, the flowering period for Sakura can last for two full months.
In Japan, the first flower buds begin to open in the middle of March on the Southern part of Kyushu and the last buds are finished by the middle of May on Hokkaido Island.
The most important purpose of sakura in Japan in ancient times was its honored function in relation to the moon calendar. Sakura in bloom means it is time for planting rice. Sakura was also a symbol of purity because its petals fell not wilted, but fresh and tender.
The assistant of the Biological Garden of Wamena, Soekarno, remarked that the cultivation of sakura is still through the nursery process and 50 percent has germinated.
According to him, they do the seed propagation outside Papua and then take it to Wamena to be cultivated.
"Some types of sakura that we bring to cultivate in Wamena are more directed to ornamental plants that are not invasive," Soekarno explained.
Cherry blossom is also closely related to other Prunus trees such as the almond, peach, plum and apricot, and more distantly to apples, pears and roses.
In addition to sakura flowers, LIPI also develops some plants from outside Papua, such as Black Wood and Brazilian Grapes (Plinia cauliflora or jabuticaba).
The Brazilian grapetree is a slow-growing evergreen that can reach a height of 15 meters if not pruned.
It has salmon-colored leaves when they are young, which turn green as they mature. The tree prefers moist, rich, lightly acidic soil.
It is widely adaptable, however, and grows satisfactorily even on alkaline beach-sand type soils, so long as they are tended and irrigated.
Soekarno explained that LIPI has always been careful that the plants brought from outside Papua to be cultivated in Wamena do not negatively affect the typical local plants.
There are several examples of types of plants, including sakura, from outside Papua that LIPI wants to cultivate in Wamena, but not in a special purpose for fear of being invasive plants.
"The sakura plant is typically originated from Japan, but the one we develop in Wamena is from the cultivation in the Cibodas Botanical Garden," Soekarno explained.
Cibodas Botanical Garden is located in Cibodas district, West Java Province, some 100 kilometers from Jakarta.
It was founded in 1862 by the Dutch botanist Johannes Elias Teijsmann as an extension of the Bogor Botanical Gardens. The garden is the first place that Cinchona trees were grown in Indonesia for quinine production.
Plants which are exotic to Indonesia, such as Eucalyptus from Australia, Conifers from Europe, and others, have been planted in the area, so there is now a wide collection from various parts of the world in the Cibodas Botanical Garden.
The garden has a collection of almost 6,000 specimens, representing over 1,200 species, and a glass house contains 4000 living specimens of 350 species of cacti and succulents, and 360 species of orchids.
In the Cibodas Botanical Garden, visitors can see the sakura trees that have been planted since 1953.
Visitors to Cibodas can see four varieties of sakura flowers such as Cerasoides Prunus, Prunus Lannesiana, Prunus Yedoensis, and Prunus Jamasakura.
January to February and August to September is a good time for trip to Cibodas Botanical Garden, because this time cherry blossom (Prunus cerocoides) are blooming.
Some varieties of the sakura tree in Cibodas Botanical Garden are from the Tokyo botanical gardens, but the Japanese government presented those sakura trees to former President Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2003.
Sakura trees were also presented to former Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso after the establishment of sister city relations between Jakarta and Tokyo some years ago.

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