Monthly Archives: April 2010

Papuan regent arrested for alleged graft

Arghea Desafti Hapsari — The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has arrested the regent of Boven Digul, Papua province, for his alleged hand in graft that caused state losses of about Rp 49 billion (US$5.4 million).

Regent Yusak Yaluwo was taken by force to the KPK office for questioning after he arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport late Thursday, a spokesman for the antigraft body, Johan Budi, said Friday.

“Yusak was on his way to Jakarta via Makassar when we forcibly took him to our office at around 9:30 p.m.,” he said.

Johan said the commission had arrested Yusak because he had repeatedly ignored KPK summons “without legitimate reason”.

The commission summoned Yusak, a politician from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, three times over the past month after naming Yusak a suspect in a graft case spanning the 2005 to 2007 regional budgets.

Yusak is alleged to have authorized several mysterious disbursements of state money during that time.

Yusak’s arrest comes as a blow to the Papuan province, which has been criticized for not being able to responsibly manage its finances ever since it was granted special autonomy status in 2001, which guarantees it a large portion of the income generated from the province.

The special autonomy gives the Papuan administration a special autonomy fund and a bigger slice of revenue-sharing from activities related to natural resources.

The region is still struggling to assure quality of life and basic services for its largely poor population amid security threats and food shortages plaguing the resource-rich province.

The KPK previously arrested another regional leader from Papua, Supiori Regent Jules F Warikar, who was accused of embezzling Rp 40 billion from the region’s budget.

Yusak’s case has also raised concerns over the huge numbers of regional leaders implicated in corruption cases.

Tama S Langkun from the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) told the The Jakarta Post that there have been more than 500 requests to investigate alleged corruption involving regional leaders at the state secretariat since Yudhoyono became president in 2004.

“However, only around 150 have been granted permission,” Tama said, adding that there were only six requests in 2009.

He said one of the reasons many alleged corruption cases went unresolved was that many of the regional leaders came from political parties that won the 2009 legislative elections.

“The local attorney offices need to have a permit from the President before they can probe regional leaders. This has made investigations difficult,” he added.

The head of the Papuan office of the Democratic Party, Lukas Enembe, said all party cadre had to comply with the law. He said he would leave Yusak’s case to the legal process in place.

Tama criticized the capacity of the KPK. “With a scarcity of human resources, they will not be able to take on all big cases from the local attorney offices,” he said.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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BP eyes new Indonesia oil exploration

Muklis Ali & Sara Webb — Several oil companies, including Inpex Corp (1605.T) of Japan and BP (BP.L) are looking for new oil and gas exploration blocks in Indonesia, an official at Indonesia’s mines and energy ministry said on Wednesday.

BP Exploration Indonesia, a unit of BP, is interested in the offshore North Arafura block while Inpex wants to explore in the offshore blocks of Babar, Selaru and Yamdena in Arafuru Sea.

“Those companies have made a joint study with the government for several areas, but we haven’t decided whether we will award them or not,” the official, who declined to be quoted by name, told Reuters.

He said ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Talisman Energy Inc (TLM.TO) are also interested in new Indonesian blocks.

ConocoPhillips is interested in exploring in offshore Arafura Sea II while Talisman Energy is looking at offshore North Semai in Papua.

Indonesia has offered new exploration rights and has said it will offer new incentives to oil and gas investors, including more favourable tax treatment and production split, in order to encourage exploration and stem a steady decline in production. But industry players have said the incentives are not enough.

Indonesia produced 821,600 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in March, down from 824,100 bpd in February. The country’s condensate output rose to 140,000 bpd in March from 135,000 bpd in February.

Source: Reuters UK

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Gold miner signs deal with Papuan landowners

The exploration company Mercator Gold has announced that an agreement has been reached with landowners over its River gold project in Indonesia’s Papua Province.

The agreement with the indigenous Wolami people of the river region has been signed, setting out terms of compensation and access, in what is believed to be one of the first such agreements to be signed in Indonesia’s Papua.

The project is to be driven by Paniai Gold Limited which holds a 50% interest in a joint venture over the Derewo River project with a local company.

Mercator holds 50 million shares in Paniai Gold Limited which plans to list on the National Stock Exchange of Australia.

An environmental impact study has reportedly been completed and submitted for approval.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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Management of RI’s marine resources

Ketut Sarjana Putra & Mark V. Erdmann , Conservation International Indonesia Marine Program — When it comes to coral reefs, Indonesia is a country of superlatives: Not only does it have more coral reef area than any other nation (18 percent of the world’s total reefs), it also ranks first globally for diversity of hard coral species – with more than 620 species or more than 75 percent of the world’s total – and coral reef fish species (more than 2,200 species).

And while they provide billions of dollars’ worth of fisheries products, tourism revenues and ecosystem services such as coastline protection, Indonesia’s reefs are also among the most threatened in the world.

Against this background, it is most appropriate that in August 2007, President Yudhoyono announced that Indonesia would take a position of global leadership in stewardship of coral reefs with the launching of the “Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security” to improve the management of the world’s most diverse reefs and ensure that they continue to provide benefits to Indonesia long into the future.

In order to guide the implementation of this ambitious Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), five priority outcomes have been agreed to by the six countries within the CTI, with the first outcome to “designate priority seascapes and ensure their effective management.”

But what exactly, you might ask, is a seascape?

Quite simply, a seascape is a large-scale marine management unit that takes into account the prevalence of “connectivity” in the marine environment and the need to manage the oceans at much larger scales than we normally consider for land-based resources management.

A seascape approach recognizes, for instance, that managing fish stocks is a very different proposition to managing a herd of cattle or a production forest (wherein a 5-hectare plot may be considered a large management unit).

By comparison, many fish species may travel tens to hundreds of kilometers in order to reproduce at a spawning aggregation site, after which the eggs they produce hatch into tiny planktonic fish larvae that may drift with ocean currents for many more kilometers yet again before the fish settle and become adults.

To effectively manage this stock demands a management approach that takes into account the full dispersal and migration capabilities of the fish, which may require an area of millions, if not hundreds of millions of hectares of marine environment.

Similarly, threats to the marine environment such as pollution from oil spills or sedimentation from poor land use practices also require a large-scale approach to management. The fluid nature of the ocean means that an oil spill in one regency will rarely stay contained and may soon threaten the coastline of surrounding regencies.

Just as importantly, human use of marine resources is typically on a large-scale as well; while a farmer may spend his whole life tending a hectare of rice paddy, even small-scale fishers in Indonesia may regularly travel hundreds of kilometers to catch fish (not to mention the larger commercial fleets!).

These important differences between the marine and terrestrial environment require that we take a large-scale, seascape approach to governing Indonesia’s marine realm.

Unfortunately, marine management in Indonesia (and the world, for that matter!) has traditionally taken a much smaller, and often project-based, approach to managing reefs and fish stocks. As an example, many villages have been encouraged to set aside small-scale marine protected areas (MPAs) to provide a refuge for important fish broodstock and ensure the sustainability of their local capture fisheries. Unfortunately, managed in isolation, these MPAs will do little to provide real food security due to the reasons stated above. Management of the marine realm necessarily must be large-scale to be truly effective.

But what exactly is the right scale for a seascape-level approach in Indonesia? While there are examples globally of seascapes that cross international boundaries, we believe strongly that the most appropriate scale for a seascape in Indonesia is at the provincial level.

From a practical standpoint, Indonesia’s governance system already has in place mechanisms for coordination between regencies within a single province. While management of resources across provincial boundaries (or even national boundaries with Indonesia’s neighbors) is possible, the extensive coordination and mutual goodwill required to make such management effective is extremely time-consuming and frequently not practical.

Fortunately, Indonesia already has one working example of a seascape approach to ocean governance in West Papua Province. Though still a work in progress, the Bird’s Head Seascape initiative has brought together the provincial and regency governments of West Papua along with local and international NGOs and coastal community leaders to develop a truly large-scale approach to managing the rich marine resources of the area.

The centerpiece of the Bird’s Head Seascape initiative has been the designation of an ecologically-connected network of ten large MPAs across the seascape, from Kaimana to Raja Ampat to the Abun leatherback turtle MPA in Tambrau to Cendrawasih National Marine Park off Manokwari – for a total of nearly 3.6 million hectares now managed in multiple-use MPAs. While each of these MPAs has their own local management unit, there is also strong coordination between the MPAs and the provincial government is recognizing this overall MPA network in its marine spatial plan as a key tool for ensuring food security from sustainable capture fisheries. The governments of West Papua now also realize the vital importance of maintaining intact catchments and estuary areas, which again due to the connectivity of the marine realm are exceedingly important to many fisheries and maintaining good water quality on coral reefs.

The seascape approach in West Papua goes beyond the MPA network, however.
This integrated management approach is also being used to foster the rapid but sustainable development of marine tourism in the region. The approach is certainly working; Raja Ampat is now one of the most sought-after dive destinations in the world, while Kaimana and Cendrawasih Bay are slated as the next big growth areas.

With Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Fadel Muhammad’s renewed focus on expanding aquaculture production, the seascape approach will also be critical for maintaining the intact marine ecosystems required to both produce healthy adult broodstock and ensure long-term productivity of aquaculture investments.

It is our strong belief that Indonesia’s new focus on a seascape-level approach will usher in a new era in effective marine resource management in Indonesia. More information on the seascape approach and the Bird’s Head Seascape initiative can be found at http://www.conservation.org.

Ketut Sarjana Putra is the director of Marine Program for Conservation International-Indonesia, one of the Indonesia leading scientist on turtle conservation and sustainable fisheries management. Mark Erdmann is the senior adviser for Conservation International Marine Program, a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation who has (co) authored over 90 scientific articles and two books.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Freeport Indonesia to provide US$100 mln loan to Papua govt

US owned miner PT Freeport Indonesia has said it will provide a US$100 million low interest loan to the Papua provincial administration.

The regional administration will use the fund to build a cement factory with an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons, said Armando Mahler, the president of the company operating copper and gold mines in that province.

Part of the credit will be disbursed this year to finance studies and development, Mahler said, adding that Freeport will also provide expertise. The factory will sell part of its cement production to Freeport, which needs around 180,000 tons of cement per year.

Source: Asia Today

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Airlines to start flights to remote Papuan regency

Two airlines will begin flights to Boven Digoel, a remote regency in Papua bordering Papua New Guinea.

Boven Digul regent Yusak Yaluwo said Sunday that the planned service by Susi Air and Merpati Air would attract investors to the area.

Both airlines plan to ply the route after the local administration upgraded Mindiptana Airport and laid asphalt on the runway last year. Until then, the airport had a grass airstrip, with only light aircraft landing.

The administration is also upgrading Bomakia Airport, which is equally needed as the subdistrict has the highest population in the regency.

Source: Antara

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VP to chair meeting on accelerated development in Papua

Vice President Boediono was scheduled to chair a meeting on acceleration of development in Papua and West Papua, at his office Tuesday.

The meeting was expected to be attended by team members of the Presidential Instruction No.5/2007 on the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua, and the Presidential Instruction No. 7/2008 on the Acceleration of Development in Central Sulawesi.

Boediono earlier received the chairman of the Muhammadiyah University Students` Association Rusli Halim Fadli, and deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sandiaga Uno, who is in charge of small and medium scale businesses and cooperatives.

On a separate occasion, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro held a meeting with prominent figures of Papua, to discuss social, economic, cultural, political, and security issues.

“Papua has a quite high income per capital, but it`s not yet evenly distributed. So, social and economic development in Papua should be empowered more in order to make it more evenly distributed,” the minister said.

To accelerate development and improve the welfare of the people of Papua and West Papua, the government had issued Government Instruction Number 5 of 2007 on Acceleration of Development in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua, with the objectives to secure food resilience and economic empowerment of the people, improve education and healthcare services, basic infrastructures, as well as to implement special affirmative action for the younger generation of Papuans.

Source: Antara News

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