29
May

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said Indonesia and the European Union (EU) agreed to fulfill the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were marked by the launch of the Blue Book 2019.

"In this Blue Book, there will be activities agreed upon between the EU and Indonesia, represented by Bappenas, including environmental, education and health issues," Bambang said at the launch of the Blue Book 2019 in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Indonesia received development fund assistance worth 100 million euros from the European Union, in supporting the realization of cooperation programs between the two parties, focused on three sustainable development sectors.

The three sectors of the cooperation program include environment, education and health.

Blue Book 2019 is an annual report on sustainable economic development cooperation to reduce the effects of climate change. This publication highlights the various achievements of development programs in Indonesia supported by the EU, as well as its member countries.

Different from the previous year focusing on climate change, in Blue Book 2019 both parties agreed to devote themselves to the theme of sustainable development.

The Chancellor of the EU Delegation for Indonesia, Charles-Michel Geurts, said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are commitments that can be adopted by all countries, including Indonesia.

In this case, Indonesia can implement strategies at the national, provincial, district and city levels.

"In the last ten years, the project that has been completed has been carried out between Indonesia and the EU and was worth 500 million euros. But currently, the value is around 100 million euros for projects that are still underway," Geurts said.

There is also an EU-Indonesia development cooperation in the environmental sector that has been completed, including facilities to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, and studies to strengthen Indonesian certification for sustainable palm oil (ISPO).

Meanwhile, the education sector has created 1,600 scholarships, given annually to students and lecturers from Indonesia through the Erasmus program, along with other scholarships from EU member countries.

For the health sector, the EU and its member countries contribute more than 44 percent of the total global funds to deal with AIDS and tuberculosis, with US $ 350 million having been delivered to Indonesia. (ant) 

29
May

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) dismantled 21 illegal fish aggregating devices, or FADs, in the waters of North Sulawesi (Sulut) located in the Indonesia-Philippines border region.

"Seven FADs (illegal fish aggregating devices) were dismantled on Saturday (May 25) and 14 other FADs on Sunday (May 26) by the Orca 04 Fisheries Supervision Ship headed by Capt. Eko Priyono," Acting (Plt) Director General of Maritime and Fisheries Resources Supervision (PSDKP) of KKP Agus Suherman remarked in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Suherman stated that these FADs were installed in Indonesian waters without permission and were allegedly owned by foreign fishermen.

Suherman noted that on the basis of their identity, these FADs are believed to be owned by Filipino fishermen.

Moreover, the FADs were allegedly anchored in the Indonesian waters by individual Filipinos to attract more fish.

According to Suherman, this practice would undoubtedly be disadvantageous to Indonesian fishermen, as the fish would be lured into the FADs to be caught by Filipino fishermen.

Moreover, these FADs were brought and delivered to the Bitung PSDKP Base, North Sulawesi.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Regulation No. 26/Permen-KP/2014 on Rumpon stipulates that anyone anchoring FADs in the Republic of Indonesia Fisheries Management Area (WPP-RI) should possess a FAD installation license (SIPR).  (ant)

29
May

The central government has planned to allot Rp5.023 trillion in village funds to be disbursed this year to 5,411 hamlets in 558 sub-districts in 29 districts and municipality in Papua Province.

"In the first stage, almost 20 percent of the village funds have been disbursed in various districts and municipality. We encourage efficiency and accountability in the utilization of village funds," Chief of the Village Community Empowerment Office Donatus Motte stated in Biak on Tuesday.

He noted that the delayed distribution of village funds in various parts of the province was linked to the third-phase report of accountability on the utilization of village funds in 2018.

The first requirement for disbursal of the 2019 village funds must be met in addition to preparing a report of accountability on the usage of budget funds in the third phase of 2018.

"The village funds disbursed by the government are expected to fulfill the requirements in several development programs implemented by the rural community," he added. (ant)

29
May

The Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs is currently studying the potential of Buton asphalt to be processed into solid rocket fuel, in addition to its being used in road construction.

Maritime Coordinating Ministry's Deputy for Natural Resources and Services Coordination  Agung Kuswandono, when participating in a discussion on energy in Jakarta on Tuesday, said the use of  Buton asphalt potential needs to be encouraged, given the size of Indonesia's reserves, standing at some 670 million tons.

"I just know that asphalt can be used for rocket fuel components. If possible, perhaps the price could rise and we could become suppliers of rocket fuel," he said.

However, according to Agung, further research is needed regarding the potential of natural resources, in the form of natural asphalt.

He added that the use of Buton asphalt would have a very positive impact on suppressing asphalt imports, which have reached up to 500 million US dollars per year.

Also at the discussion, New Ventures Director of Buton Asphalt Group Agus Nuryanto said it is possible to use Buton asphalt as a solid rocket fuel.

However, Nuryanto noted that there needs to be an inexpensive system to process Buton asphalt, so that it could be used as solid rocket fuel.

"It could be (become solid rocket fuel), but it becomes expensive because Buton asphalt must be separated first, since the original form is as a rock. So, the black rock is used as asphalt, and this process is costly," he said.

Agus added that even after processing, the content in Buton asphalt is not necessarily compatible with the solid rocket fuel currently in use. In fact, the fuel for rockets cannot be made carelessly, to prevent it from exploding.

"So, the fuel is different from Buton asphal. If you want to use it, it will be rather difficult, as the specifications are different," he said.

Nevertheless, Agus is encouraged by the uses of Buton asphalt, in addition to road construction. According to Agus, like shale, which can produce oil and gas, Buton asphalt is also considered to have similar potentials.

"Both are similar, though while similar, Buton asphalt also has oil. It is hoped that the government will use it, not only as road asphalt, but also for other uses, because of its huge reserves," he said. (ant)