The Government of East Sumba District in East Nusa Tenggara Province remains committed to continue to conserve sandalwood horses in Sumba Island.

Sandalwood horses are part of the local cultural treasure, with high value, to support the tourism sector in the area, so its conservation is necessary, according to East Sumba District Head Gidion Mbilijora.

"The sandalwood horse holds huge potential and has a high socio-economic value and has contributed to the tourist visits to our area," Mbilijora stated in Waingapu, the capital of East Sumba District, Friday.

Hence, Mbilijora said he was committed to continually conserving sandalwood horses, as it is one of the potential assets and valuable for the life of the local community.

This particular breed of horse in Sumba Island is closely related to various areas of local life, such as customary marriage, death, self-esteem, and social and economic aspects.

According to Mbilijora, the presence of sandalwood horses has strengthened the tourism sector in the local area in the midst of competition with various other leading tourist destinations in the country and abroad.

He said the region of East Sumba has abundant attractions, such as nature tourism dominated by savannah fields with oases and rivers in the valley area, as well as cultural and maritime wealth that is interesting for tourists to enjoy.

"The tourism sector is boosted by the presence of sandalwod horses in the savannas and also the result of hand-woven ikat, with natural dyes," he added.

Hence, Mbilijora has lauded the efforts to conserve the tourism wealth through the 1001 sandalwood horse parade combined with the ikat weaving festival that has been held in the area.

"We highly praise this activity as a form of common concern towards the preservation of arts and culture of Sumba," he noted.

Mbilijora expressed hope that the central and provincial governments, observers of art and culture, tourism players, and the community would support the ikat weaving festival in combination with the sandalwood horse parade, so that this activity continues to be held regularly every year.(ANTARA)


Kalla Receives Iranian Counterpart

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Indonesian Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, received his counterpart, Iranian vice president for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, at the Vice President`s in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 11.

The two vice presidents, in general, discussed the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Iran, especially with regard to Iran`s request to Indonesia for support over the development of Iran`s nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"I come to Indonesia, as President Hassan Rouhani`s envoy to President Joko Widodo, to discuss the latest developments in the world nuclear deal, especially regarding US withdrawal," Ebtekar stated, after meeting Kalla at the Vice President`s Office, Jakarta, on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Ebtekar conveyed a long history of cooperation between Indonesia and Iran in various ways and expressed hope that Indonesia would remain in a position to support Iran's nuclear deal.

"Various efforts should be made to defend this nuclear non-proliferation treaty, where the international agreement is based on the UN Human Rights Council to protect the peace and security of the world today," he explained.

In addition, Ebtekar`s visit to Indonesia is also intended to improve bilateral ties between Iran and Indonesia, among others, in the fields of women`s empowerment, trade, economy, and oil and gas.

Earlier, Rouhani had threatened to reduce cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, following the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump from Iran`s nuclear deal JCPOA.

"Iran's nuclear activities are always aimed at peaceful purposes, but it is Iran who will decide on the level of cooperation that it will provide with the IAEA," IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

Rouhani blamed Trump for the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, leading to the complicated situation. If Iran would not benefit from a nuclear deal after the US withdraws from the deal, then Rouhani will make a new decision. (ANTARA)


Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education (KEMRISTEKDIKTI) Director of Research and Community Services Prof. Dr. Ocky Karna Radjasa, M.Sc., and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Mission Director David Hoffman opened the first Collaboration for Innovation conference at Institut Pertanian Bogor International Convention Center yesterday. This is the first annual gathering of university partners and stakeholders of the USAID Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliance (SHERA) program, a collaborative research partnership program between select Indonesian and U.S. universities implemented with KEMRISTEKDIKTI.

The conference brought together universities, government entities, research and development institutions, the private sectors, non-governmental organizations and donors to discuss ongoing research partnerships and future collaborations while facilitating knowledge exchange among participants. “The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has a long history of supporting science, technology and innovative research in Indonesia. We are proud to continue this commitment through the SHERA program,” said Acting Mission Director Hoffman.

USAID SHERA partnerships are increasing the capacity of Indonesian higher education institutions to find solutions for the country’s most pressing development challenges. The program supports five Centers for Collaborative Research (CCR) in science, technology and innovation at lead universities, namely Universitas Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Padjadjaran, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Institut Pertanian Bogor. These universities foster research collaboration with 17 other universities across Indonesia and eight universities in the U.S., namely University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Rhode Island; Mississippi State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Florida and Savannah State University. The research subjects range from clean water distribution to food security to renewable energy solutions.

“Private sector demand is for innovative ideas that are ready to be put to immediate use—that is, ready to market and commercialize. It’s our responsibility to foster the CCRs in such a way that the research results have market value for the private sector,” said Prof. Dr. Ocky. “The private sector is an untapped resource that can transform these research efforts into greater innovations that can reap greater economic returns and prosperity for Indonesia and other countries around the region and indeed the world,” added Hoffman. (Release)


The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology released “Duta Suporter Indonesia” or "Indonesian Supporters Ambassador" application last week in Palembang to support the 2018 Asian Games. The Lead Team of the Application Development, Enda Nasution in a special interview with Voice of Indonesia in Jakarta said the application was developed to involve Indonesian people from 34 provinces in Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra. Through the application launched on July 7 and 30 days ahead, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology held a competition to elect 68 people as the Ambassador Supporter from every province. According to Enda, the participation of the young generation to become an ambassador of Indonesian supporters is quite high.


"In the next 7 days until last night there have been 12 thousand people signing up, but it is different in each province. There are some provinces with many registrations, but some are not, because we choose a winner in every province. But we have also promoted it in social media. There have been more than 3 million Indonesian people in 34 provinces which have seen this application," Enda Nasution said.

Enda Nasution further explained the selected Indonesian supporter ambassador will get an invitation to attend the opening of the Asian Games 2018. Sixty eight people consist of 1 man and 1 woman from respective province. Supporter Ambassadors are selected on voting basis from the public after they complete they assignments each week. (VOI/SEKAR/AHM)