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Lantan derived from ancient Minang language meaning care, nurture, protect, and defend; while Bentala derived from ancient Malay language which means earth. Yes. The Earth is our Mother. All of us came from her womb, and will be back to her when we already finish our journey here. Protecting her is the ultimate imperative for humankind to survive in this beautiful but fragile planet.
Let’s join together to protect, defend and nurture our Mother Earth! You heard our Mother’s call, didn’t you? She needs us now more than ever in human history. Our life really depends on how we together answer that call.
We encourage young kids to love environment through several activities such as
- plant easy-to-grow plants
- make simple composting
- use handkerchief instead of tissue
- bring their own bags when shopping to reduce plastic bag
- do not littering
Lantan Bentala newsletter Since 19 March 2007, we have published a biweekly newsletter on environment and circulate through emails in PDF (our first issue can be downloaded from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8V1n3LRsRYAM1BKYURVVlkyY00/edit?usp=sharing). It consists only two pages and written in Indonesian language, our mother tongue because we do not want to waste another trees to print it. With digital format, it can also easily share throughout the world. It consists of news, thoughts, concerns, practical ideas, and everything else in search of alternative green life style. We are so sorry because articles written in Indonesian language, our mother language. But we will provide the summary in English, so that you can understand what was discussed. We have selected several editions which you may interested on it. The whole issues of Lantan Bentala Newsletter can be viewed and downloaded from this link https://app.box.com/s/q8tenambsf7mqf120jq7
Motret Bareng Lantan Bentala in Trans Jakarta Eight persons joined the Motret Bareng Lantan Bentala activity to take pictures of bus stops of Trans Jakartaand their surrounding in June 13, 2010. Some places look clean but in other places we found a lot garbage not only in out of the bus stop area, but also inside of the bus stop. We already published a book titled Kebersihan di Lingkungan Bus Way - Jakarta, in Indonesian language. However, for those who do not understand Indonesian language, you could still enjoy the pictures of it. 
Motret Bareng Lantan Bentala in Ragunan Zoo - South Jakarta Fifteen people joined this activity in May 27, 2012. Two of them are our resource persons: Dodo Karundeng, ex-photographer from Antara news office for photography, and Renie Djojoasmoro from Yayasan Orangutan Kalimantan Internasional for primate as Schmutzer Primate Centre locates in Ragunan Zoo. The primate centre is one of the largest in the world (http://www.indonesialogue.com/featured-articles/the-schmutzer-primate-center-jakarta-west-java.html). Lessons learnt from this activity is, Indonesians have to start from zero how to manage and maintain. Since it is managed by Jakarta local government in 2006, facilities in primate center are not in good condition. Indonesian also have to learn how to put garbage in the bin and not just throw it everywhere. If you are looking for the pictures taken by some of us, pleas open this link https://www.box.com/s/68b2fe5d090a569e13c6.
Rafting in Ciliwung River Lantan Bentala joined rafting in Ciliwung river in July 23, 2011, an activity conducted by Komunitas Peduli Ciliwung Bogor. It started from Kampung Glonggong, Cilebut-Bogor and finished under the Pemda bridge closed to the source of water for PDAM (regional water company) Tirta Kahuripan locates in Cibinong. Twenty one people involved in this activity.
Three bamboo rafts were prepared by the organizer. It was an experience that can not be forgotten since passengers had to in and out of the raft. Several times the rafts stuck in rocks because the water is shallow. The organizer did not anticipate that dry season will affect the height of water in the river. We also had to stop several times because the bamboo were loose as the ropes were not bound as they should.
Before we started, the organizer admitted that they had no experience in bamboo rafting and they just realized that the bamboo has not dry yet to be used. Dried bamboo raft will float and not sink as the rafts that we used which were partly sank before nobody in there.
Compared with the water conditions of Ciliwung in Jakarta, the water here is more clear. Although we found a waste landfill in puspa raya area, in other areas not many garbage were found. See the pictures below and if you want to know how the passengers feel about their experience in this activity (in Indonesian language), here are the links:
Green Party ala Lantan Bentala On last February, Lantan Bentala organized a 70th birthday party of Mayling Oey-Gardiner, one of Lantan Bentala foundation members. This party can be considered as a green party means an environmentally friendly party although it was held inside the building of National Public Library, in Jakarta. The party was purposely designed to be simple but environmentally friendly because Lantan Bentala invites everybody to seek alternative ways to nurture, protect, and defend the Mother Earth. Food and beverages were provided in containers that are environmentally friendly, not with disposable plastic cups or styrofoam containers.
In the invitation, every guest was requested not to give flowers which was usually put in a styrofoam board or fresh flower which will not be last long as a birthday present. Party invitations sent via SMS or email, and was stated that it was an official invitation. Invitation through SMS and email have also reduced paper usage.
For Indonesian, the room had been unusual decorated. Instead of cutting flowers, colorful flowering plant was put in each guest table. The room was filled with a number of round tables and each surrounded by eight chairs to accommodate approximately 100 guests. In addition, there are celery plants in front of a table for the speakers. The party was started by an open discussion on Planning Without Data, a title used of Mayling’s article.
The reason to use these plants is they could be planted by Mayling after the party is over, while the cutting flowers will be thrown after a few days.
Months after the party, Mayling keep saying that the plants are still blooming and make her garden is colorful.
It is easy to make a green party, isn’t it?
Agents of Change Today, environmental issue is a sexy one. There are many groups in Indonesia that focus on environmental issues now compared with four years ago, from political parties, Indonesian students group, NGOs, religious groups, and even business. They held a lot of activities and events related to the environmental issues. But some time they do not realize that they must become agents of change first, before asking people to follow them. It is not uncommon that many organizers of the so-called environmental issues produced more garbage themselves after the events, like plastic bags, bottles, or using not eco-friendly products like Styrofoam.
To be an agent of change is to set as an example for others. Thus, if you are really concerned with the environment, do not use plastic bags. Bring your own bags when you are shopping. Use refill bottles instead of buying and throwing more and more bottles. And never use Styrofoam, because it will harm yourself and the environment. Be consistent with your self, then people will follow you. People will follow what you did, instead what you preached about.
Boenthelan/Poendhoetan/Furoshiki The Javanese call it boenthelan, the Banjar people in South Kalimantan name it Poendhoethan, and in Japan people say it Furoshiki. Boenthelan is a piece of cloth use to wrap or carry things. Boenthelan is an alternative way to reduce plastic bags which is more fashionable because it is not only eco-friendly but also unique as individual could wrap or carry things in her/his own way with different cloth design. Since it is the old way of our ancestor to wrap things which has already been eco-friendly, it is easier to introduce it to people especially those who are young and to women who use to go shopping.
To Cooperate is not easy Jakarta Glue (Jak Glue) consists of people who have concern with Ciliwung river in Jakarta, the capitol of Indonesia. It has initiated an activity named Suatu Hari Yang Indah di Sepanjang Ciliwung (A beautiful day along the Ciliwung River) which will be conducted on Dec 31, 2011. The main agenda is to clean garbage from the river from 9AM to 1 PM. Certainly, it is realized that this activity will not automatically make the Ciliwung river clean from all garbage if people still throw their garbage to the river. From observation, people who live in other areas also contributed to the garbage in the river by dumping their garbage to the river.
After the main agenda, every participated community (komunitas peduli ciliwung/KPC consists of people who work for Ciliwung at the local) will celebrate the rest of the last day of 2011 with their own party. Several activities have been noted for parties such as laundry race, catch ducks race, climbing the areca nut trees, fun games for kids, etc.
Jakarta Glue asked various stakeholders i.e., community/KPC, local government, business, higher education, scouts to cooperate in this event. Until three weeks before the event, about 15 KPCs along the Ciliwung river from Bogor to Pasar Baru (the old market locates in Central Jakarta) will participate in this event.
However, it is not easy at all to make the participants to cooperate with each other for this event, especially between KPC and local government, between the KPC itself as well as between KPC and Jak Glue who is glueing all the stakeholders for this event. With certain reasons some local government (lurah and camat) refuse to support KPC in their own area. One KPC's leader is jealous with others because he wants to be known as the only hero for Ciliwung. Others thought that Jak Glue get financially benefited from this event therefore when Jak Glue told them to make their own proposal to get donation from others, they were complaints. Other attacked Jakarta Glue by saying that this event has been canceled as no response from local governments.
Caring without patronizing I Gede Ananta Wijaya, Contributor, Jakarta | Feature | Tue, August 28 2012, 11:20 AM
Paper Edition | Page: 22
Recreation nowadays is considered to be a necessity, especially for those living in urban areas such as Jakarta. A visit with the family to a public park during the weekend may help them relax, after dealing with work and the famous heavy traffic of the city.
“Good morning. How are you? Where are you from? Come here often? Nice to have a clean place isn’t it?”
If one day, while sitting in a public park, someone with a big smile greets you and then has a small chat about how good it is to have a clean public park, that person could be a member of Wisata Bersih. Wisata Bersih (Clean Recreation) is a group that goes on recreation trips to public places, chatting with people there about not leaving any garbage outside garbage bins and keeping the place clean.
This activity was initiated by a group of people who care about the cleanliness of recreation facilities in Jakarta.
The idea of initiating such an activity came from the experience of Krisnasari Yudhanti, one of the initiators. Sari, a member of Komunitas Lantan Bentala, had an unpleasant experience of going on a recreation trip with her family to Ragunan Zoo.
She found the place so uncomfortable due to overflooded garbage bins and visitors with a bad habit of littering.
Not happy with what she saw, Sari then decided to give away plastic bags she had to help visitors carry their garbage before they could find the nearest garbage bin.
This experience triggered an idea to create an action that could help keep our public recreation places clean. A small discussion was then held in Pura Aditya Jaya, Rawamangun, to develop ideas for the action to achieve the goal. The discussion participants agreed that one way to do it is by engaging visitors, who play an important part in this problem.
If visitors with bad habits can make the place dirty, then good visitors can help make a difference. The action should be simple, easy, inexpensive and non-exclusive, so that anyone could participate.
That simple action is going to public recreation places as a visitor and having a conversation with the people, such as other visitors, sweepers, food/drink vendors or just about anyone we can interact with. Start the conversation with a simple topic and don’t forget to get comment on your expectations for the place.
Our fellow activists also bring used plastic bags with them. They will offer the plastic bags to those who need temporary storage for garbage before finding a garbage bin.
So far, this simple action has proven to be quite effective. Visitors don’t feel that they are being patronized or judged. Instead, they are supported to develop and maintain a good habit and to help participate in keeping the place clean.
This way, visitors can easily understand that it will be comfortable for them and also other visitors if the place is clean.
In the beginning, there were several communities involved in the activity: Komunitas Lantan Bentala, Perhimpunan Pemuda Hindu Indonesia (Indonesian Hindu Youth Association), Koalisi Pemuda Hijau Indonesia (Indonesian Green Youth Coalition), Gerakan Pemuda GPIB (GPIB Youth Movement) and IndoRunner.
There are no limitations on anyone, community or individual to participate. It is highly suggested that communities apply the simple concept of Wisata Bersih in their activities. Anyone may share their stories or pictures of their Wisata Bersih activities wherever they go, especially through social media. It will help to inspire those who are concerned about keeping their public recreation places clean.
Up until now, Wisata Bersih activities have already been held twice. The first time was in Monas on June 30 and the second was held in two places, Taman Menteng and Kota Tua, on Aug. 11, where our fellow sketchers from the @Sketsa_ku community became good example to other visitors by doing cleaning after sketching and not leaving any garbage on the spot.
The activity will be focused mostly in public parks, considering the ease of accessibility to various communities. Additional improvements will later be added to the activities to make them more fun and interesting and also more inviting for communities to join the activity to help spread the message.
So, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever activity you and your community do, remember to do a Wisata Bersih action and keep our public recreation places clean. One person talking to another makes a difference. For those with a Twitter account, you can share your stories and pictures of your Wisata Bersih action and mention @WisataBersih.
Do a Wisata Bersih action everywhere you go. Become an inspiration to others in a simple way.
[Stop Plastic Bags!] One of the main activities of Lantan Bentala is promoting eco-friendly lifestyle, such as campaigning for reducing the use of plastic bags. Recently we publish in our newsletter no 157 (download here https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8V1n3LRsRYAR2VjeV9YNzFlTlk/edit?usp=sharing) the effort by Tiza Marifa, who wrote a petition to the giant supermarkets so that they do not give plastic bags freely anymore to their customers (https://www.change.org/id/petisi/carrefour-hero-hypermart-dan-supermarket-lainnya-kantong-plastik-jangan-gratis). Support our campaign. Stop Plastic Bags! Bring Your Own Bags!
[Local regulations] Results of preserving forest People of Lubuk Beringin village, Kecamatan Batin III Ulu sub-district, Bungo District, Jambi province, generate village conservation agreements to set up protected zones for conservation and land to be used. Examples: (1) Fishing is not allowed at a certain part of the river; (2) The penalty for river fish poisoning is fined by a goat handed to the village; (3) Selling wood from protected forest will be fined Rp. 500 thousand or about U$ 56. Lubuk Beringin village becomes the first village forest which means that local people have the right to manage the state forest in 1996 after their community leaders encouraged governments to determine the status of protected forest in the forest surrounding their village. A patrol team has been developed to control the protected forest once a month to effectively deter illegal logging in the forest. Today: (a) 3 waterwheels @3000 watt have been developed in the river flows in the village to generate electricity for 75 families; (b) the forest has a diversity of plants and animals including endangered species; and (c) local people becomes local tour guide for tour package at around the village Source: http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2012/03/16/03491358/menuai.hasil.dari.menjaga.hutan
[Fruits grow in Indonesia] Indonesia is very fertile country. Weeks ago, I got Matoa (Pometia pinnata) from my neighbor. Matoa is a native fruit of Papua, the eastern part of Indonesia. It was sweet and taste mix of rambutan, durian, and longan. Although it is a native fruit of Indonesia, matoa have been sold in supermarket in Jakarta about 10 years ago.
In 2007, when I traveled to Banda Aceh, I found a fruit named terong Belanda/Dutch eggplant (Tamarillo), a relative of tomato, eggplant and capsicum pepper. The fruit is oval-shaped breech or oval, measuring 3-10 cm x 3-5 cm, tapering to two ends. Fruit skin is thin, smooth, reddish lavender, orange-red to yellowish. It contains a lot of fruit juice, a little sour, blackish in color until yellowish. Seeds flat round, thin, and hard.
In Banda Aceh or Medan, people use it for cool drink or fruit juice. That time, I bought one or two kilos of Dutch eggplant in traditional market in Banda Aceh to take home (Jakarta) because I have never seen it in Jakarta. Several years later, we can find Dutch eggplant in supermarkets in Jakarta. Dutch eggplant is a mixture of fresh fruit for my breakfast.
Rambutan is believed to be native to the Malay Archipelago  as the name rambutan derived from the Malay word rambut, meaning "hairs". Indonesia has various types of rambutan. One of them called rambutan gundul meaning bald since it has no hairs. During the sixties it was rare to find, especially now.
[Arisan] Arisan in Indonesia is a regular social gathering whose members contribute to and take turns at winning an aggregate sum of money. Usually done by women at neighborhood level. Instead of money, women in one neighborhood at Kelurahan Pelita, Samarinda city, East Kalimantan province, bring garbage such as bottle, cardboard, cans, newspaper, etc. These things will be sold and they will get the money. Source: http://www.metrotvnews.com/read/news/2012/06/05/93617/Arisan-Sampah-ala-Ibu-Ibu-Kelurahan-Pelita/6
Save Aru islands: In Solidarity with Aru islands by Jack Manuputty
I have no idea to express what I’ve really felt when entering the interior of Aru Islands, the easternmost corner of Maluku Province. The landscape is really beautiful. Sailing with a traditional wooden boat, I found the riverside is flanked by amazing mangrove that grows abundantly. Simple villages beyond the fog were extremely peaceful. Fog in the river is a common occurrence but more-so during the dawn. The view was both amazing and mysterious.
Consists of more than 250 islands, Aru archipelago is well known as the only region in Maluku where 4 species of golden birds of paradise are living in harmony with Black Cockatoo, Tree Kangaroo, Cassowary, Deer, and indigenous forest people, those who depend on the forest for at least 75% of their daily needs. However, Aru Islands is a portrait of peaceful suffer and poverty. Although living the beautiful and richness environment, the poverty rate decreased for indigenous people up to 50%.
Unfortunately, instead of developing projects to improve the lives of people living in poverty, crazy policy of Maluku government allowed a greedy investment of 28 companies from Jakarta to replace 500 000 hectares of Aru forest with sugar cane plantation while the remain 200 000 hectares is just left for environmental protection. Ironically, the poor Aru people know nothing about this plan though a national regulation guarantees an indigenous land right. Currently, a way of life and unique environment of Aru Islands is threatened to be destroyed. Aru people are crying for help. They've organized their rally to stop the project because the sweetness of sugar is a bitter taste for them and their environment as well. Let us stand in solidarity with them! #SaveAru https://www.facebook.com/jackymanuputty/media_set?set=a.10151901816999697.1073741831.642089696&type=1http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=79805
70 percent of Aru Islands forest to be destroyed for sugar-cane plantation The local government of the Aru Islands, south-west of West Papua in Indonesia’s Maluku Province, has granted permission for a Jakarta-based company to harvest 500,000 hectares of forest to set up a mega sugar cane plantation.
But locals and members of the Maluku Provincial Parliament are demanding the permits, which were granted without the indigenous Arunese peoples’ permission, are revoked.
Mary Baines filed this report:
The vice-chair of the Maluku Provincial Parliament, Mercy Barends, says she can’t understand how the local government could allow 70 percent of forest over six islands to be wiped out.
“MERCY BARENDS: We don’t know why, what is the main reason why they do this for us as Arunese in our land. It’s very, very crazy. They sold our land to the PT Menara Group and they didn’t think about the people living and our future generation living. I have no words, I have no words.”
Ms Barends says locals have been offered next to nothing for use of their land, and suspects the company is coming in to take their wood, oil and gas. She says members of the Maluku Provincial Parliament and the local government, which are independent of one other, are going head to head over the plan.
“MERCY BARENDS: We fight until the last blood in our bodies, with standing position, for this to stop - the PT Menara Group operation in Aru Islands. All the data, and the people in the village and the community - we will stand to the KPK, our corruption commission at the national level.”
The Save Aru Islands spokesperson, Reverend Jack Manuputty, says the Arunese rely on the forest for their daily needs, and the sacred land is home to birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, deer and black cockatoos. He says the deal was made behind closed doors, without the indigenous peoples’ knowledge or permission.
“JACK MANUPUTTY: Our local government, the governor, gave them recommendation and permission to do their thing in the Aru Islands without asking permission from the local people. It’s against our national regulations. The local people have a right on their land.”
An independent researcher of plantations in West Papua, Selwyn Moran, says he started investigating the company when it recently obtained permits to plant oil palmns on 400,000 hectares in Boven Digoel Regency, which borders Merauke. He says not much is known about the company, which develops software systems for banks and is venturing into plantations for the first time. He says it has set up 28 subsidiaries in Aru and 10 in West Papua, as there is a limit to the size of plantation that each individual company can have.
“SELWYN MORAN: The whole system of plantations in Indonesia makes it very easy for companies to hide. The actual plantations are run by these 28 subsidaries. Sometimes its very hard to find out who is the big company behind those subsidaries. And the decisions are made at a local level and its up to local government how much information they want to give out and to who.”
Attempts to get comment from PT Menara Group were unsuccessful. The former governor of Maluku, who made the agreement with PT Menara Group, Karel Ralahalu, has recently resigned instead of running in the current local elections, and could not be contacted. Attempts to contact the acting governor, Ros Far-Far, have also been unsuccessful.
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