On the front lines
WHEN US SECRETARY OF STATE John Kerry visited Jakarta last year, he had some sobering things to say about Indonesia and the environment. “This city, this country, this region is really on the front lines of climate change,” he declared. “It’s not an exaggeration to say to you that your entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.”
Those remarks made chills run up and down my spine. They reminded me that Indonesia is the world’s number three greenhouse gas emitter after the United States and China. Indonesia’s rain forests continue to be stripped because of illegal logging and palm oil planting.
The good news is that a growing number of influential people around the world, including Indonesia, are fighting back. In this theme issue of we conducted exclusive interviews with some of the individuals who, in their different ways, are making a sustainable difference.
The Dutch Ambassador, Rob Swartbol, tells us about an ambitious US$50 billion Netherlands- Indonesia project to create a giant sea wall to prevent Jakarta from being submerged by the sea. Indonesia’s Deputy Environment Minister, Arief Yuwono, updated us on a 20-year project to clean up the Ciliwung, one of the world’s dirtiest rivers. Dr Mari E. Mulyani, a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Climate Change Policy from the University of Oxford, told us why President Joko Widodo should call on everyone to act now to reduce our carbon footprint.
This month’s “cover girl”, Irene Hartono Setiawan, explains how her company, Topjaya Group, handles environmental challenges in manufacturing and mining. On a more personal level, the lovely mother of four counsels that “the best way to go green is to make eco-friendly actions a part of your daily life”. Four stylish young celebrities - Ario Bayu, Hamish Daud Wyllie, Joe Taslim and Nadine Chandrawinata – tell us how they are helping save orangutans, sharks, manta rays and tigers from extinction.
There is much, much more to read in this informative and entertaining issue of your favourite high-society and lifestyle magazine. I hope you will make time to read every month. For news of our latest attractive subscription offer, please turn to page 216.