On the front lines

Prestige Indonesia - - Contents -

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.

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