A Good News Year?

As we start a new year, I thought it appropriate to start with good news.

1. In far eastern Indonesia, off the coast of Papua Barat/West Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya) the Raja Ampat islands embrace a phenomenal coral wilderness.

The Nature Conservancy has been actively working with local government, communities and other partners like World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International toward Raja Ampat’s protection for the past decade. Their main goal is to ensure the archipelago remains one of the world’s most biodiverse regions while sustaining the valuable natural resources Raja Ampat’s people need to keep their livelihoods.

So far, the Marine Protected Area (MPA) comprises 366,000 hectares.

Read more from the National Geographic magazine of September 2007.

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2. Regular readers will by now know that I've long been a staunch opponent of nuclear power as an energy source. (Newcomers may like to read this and this and this first.)

On January 15th and 16th, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there will be the 4th Nuclear Power Asia symposium. From the downloadable brochure (.pdf), we can see that participants will be wearing their rose-tinted glasses (i.e. they'll be cheerful and/or optimistic to an excessive degree.)

One of the workshops will focus on "Reactor accidents and fuel failures [which have] occurred in the past half-century and what we [have] learned from those." The Facilitator will be Dr. Kazuaki Yanagisawa, the Principal Engineer/Principal Researcher of the Office of Policy Planning and Administration Dept. of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

I wonder if participants will be told about this devastating report (.pdf) .

The Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns, fires and explosions of March 2011 were by far Japan's worst-ever nuclear accidents, but they can also be seen as the latest in a long line of accidents in Japan's nuclear industry − an industry notorious for its dangerous mismanagement, secrecy, dishonesty and slack regulation.

Of particular interest to Indonesians is that Prof. Dr. Djarot Wisnubroto, Chairman of the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) will be a panelist in a discussion on "Nuclear power: the question of public acceptance", and specifically "How to implement an effective public communication and acceptance programme and overcome “community” NIMBY ("Not in my back yard!") tendency."

I'm not sure why Prof. Dr. Djarot bothers because he's already admitted in a presentation (.pdf) about
'Fuel cycle infrastructure development' in 2011 to the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) that Indonesian uranium sources were, since 1995, increasingly 'hypothetical', 'speculative', 'inferred' and 'indicated', whilst 'measured' has remained constant at a bare minimum of needs for (his) proposed nuclear power plants.

That this junket won't actually achieve anything other than to agree to meet again next year may be more good news to start the year.

Let's hope so – for all our sakes.

2 Responses to “A Good News Year?”

  1. anong says:

    Your last posts (just read) are all very good. I guess it's the history factor. I'm not much of a historian but from an intensive 5 day trip from Semarang to Jepara to the old Portuguese fort, to Mount Muria, to Rembang, to Lasem, to  Karungjati (the second oldest railway station in Indonesia), to Salatiga one cannot fail to appreciate at least some of the last actions/actors of the last 150 years in this part of the world.

    Did you read the review of the Raffles book by Duncan Graham btw? I recently found the blogs of Tim H when I was seeking information on South Sumatera.  Well written and very helpful.

    My main (simple) theme here is "history" – maybe because it is new years day – or maybe because like you, having lived here many years, I need to come to grips with (more) history and to figure out how to intertwine it best with my likely many years to come in this place….. I note your remarks about relocation which seem to indicate you intend to stay here.  In a related vein I note what (seems to be) the sad fact of the loss of a father who you may not have seen for 15 years?
     
    I hope your blog will continue to enrich the lives of expatriates here, and of others as well; not just on a "political/historical" level but also on a more personal level.

  2. Jakartass says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Anong.
    I hope to continue Jakartass for a while too – there's always so much to comment on …. such as that I'm typing this is a local warnet 'cos I haven't got an internet connection at my new home.
    Something to do with the long Xmas hols taken by telecommunications technicians. How come so many Muslims in this supposed Islamic country like to celebrate Christmas?
    If it weren't for the lack of customer service, I'd applaud their pluralism. -;)

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