Indonesia to issue list of invasive alien species

humaniora, politik dan hukum

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sat, August 31 2013, 9:40 AM

The government will be issuing a list of invasive alien species in the country following the rapid decline of local biodiversity due to the spread of imported species, introduced throughout the country via tourism and free trade.

“The species from other countries have caused a decline in Indonesia’s native species. We think it’s urgent to issue the list to protect our local biodiversity,” deputy assistant at the biodiversity and damaged land control unit of the Environment Ministry, Antung Deddy Radiansyah, said during a public hearing on Wednesday.

The list, which includes prohibited plants, animals and organisms, comprises 53 species in the agricultural sector, 99 species in the forestry sector and 112 species in the maritime and fisheries sector.

He said that up to 70 percent of Indonesia’s original species, including plants and animals, had been displaced by the invasive species, which were able to reproduce in their new habitat and, in some cases, dominate and eliminate the native species.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), invasive alien species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution.

Moreover, invasive alien species can harm the economy as well as health.

Antung cited the Baluran National Park in Situbondo, East Java, where exotic Acacia trees (Acacia nilotica) had invaded the land. “This plant occupies more than 50 percent of the land and it is now replacing the original savanna in Baluran and threatening the indigenous Banteng Java buffalo,” he said.

Besides Acacia trees, an ornamental plant known as the Blue Mist Flower (Eupatorium sordidum), which originates from Mexico, is now threatening endemic plants at the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, the park’s coordinator, Ardi Andono, said.

Muniful Hanir, coordinator at the Bukit Barisan National Park in Lampung, said that foreign weeds Merremia were now growing so thickly in the area that they were impeding the natural movement of local wildlife, such as tigers, elephants and rhinos.

Antung said that tourism and trade had contributed to the introduction of these exotic species into Indonesia. “In 2005, Indonesia imported 9,604,045 ornamental plants, which had the potential to become invasive species, from South Korea, the Netherlands, Japan and the United States,” he said.

Meanwhile, Soekisman Tjitrosoedirjo from the Indonesian Weed Science Society and associate scientist at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Tropical Biology, recommended that the government create a risk evaluation system for invasive alien species, as Australia had done.

“This risk evaluation consists of 49 questions to determine whether a species can be considered invasive and should be prohibited,” he said.

Soekisman added that the definition of invasive should be carefully defined and limited so that plants or animals that had commercial potential would not be listed.

Jansen Manansang, chairman of Animal Welfare Conservation and Ethics for the Indonesian Zoological Parks Association, praised the government’s efforts to create the list on invasive alien species, saying it could protect Indonesia’s biodiversity.

“It’s a good move from the government to protect our local biodiversity, but our primary concern is implementation, which relates to the current poor law enforcement,” he said.

He added that the government needed to create a national conservation agency to control the implementation of the invasive species list.

Meanwhile, Antung said the government would issue a ministerial decree on invasive alien species so that all sectors, private and state, would be obliged to take action.(tam)

On Soulmates

politik dan hukum

Apakah kamu sedang dalam perjalanan mencari pasangan jiwa?


Then, how do you perceive a soulmate?

Pasangan jiwa adalah dia yang bisa serasi denganmu dalam setiap kesempatan, langkah, tindakan?

Dia yang membuatmu merasa tak lengkap tanpa kehadirannya?

Dia yang  menjadi yin bagi yang mu?

Dia yang membuatmu yakin akan dirimu sendiri ketika bersama dengannya?

Atau, dia, sang pasangan jiwamu, adalah orang-orang yang kamu temui sepanjang perjalanan hidupmu, yang selalu memberikan dukungan serta kasih sayang padamu, tanpa syarat?



However, what is a soul mate?

what do you think. share your thought.

On Soulmates

RI develops extract plant for herbal medicines


The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Fri, August 23 2013, 9:51 AM

Indonesia has taken one big step toward fulfilling its potential as a plant-based medicine producer with the opening of its first extract plant producing raw materials for pharmaceutical-strength herbal medicines.

“Local private companies have started to develop the extract industry, which could facilitate the production of affordable herbal medicines,” Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said during the dedication of the extract plant, owned by PT Dexa Medica, in Cikarang, West Java, on Tuesday.

According to the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), 30,000 out of the 40,000 plants in the world with medicinal properties could be found in Indonesia, making it a prime destination for herbal medicines research.

Despite its vast biodiversity, Indonesia still imports 60 percent of the plants and extracts it uses for herbal medicine production, from countries such as China, India and Brazil.

Nafsiah said that most local herbal medicine producers had only been able to develop traditional herb concoctions known as jamu, which were often produced ad hoc without the aid of research facilities.

“We want to encourage companies to take the initiative in developing our rich natural plant resources for herbal medicines by issuing Regulation No. 006/2012 on traditional medicines business and industry,” she said.

According to the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM), Indonesia has three groups of traditional medicines: jamu, which has been consumed by Indonesians for generations with proven benefits; standard herbal medicine; and phytopharmaceuticals, or herbal medicines equivalent to modern pharmaceutical drugs.

Nafsiah said that Indonesia had a large potential plant-based medicines market. According to Health Ministry data, the market for Indonesian herbal medicines reached Rp 13 trillion (US$1.2 billion) in 2013. “Indonesia’s market for herbal medicines is increasing from year to year,” she said.

Maura Linda Sitanggang, director general of pharmacy and medical equipment services at the Health Ministry, said that 10 local private companies, including PT Dexa Medica, had started to develop extract laboratories and centers for herbal medicines.

“So far, nature-based drugs in Indonesia are still very expensive, as most of them use imported materials. The willingness of local companies to produce extracts will reduce medicine prices,” she said.

The executive director from Dexa Laboratories of Biomolecular Sciences — a subsidiary of PT Dexa Medica — Raymond R. Tjandrawinata, said that the company was established in 2005 with a focus on developing natural ingredients as raw materials for herbal medicines.

In 2007, the company opened its first research center, which focused on utilizing Indonesia’s biodiversity — including plants with medicinal applications — to create medicines. “We realize that Indonesia has many plants that can be used as medicines. Why don’t we start producing our own?” he said.

Raymond said that the company had decided to make herbal medicines, not jamu, through the Tandem Chemistry Expression Bioassay System. “This method involves finding the specific plant essences most suitable for healing a specific disease,” he said. “Jamu mixes multiple essences into one.”

He added that the company had created five herbal medicines in tablet form, which used natural ingredients such as cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii), mahkota dewa plant (Phaleria macrocarpa) and (Lagerstroemia speciosa).

“These plants have been scientifically proven to treat conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and endometriosis, which can cause symptoms like pelvic pain and irregular menstrual bleeding,” he said.

He added that all the products had gotten certification from either the BPOM or the international Patent Cooperation Treaty.

“In the future, we plan to be a herbal medicines producer for ASEAN countries,” he said. (tam)

Tainted milk enters RI via Batam: BPOM

politik dan hukum

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, August 15 2013, 9:36 AM

The government has finally decided to ban the importation of all infant formula products entering Indonesia via Batam Port as a precautionary measure, following the global tainted milk scandal hitting one of New Zealand’s biggest dairy companies, Fonterra. 

“We heard from Fonterra’s representative that some countries, including Malaysia and China, have used contaminated whey protein concentrate [WPC] in their dairy products. So we will investigate whether products from those countries have entered Indonesian markets or not,” Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) deputy chief for food safety and hazardous substance control Roy A. Sparringa told The Jakarta Post at his office after a meeting with Fonterra New Zealand on Wednesday. 

According to media reports, the Chinese and Malaysian governments have taken action by recalling infant formulas containing the Clostridium botulinum bacterium after Fonterra New Zealand announced that the company had exported the material to eight countries earlier this month. Fonterra said Danone Dumex Malaysia was one of the companies using WPC and had recalled some of its infant formula in Malaysia.

Roy said, however, that some products of Danone Dumex Malaysia, such as Dumex Mamex Cherish Step 1 and Dumex Dupro Step 2, had entered Indonesia illegally through Batam and could be distributed throughout the country. “Only some batches of these two products are contaminated by the bacterium,” he said.

He said the public should check the batch numbers of previously bought products made by Danone Dumex Malaysia. “We warn the public not to feed their infants these contaminated products and return the products so we can take measures,” he said.

Roy also said the government would take samples of the infant formula, which originated from New Zealand. “We want to make sure that none of the contaminated products are available on the Indonesian market,” he said.

A spokesperson from Danone Indonesia for milk products, Putri Realita, could not be reached for comment as of the writing of this article.

Indonesia is a promising market for infant formula. According to 2007 data from the Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey, the consumption of infant formula increased to 30 percent from 15 percent in 2004. Indonesia also came second after China as the most influential market for infant formula, according to the Indonesian Lactation Council.

The discovery of the poisonous bacteria in Fonterra products is reminiscent of Indonesia’s own tainted history in infant formula back in 2008, when research conducted by the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) found that infant formula had been contaminated by the Enterobacter sakazaki bacteria.

At that time both, the BPOM and the Health Ministry refused to make a public announcement about the brands involved and ignored a Supreme Court ruling ordering the ministry to reveal the names of formula containing the sakazaki bacteria. 

“Based on our observations of consumers, not many mothers know much about infant formula,” said Huzna Zahir of the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI). (tam)

Parents claim son tortured during police interrogation

politik dan hukum

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, August 14 2013, 8:47 AM

A 17-year-old boy accused of stealing a motorcycle in Toboali, South Bangka, has claimed that five police investigators gave him electric shocks during questioning at the South Bangka Police precinct office in Bangka Belitung province. 

His parents, who reported the case to the National Commission on Child Protection (KPAI), said that the police also had sprayed his genitals with water mixed with chili peppers.

“My husband and I visited my son at the South Bangka Police precinct office at the end of last month. We figured out that he had been tortured badly,” Suharnaini told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Suharnaini said that her son, identified by the authorities only as JP because he was a minor, had told her about the torture because he could not bear the pain anymore. JP revealed that he had been given electric shocks five times and had endured other forms of physical abuse, including being beaten and kicked, during the interrogation.

“He told me that the five investigators had beaten him so badly that he had vomited blood. We, as his parents, can accept that our son was arrested because of his actions, but we can’t tolerate the violence. We want the officers punished,” she said.

KPAI commissioner, Muhammad Ihsan, said that JP’s case was concrete evidence of violence toward children undergoing questioning by police officers. “Children are very vulnerable to physical abuse during questioning sessions,” he said. “Police or investigators are in the habit of using violence in order to get confessions,” he said.

The KPAI has reported that as of August, there had been 5,404 criminal cases involving juveniles this year throughout the country, and that 50 percent of them dealt with children under 12 years old. KPAI said that it had recorded 5,358 cases last year, which was slightly lower than the 5,532 cases in 2011. “Most of the children who get arrested are boys,” he said.

He added that the KPAI also reported that 70 children experienced torture during interrogations from January last year to March this year. “The methods are all the same. The investigators shock the children’s fingers and genitals, hit them in the stomach, beat them with hard objects or threaten them with guns,” he said.

Deputy director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) Restaria Hutabarat pointed out that the criminal and judicial processes were not friendly to children, hence the abuses, especially physical violence during questioning.

“Children’s rights violations often happen within the system, with law enforcers as the main violators,” she said.

Restaria added that in 2012, the institute reported that 90 percent of children facing judicial proceedings in Jakarta had not received assistance from either relatives or lawyers. “As a result, many violations happened against these children, including being arrested without legal grounds and being forced to confess to something,” she said.

Restaria said that the use of violence against children during interrogations violated the Juvenile Justice System Law No. 11/2012, which aimed to protect children’s rights during the criminal investigations and promoted restorative justice for children facing the law.

“According to the law, each child who faces legal or court procedures has the right to due process without torture or ill treatment, as well as inhumane or demeaning incidents,” she said.

Meanwhile, National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie said that investigators were not allowed to use violence when interrogating suspects, especially children, as it violated human rights.

“Every investigator should understand the Juvenile Justice System Law, which stipulates that children involved in crimes should have access to alternative dispute resolution procedures,” he said.

He added that the resolution highlighted that education measures should be applied when dealing with juveniles. (tam)