Copenhagen’s Monas project
still unknown back home

A miniature model of a future project of city landmark, the National Monument (Monas), might have wowed participants at the Copenhagen climate conference, but more than 10,800 kilometers away in Jakarta, the project remains unknown, even to officials in charge of Monas.

Rini Hariyani, the director of the Monas management unit, said she did not know of the Monas model and any carbon project related to the park.   

“I have only just heard of this from you,” she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday after visiting rujak.org, a website publishing a photo of the miniature Monas  model.

On Sunday, during the Future City exhibition in Copenhagen, the miniature of the park along with its surrounding high-rises was displayed. A description of the miniature read “The model describes the future sustainable development of Jakarta. Carbon finance projects support the city in its mitigation efforts and help to develop local economies and address social issues by creating jobs.”

Ageng, another Monas official who had been with the park’s management unit longer than Rini, said he too was unaware of plans to use the park as a pilot project in a carbon finance scheme.

Commenting on the project, he said he assumed the city was trying to raise funds to help finance environmental preservation projects.

“I think the administration is looking to welcome all financial help to make the city greener,” he said.

Jusuf, an official at Central Jakarta municipality’s public relation division, said he also did not know of the Monas miniature in Copenhagen and the carbon finance project in Central Jakarta.

“You should ask the Monas management officials,” he said.   

In contrast to the model’s noble boast of developing local economies and addressing social issues by creating jobs, the park came under criticism last month following the controversial ban issued by the Central Jakarta municipality on the operation of delman or traditional carts in the park’s vicinity.

The administration told the cart riders to move to the city peripheries, blaming the carts for hindering traffic and leaving horse urine and droppings. The ban drew protests from the riders who complained that the administration gave them no viable options.

Izar Khaidir, the designer of the miniature who is also an official at the city’s spatial agency, said Governor Fauzi Bowo initiated the idea of using Monas and its surrounding areas as a pilot project for low carbon usage, which would be applied in most areas in Jakarta.

“It’s an idea we’re pitching in Copenhagen to attract developed countries to help developing countries deal with carbon,” he told the Post over the phone.

Izar said the plans in the pilot project included planting more trees in the park, changing the street lamps along Jl. M.H. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman with LED lamps, retrofitting government buildings to be more energy efficient and using LPG to fuel public transportation.

“We believe Monas can be greener. We will also urge the management team of buildings around Monas to use photovoltaic cells in some spots and use sunlight during the day instead of lamps,” he said.

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