SBY receives award for marine conservation
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received the first-ever Valuing Nature Award in New York, the US, on Monday for establishing the Coral Triangle Initiative, the world’s richest marine biodiversity area that covers six countries.
The award was given by the Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) at a dinner in New York.
Coral Triangle Initiative – spanning from Malaysia to Solomon Islands – is a home to more than 75 percent of the world’s coral species and more than 37 percent of coral reef fish.
“[The initiative] has been a powerful catalyst for positive change in a region rich in biological diversity but that desperately needs better protection,” said WWF managing director Catherine Plume in a statement.
Furthermore, the organizations lauded the President’s achievement in expanding marine protected areas in Indonesia to 13.4 million hectares.
Abetnego Tarigan, executive director for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said that the award was given amid the increasing pollution on coastal areas in Java, Sumatra, Papua and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), most of which conducted by mining companies.
He claimed that the worst pollution was found in Senunu Bay in NTT, where the Environment Ministry allows PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (PT NNT) to dump more than 140,000 tons of mine tailings every day.
“We filed a lawsuit challenging the ministry’s decision, but it was turned down by the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) in April,” he told The Jakarta Post Digital on Tuesday. (yps/lfr)