In awe of Takengon’s beauty: Tour de Aceh Etape I cyclist

– A Tour de Aceh Etape I cyclist from Central Java has expressed admiration for the natural beauty of Lake Lut Tawar, Takengon, Central Aceh district, Aceh.

Dani Chika, a Tour de Aceh Etape I participant, said he highly recommends the Aceh route for cyclists.

“Tour de Aceh Etape I (used) an amazing route. The location is cool and comfortable. It is very great for the event, one round of the lake is 48 km; it is recommended for the race,” he remarked in Takengon on Saturday.

Chika said this was his first time in Aceh. It was easy to adapt to the surrounding environment because of the friendliness of the citizens, so he did not find any negatives with Aceh, he added.

“So, when I first went to Aceh, the friends said that Aceh was like this and that, but after arriving, it turned out that Aceh was not what they thought. So, don’t be afraid to come to Aceh, Aceh is really beautiful,” he said.

The 48.7-km cycling event, Tour de Aceh Etape I, in Takengon, ended on Saturday. Etape II will take place in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar on Monday (May 16, 2022), with a route length of 38 km.

Meanwhile, marketing head of the Aceh Culture and Tourism Office, T. Hendra Faisal, said Tour de Aceh this year was not only a cycle racing event but also part of the promotion of sports tourism in Tanah Rencong, a nickname for Aceh.

“This event is to introduce participants to the natural beauty in Central Aceh. We saw that the participants enjoyed the race,” Faisal said.\

Source: ANTARA News

Floods hit eight villages in Southeast Aceh district

Floods swamped eight villages in three sub-districts in South Aceh District on Saturday following heavy rains, according to the Aceh Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBA).

“Flood waters still inundated residential areas (on Sunday),” BPBA acting chief Ilyas said through the Data and Information Center (Pusdatin) in Banda Aceh early on Sunday.

The floods caused by heavy rains began to hit the villages on Saturday at 9:31 p.m. local time, he said.

The flood-hit villages include Lawe Hijo, Kuning 1, Kuning 2 and Pinding in Bambel sub-district, Pasir Puntung in Semadam sub-district, Lawe Loning in Babul Makmur sub-district, and Lawe Dua and Sebudi Jaya in Bukit Tusam sub-district.

The heavy rains poured down most of Southeast Aceh District, thereby causing Lawe Kinga River to burst its banks.

“”As a result, the dikes of Lawe Kinga and Lawe Pasar Puntung collapsed and residential areas and a national road were flooded,”” he said.

The floods cut off Kutacane-Medan national road as floodwater reached a height of 90 centimeters, he said.

Source: ANTARA News

Ministry seeks to strengthen Indonesia-India trade at business meeting

Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga attended a meeting with Indian business actors at a hotel in Jakarta in a bid to strengthen Indonesia-India trade relations.

“This meeting is in line with both countries’ leaders’ target to increase the value of Indonesia-India trade to US$50 billion by 2025. It is hoped that both countries can undergo economic recovery and become stronger,” Sambuaga remarked.

The meeting initiated by the Indian Embassy was attended by the Indian Ambassador to Indonesia, Manoj Kumar Bharti, Trade Ministry’s director general of national export development, Didi Sumedi, and market security expert staff at the ministry, Sutriono Edi.

During the meeting, at least 45 business actors made their introductions and expressed their concerns regarding business opportunities in Indonesia, such as constraints on importing raw materials and business licensing.

They also expressed their appreciation for the Indonesian government’s assistance in building their business sustainability.

According to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia’s exports to India in 2021 were valued at US$13.2 billion, an increase of 27.85 percent compared to the previous year.

Indonesia’s main export products to India are coal, palm oil, iron alloys, industrial monocarboxylic fatty acids, and copper ore. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s main imports from India are semi-finished iron products, cane or beet sugar, peanuts, frozen beef, and iron alloys.

Sambuaga said that India is the 26th source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for Indonesia.

“The realization of Indian investment in Indonesia was recorded at US$49.5 million spread across 465 projects. The three largest sectors include the textile industry; land for buildings, industrial estates, and business activities; as well as trade and reparations,” he informed.

Source: ANTARA News

APEC boosts digital, environmental training to secure future jobs

Education and human resource development officials and experts from 21 APEC member economies are striving to boost digital and environment-related training and education in the region to equip people, especially youth, for future jobs.

Employment in the services sector and industry, including manufacturing and construction as well as agriculture, is estimated to have declined by 1.5 percent, 5.7 percent, and 2.6 percent, respectively, in 2020, as per a release issued by the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group and received here on Saturday.

According to the APEC working group, job losses due to COVID-19 hit the younger generation especially hard, with an 8.7-percent fall in youth employment in 2020.

“Success for APEC is not only about trade and investment; a success for APEC should include improved and strong human resources development, including education, capacity building, and labor, and social protection,” lead shepherd of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, Dong Sun Park, said.

The group has identified trends that have shaped the future of work since 2020 and shifted its policy direction this year toward shaping smart citizens with digitalization and eco-friendly awareness.

Such a shift aligns with APEC’s Putrajaya Vision in which new economic drivers have been set for the next 20 years.

“Technology and the environment will be key economic drivers in the post-pandemic world. We need to ensure our people, especially the young generation, are fully equipped with the skills and competencies of the future,” Park added.

During the four-day meeting in Bangkok, the Human Resources Working Group laid out strategies and policy actions to enhance the education agenda of APEC.

The actions include cross-border education and academic mobility, qualifications frameworks, skills recognition and technical and vocational education and training, education innovation, as well as 21st-century competencies and structural education reform, among others.

Fostering strong, flexible, inclusive, and resilient labor markets is also important for assuring jobs, especially in a rapidly changing work environment.

Policies covering labor mobility as well as expanding social protection and safety nets will become even more crucial for future jobs. Those policies would extend to women, youth, and people with disabilities.

The meeting also heard from a youth representative from Chulalongkorn University who recommended that APEC further advance school curricula, engage scientists and experts in designing the curricula, mandate youth advisory committees for policy-making, as well as boost practical measures on sustainability.

“Human resource development has become an increasingly important element of APEC to promote the well-being of our people and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the region,” co-chair of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, Duriya Amatavivat, said.

Amatavivat, who is also a senior advisor to the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Education, reiterated Thailand’s commitment to promoting skills development for empowerment and employability, as well as to facilitating a smooth transition to a digital, green economy, and sustainable societies.

“This can help us in advancing global efforts to address all environmental challenges, including climate change, extreme weather, and natural disasters for a sustainable future,” she said.

By focusing on digitalization and the environment, member economies can empower learners to adapt and retain employment, as well as encourage innovation to generate sustainable and inclusive growth.

Source: ANTARA News

Developing strategic research infrastructure to bolster innovation

The provision of strategic, adequate, and advanced research infrastructure is an important component of a research and innovation ecosystem for facilitating the development of innovations and technology.

Thus, although Indonesian human resources are capable of carrying out the latest research, if the equipment is inadequate, the study process will be hampered. Meanwhile, research results are usually required quickly to answer the latest needs and challenges.

Hence, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has made strategic infrastructure development one of its priority programs.

Currently, BRIN is massively building research infrastructure by integrating a number of research and development institutions across Indonesia.

Through integrating research units and institutions in Indonesia, the agency currently has large resources to allocate sufficient funding for developing the required infrastructure to support research and innovation activities in the country.

Infrastructure contributes 20 percent to the input component of research activities. Meanwhile, superior human resources and budget contribute 70 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

However, head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, said that the budget is the initial enabler of research activities, while adequate infrastructure and superior human resources are the supporting enablers of the activities.

“We will not be able to recruit and nurture our superior human resources without appropriate infrastructure. Hence, we need an initial budget to provide the infrastructure,” he added.

Currently, the agency is focusing on strengthening the infrastructure for research on land and sea biodiversity as well as advanced materials.

In addition, BRIN is building facilities to support research on the domestic COVID-19 Red and White vaccine, including an animal Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory and an excellent vaccine manufacturing laboratory in Cibinong sub-district, Bogor district, West Java province.

Furthermore, starting 2023, BRIN will focus on improving the infrastructure for nuclear and outer space research.

Meanwhile, several new research facilities regarding biodiversity have been and are being developed, including the Integrated Laboratory of Bioproduct (iLaB), Genomics Laboratory, Culture Collection facility, as well as biology, microbiology, and food production facilities.

The various new research facilities also include the marine bio-industry research facility at the Marine Bio-Industry Center (BBIL) in North Lombok district, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province.

iLaB is the first integrated bioproduct laboratory in Indonesia and is located at the Biomaterials Research Center, Cibinong Science Center-Botanical Garden (CSC-BG), Bogor Regency, West Java.

The laboratory also provides an integrated bioproduct material testing service.

Meanwhile, the 9,300-square-meter Genomics Laboratory has been set up in Cibinong, West Java, to carry out whole genome sequencing of microbes, plants, animals, and humans as well as a life science and environmental research laboratory.

The agency is also managing the Indonesia Culture Collection (InaCC), which showcases the nation’s biodiversity in various kinds of microbes.

According to acting director of scientific collection management at BRIN, Hendro Wicaksono, the InaCC does not only conserve microorganisms, but also provides a number of services regarding the utilization of and research on the organisms.

The microbe collections at InaCC are usually used in the biotechnology, energy, food, animal feed, agriculture, health, and the environment sectors.

The culture collection currently stores about 5,900 kinds of microorganisms from seven taxa, namely archaea, bacteriophages, bacteria, actinomycetes, microalgae, yeasts, and molds.

In addition, it has various research facilities, including laboratories as well as storage rooms for microorganisms that are equipped with deep freezers, L-dry ampoules, and liquid nitrogen.

The InaCC also has a genetic analyzer, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-thermal cycler, real-time PCR machine, Varioskan multimode microplate reader, scanning electron microscope, epifluorescence microscope, and barcoding system storage.

Thanks to the development of these facilities, various research and innovation activities will now be easier to implement.

The facilities could also support the development of a modern and complete National Center for Biodiversity in Indonesia.

Furthermore, in Lampung province, BRIN will build a mineral processing laboratory using low-cost and zero-waste technology, as well as an incubation building and an integration laboratory for remote sensing data and information services.

Meanwhile, in Biak Island, Papua province, the agency will build Earth station facilities for managing and receiving satellite data.

In 2022, the agency will revitalize its marine research vessel fleet, which consists of five Baruna Jaya research vessels.

The vessels are capable of conducting any type of research on marine geoscience, oceanography, meteorology, marine biodiversity, as well as seabed mapping to expedite efforts to understand the ocean and its ecosystem.

The research vessels will be modernized through a comprehensive improvement of their engine, propulsion, and research tools.

BRIN will also strengthen its research vessel fleet by building a new ocean-explorer research vessel spanning 80–90 meters (m) to support deep-sea research since the exploration and utilization of the biological and non-biological diversity in the area are limited.

BRIN’s research infrastructure can be used by all parties—researchers from BRIN or other institutions, domestic or abroad, education actors, industrial players, as well as the general public.

The facilities can also be utilized under a collaborative scheme for both national and international research activities.

With the availability of infrastructure, which is massively being advanced by the Indonesian government through BRIN, it is expected that research and innovation activities will increase and provide more benefits to improve the economy and the welfare of the community, as well as contribute to the development of science.

Source: ANTARA News

Gov’t begins to distribute bulk cooking oil at Rp14,000 per liter

The government has begun to distribute bulk cooking oil at Rp14,000 per liter through a pilot project that targets 5 thousand locations across Indonesia.

The government has assigned state-owned food company BUMN Pangan ID FOOD to carry out the pilot project of bulk cooking oil distribution to 5 thousand places, Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Pahala Mansuri said in a written statement on Sunday.

The pilot project that kicked at the weekend will last until late May 2022.

The 5 thousand locations cover traditional markets in North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Bengkulu, Lampung, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi.

To distribute the bulk cooking oil to the public, the government will assign cooking oil retailers as the partners of the state-owned food company.

“”Not only large scale traders or businessmen but also retailers or (small) shops and even micro small and medium entrepreneurs can become partners of the state-owned food company to distribute (bulk) cooking oil,” he said.,

He said the issue of cooking oil not only deals with scarcity but also price stability since many small shops and retailers still sell cooking oil at above the upper retail price.

The government encouraged the state-owned food company to expand the market for bulk cooking oil until sub-district, neighborhood association (RT) and community unit (RW) levels.

In addition, the state-owned food company is also expected to prepare special platform through Warung Pangan app managed by the company to ensure the online distribution of cooking oil and monitor whether consumers can afford to buy cooking oil at Rp14,000 per liter.

Source: ANTARA News

Indonesia G20 presidency must strengthen int’l fishermen collaboration

Executive Director of the Center for Maritime Studies for Humanity Abdul Halim stated that the Indonesian Presidency at the G20 Forum should be able to strengthen collaboration among international fishermen to strengthen the marine sector.

“Establish international cooperation (among fishermen of various nationalities),” Abdul Halim said in a statement to Antara here on Sunday.

He explained this when he was asked about the possibility of the Indonesian G20 Presidency in improving the welfare of fishermen, which is still a concern in a number of areas.

Halim said cooperation and synergy needed to be carried out on the basis of the abilities of various fishermen and business actors in the fishery sector, both domestically and abroad.

The government is also expected to be more careful in negotiating any cooperation agreements.

“Especially related to a number of shortcomings of fishermen and fishery business actors in the country,” he said.

The G20, which is a global forum of 19 countries and one European Union region, has contributed to 80 percent of the World’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 75 percent of international trade and 60 percent of the world’s population.

Therefore, the policies produced in the forum are considered to have an impact on marine health conditions.

In addition, the page also states that the G20 is a forum that must initiate ocean or marine governance, and ensure regional dialogue, strategy and cooperation to ensure that investment and growth related to marine affairs can be sustainable and unlock the maximum potential.

President Joko Widodo earlier said Indonesia’s G20 Presidency would discuss the importance of a blue economy, blue carbon, and also handling marine debris.

Indonesia is ready to partner with any parties to create a sustainable marine ecosystem, according to the President. At the domestic level, Indonesia has also taken various breakthroughs to manage the marine environment in a sustainable manner, he added.

A number of breakthrough steps include the handling of fish in a measured and quota-based manner supported by a technology-based monitoring system, the development of aquaculture villages based on local wisdom for poverty eradication, and the preservation of marine commodities of high economic value.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Capture Fisheries of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) M Zaini Hanafi guarantees that the processing of capture fisheries permits is fast and easy so that fishermen and business actors can process them anywhere and anytime as the licensing service is open 24 hours.

Source: ANTARA News

Minister Uno lauds Bali Waste Cycle for easing environmental burden

A quality tourism does not only focus on improving income, but also on reducing environmental burden

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has lauded Bali Waste Cycle (BWC), a waste management company, for helping ease environmental burden and supporting the implementation of tourism and creative economy development strategy based on environmental sustainability.

“A quality tourism does not only focus on improving income, but also on reducing environmental burden,” Uno, who visited the BWC Office in Denpasar, Bali Province, on Saturday, said in a statement on Sunday. BWC, which was established in 2019, is expected to help the government achieve its targets of reducing the amount of plastic waste by 30 percent as well as managing waste by 70 percent by 2025.

Furthermore, the minister also lauded the BWC for creating job opportunities for local residents in Denpasar City and its surroundings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

BWC also provides education and training to the community, and to coordinators of waste banks, reuse, reduce, and recycle waste management facility (TPS3R), and local waste processing facilities (TOSS) in various villages in Bali Province. “Hopefully, it will continue to grow and help improve the community’s economy in accordance with the Tri Hita Karana concept,” he added.

He said that BWC’s works are in line with the application of Tri Hita Karana, a concept in Hinduism that emphasizes a caring, peaceful, and tolerant lifestyle by implementing its three main sub-concepts – Parhyangan, Pawongan, and Palemahan.

Parhyangan reflects humans’ relationship with God (belief or personal value aspect), while Pawongan means the implementation of people relationship with each other (social aspect). Palemahan is defined as the relationship between humans and the nature (artifact aspect). “We can also use the Tri Hita Karana concept as a guide to transform the (Bali’s) economy which is now heavily dependent on the tourism sector to be more diversified, for instance through the implementation of green economy,” he said.

Based on data of the Statistics Indonesia (BPS), 86.9 percent of people in Bali Province practice Hinduism.

Source: ANTARA News