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Indonesia

Climate models predict that an increase in greenhouse gases will dry out the Amazon rainforest in the future while causing wetter conditions in the woodlands of Africa and Indonesia. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and other institutions have identified an unexpected but major factor in this worldwide precipitation shift: the direct response of the forests themselves to higher levels of carbon dioxide.

Read more: Scientists project a drier Amazon and wetter Indonesia in the future

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The City of Bogor enjoys more frequent rain showers than any part of Indonesia. Dubbed as the Rain City, locals often tell visitors that it almost always rains in their area even during the dry months. Cradled by three mountains, Mount Salak, Mount Gede, and Mount Pangrango, residents of the municipality are blessed with a cool climate, which also made Bogor a popular retreat destination especially for the wealthy.  The quaint and bucolic city is home to at least 5.7 million people (2017 State Statistics). Located just 60 kilometers south of Jakarta, Bogor is often seen as the extension of the capital itself. The current President, Joko Widodo, who hails from Bogor, is known to hold office there. A busy city whose residents are mostly part of the working force, a considerable portion of its population also commute and work to Jakarta on a daily basis.

The City of Bogor enjoys more frequent rain showers than any part of Indonesia. Dubbed as the Rain City, locals often tell visitors that it almost always rains in their area even during the dry months. Cradled by three mountains, Mount Salak, Mount Gede, and Mount Pangrango, residents of the municipality are blessed with a cool climate, which also made Bogor a popular retreat destination especially for the wealthy.

Read more: Addressing climate risks through community-driven interventions: The Story of Sindang Rasa in...

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  • Indonesian lawmakers aim to pass a long-awaited revision of the country’s Criminal Code this month, but already the draft has been widely criticized for rolling back personal freedoms and human rights.
  • Activists say it also threatens to gut existing legislation on environmental protection, effectively going easy on polluters and other environmental violators.
  • Problems identified include raising the bar for proving an environmental offense; more lenient sentencing prescriptions; and failing to hold the responsible parties accountable for environmental crimes.

JAKARTA — A highly contentious set of revisions to Indonesia’s Criminal Code threatens to undermine the fight against environmental offenders and polluters, activists warn.

Deliberations on the new draft are in the final stage in parliament, in what proponents are calling a much-needed overhaul and reform of a penal code inherited from Dutch colonial rule more than 70 years ago.

Already the bill has drawn intense criticism for new provisions that, if passed as expected in April, would criminalize consensual non-marital sex, outlaw the promotion of contraceptives, and make it illegal to insult the president or religious leaders, among other points.

But overshadowed by the furor over the looming rollback of personal freedoms and human rights are provisions that appear to weaken existing enforcement articles under the 2009 Environmental Protection Law.

“When we studied the draft, we found out that it’ll heavily affect existing environmental law enforcement and there are going to be many things that can’t be enforced,” said Reynaldo Sembiring, a researcher with the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).

“While the current law still has some weaknesses, those weaknesses will be amplified further in the new Criminal Code.”

These include making it more difficult to prove an environmental crime has taken place, watering down sentences for environmental violations, and a persistent failure to apportion accountability for these crimes.

Read more: Activists fear for environmental protection under Indonesia’s revised Criminal Code

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