Jakarta, Indonesia – More than 60 people from government, industry, and civil society participated today in a workshop launching a project aimed at eliminating lead in paint in Indonesia. This initiative is part of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) project on global best practices for phasing out lead paint funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Plastic waste from America, collected for recycling, is shipped to Indonesia. Some is burned as fuel by tofu makers, producing deadly chemicals and contaminating food.
By Richard Paddock
TROPODO, Indonesia — Black smoke billows from smokestacks towering above the village. The smell of burning plastic fills the air. Patches of black ash cover the ground. It’s another day of making tofu.
CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.
This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.
To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, Landscapes News is publishing a series of stories honoring women with a laurel for their dedication to improving the landscape. In this profile, Landscapes News contributor Alexandra Popescu writes about Yuyun Ismawati. Check Viewpoint all week for more laurel recipients.
A lifelong environmental activist working to improve livelihoods across Southeast Asia, a Goldman Environmental Prize laureate for grassroots activism and most recently an entrepreneur, Yuyun Ismawati is a tireless campaigner for greener, healthier landscapes.
“I have always been curious and wondered what I could do to make things better,” says Ismawati, who is currently working to clean mercury-contaminated soils using renewable energy while earning a doctoral degree focused on the impact of mercury on child health at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany.
Sekotong, Lombok: Elawati blames herself for what happened to her son.
Rizki Ashadi is five and still wears a nappy. He sits on a rug on the porch, dribbling and contorting his limbs. The front of his sky-blue top is wet with drool and one of his beautiful liquid brown eyes points inwards.