As I was about to leave the office yesterday, I felt the floor moved under my feet.
Later, I learned from the media that there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter Scale at Ujung Kulon, Banten, more than 100 kilometers from Jakarta.
Although the earthquake happened for only less than one minute however me and my colleagues were quite shocked. This is obvious because we were still shocked by the series of earthquakes that rocked the Island of Sumatera and Java in the last four years, the latest ones being in West Sumatera & Jambi that killed hundreds of people and many others wounded and homeless.
As I drove home, I thought about the writings and documentary films made by environmental experts who said that human beings are partially responsible for causing the natural disasters.
I realized that many natural disasters in Indonesia were caused by human beings for example the never ending Hot Mud Flow caused by the improper Oil Exploration by PT Lapindo Brantas in Sidoardjo, East Java. There is also the gold & copper mining of Freeport-McMoran in Papua that caused damage to a large area. Besides, there's plan to transform protected forest (national parks) into coal mining in East Kalimantan.
The saddest thing is that some state owned companies are responsible for violation of the environmental laws & regulations, e.g petroleum company Pertamina has spilled oil in East Kalimantan.
But then I remembered about Indonesia's efforts to prevent or at least minimize the destruction of nature, among others by promulgating the new Environmental Protection and Management Law. Further, there is also President SBY's promise at the G20 Summit last September to reduce emission to 26% by 2020. This was immediately supported by U.S President Obama who promised to provide funds to countries that reduced their emission.
For detailed media reports on the above, please here, here, here, here and here.
Considering the above, I hope that there will be better efforts to protect the environment e.g by enforcing the Environmental Protection and Management Law and punishing any one who violates.