Mon, 24 Feb 2003

Unicef pledges US$1.5 million for Papua

MANOKWARI, Papua: The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) pledged on Saturday some US$1.5 million in financial assistance for Papua province in the 2003 fiscal year.

"The fund will support the provincial administration's programs on health, education, and the protection of mothers and children," Antara quoted Unicef staffer Jeanne Rini P as saying in Manokwari, Papua, on Saturday.

According to Jeanne, the funds would be used to continue humanitarian activities in the districts of Sorong, Manokwari, Biak Numfor and Jayawijaya, which are intended to cover 45 percent of 170,000 Papuan children aged 17 years and below.

The programs include seminars and training courses for medical staff in hospitals, health centers and village health posts, as well as training courses on AIDS prevention for teachers in the province, she said. --Antara

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Across-navy-illegal logs Navy nab ship carrying illegal logs JP/5/across

Navy arrests ships carrying illegal logs

PEKANBARU, Riau: A Navy patrol arrested on Thursday two ships suspected of carrying 100 tons of illegal logs in Dumai, Riau province, Antara reported on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear if the ships, which were not identified, were trying to smuggle the logs out of the country.

Navy personnel arrested the ships after their crews failed to produce the necessary documents for the logs. The ships were then brought to Bengkalis port in Dumai, Riau province, where they are being held for further investigation.

Commenting on the arrests, Dumai Naval Base commander Lt. Col. Daniel Majid said on Saturday that the Navy would continue safeguarding the country's natural resources even though there were those who were intent on smuggling them out the country. --Antara

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Across-reboisation-merapi 2,500 residents plant trees on Merapi volcano JP/5/across

2,500 people plant trees on Merapi slopes

YOGYAKARTA: About 2,500 civil servants, military and police personnel, party activists, members of charitable organizations, and local residents of Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, planted a wide variety of trees on the southern slopes of Mt. Merapi on Saturday.

The reforestation campaign was focused on the so-called third square slope -- the highest in the Turgo mountain range -- which is now completely deforested due to fires during last year's dry season.

The trees planted on Saturday included mahogany, acacia, damar, suren, and salam trees, which were provided by the Sleman regental administration.

Sleman regent Ibnu Subiyanto, who led the reforestation drive, said the move was part of efforts to save the Merapi area, which had suffered severe deforestation due to fires and landslides.

He also said that the mountains in the area had been neglected over the past six years.

"For the past six years, no attempts have been made to plant trees on the mountains. So, it is not at all surprising that the area has been completely deforested," Ibnu was quoted by Antara as saying on Saturday. --Antara

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Across-aceh-scholarship Children of fishermen want scholarship JP/5/across

Children count on Thai boats for schooling

BANDA ACEH: Thousands of children of traditional fishermen in Aceh are counting on scholarships to enable them to continue their schooling.

Aceh Cultural and Marine Law Council secretary Adli Abdullah said on Saturday that the children were promised scholarships to be paid for out of the proceeds raised by the auctioning of Thai fishing boats confiscated in Aceh waters earlier.

Adli, however, said his council was able to provide scholarships to only 535 students due to the limited funds available.

The Aceh administration earned a total of Rp 11. 5 billion from the auctioning off 35 Thai boats confiscated for poaching in Indonesian waters.

Most of the funds, however, went into the coffers of the provincial administration.

"If all the proceeds of the sale of the Thai boats were allotted for sending the children of traditional fishermen to school, it would help thousands of children from poor, traditional fishing families," Adli explained.

He said each child would receive between Rp 40,000 and Rp 100,000 a month, depending on the educational level concerned.

An elementary school student would receive Rp 40,000 a month, junior high school student Rp 55,000, senior high school student Rp 70,000 and a university or other high learning institute student Rp 100,000. -- Antara

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Across-petra-Australia Petra opens Australian study center JP/5/across

Petra opens Australian study center

SURABAYA: The English department of the Petra Christian University's (UKP) faculty of letters in Surabaya, East Java, is planning to open an Australian Study Center, an academician said Saturday.

The Australian Study Center will be launched during "Aussie Week" from Feb. 25 through Feb. 28, said Aylanda Nugroho of the UKP's faculty of letters.

"The embryo of the Australian Study Center actually came into existence in 1999 as part of a subject in the university's English department," Nugroho said.

He said the Australian Study Center would be launched by the university's rector Paul Nugraha, and would be attended by Beverly Mercer, cultural counselor at the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

According to Nugroho, Aussie Week would begin with seminars on East Java's "competitiveness" in Indonesian-Australian bilateral relations, and a lecture on Australian study to be delivered by Australian journalist Duncan Graham.

Other events to mark Aussie Week are a public speaking contest on "How to Improve Indonesian-Australian Relations", an education fair and a food festival. --Antara