Reporting on mudslides to disappearing islands

Jakarta – In Batam, toxic waste is polluting water wells and causing skin irritation among residents. In North Sumatra tea estates are pushed aside by oil palm plantations. In Jayapura, this capital of Papua province has the shape of a deep frying pan and is prone to floods. Rain transforms the sand-ingrained soil of the surrounding slopes into mudslides.

In Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, a community on the bank of the Kahayan River are troubled by floods caused by their own uncollected garbage. In Samarinda, East Kalimantan, coal mining has afflicted pain to one community. In South Sumatra, land use change of paddy fields into palm plantations is threatening a village known as a rice granary.


In South Kalimantan, illegal logging and illegal mining have caused mud piles that make rivers shallow. In West Kalimantan, constant tree felling has created critical land and reduced canopy cover. One rural community attempts to turn the critical land green. In Bengkulu, Pulau Tikus (Mouse Island) off the coast of Bengkulu City is one of a number of small islands under threat of disappearing by abrasion due to constant gouging from the tides of the Indian Ocean.

Nine journalists from nine different regions were assigned to report on a region unfamiliar to them and found the above local problems. After returning from three full days in the field, participants of the LPDS climate travel fellowship workshop presented their assigned interpretative feature at the LPDS campus in Jakarta March 25 and 26.

Each presenter drew comments from fellow participants, particularly from the participant who comes from the region that was the assigned destination of the presenter. Three LPDS mentors then gave their critique on substance and style. After rewriting the copy, work fit to print will be uploaded on a newly created Covering Climate Change canal in the werbsite of the LPDS. The articles will also appear in book form.

Participants of the climate travel workshop are Desi Safnita Saifan,, Bireuen, Aceh (reporting from Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan); Dinda Wulandari, Bisnis Indonesia, Palembang (reporting from Samarinda, East Kalimantan); Fariana Ulfa, City Radio, Medan (reporting from Batam); Phesi Ester Julikawati, Tempo, Bengkulu (reporting from Pontianak, West Kalimantan); Nazat Fitriah, TVRI, South Kalimantan (reporting from Medan, North Sumatra); Marga Rahayu, RRI, Samarinda (reporting from Bengkulu); Zaki Setiawan, Harian Sindo, Batam (reporting fom liputan ke Palembang, South Sumatra); Ma’as, Koran Media Jambi and, Jambi (reporting from Jayapura, Papua), and Timoteus Marten, Tabloid Jubi, Jayapura (reporting from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan ).
The climate travel workshop took place March 18-27 with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Published in Berita LPDS