Translator (penerjemah)

April 30, 2009

Indonesia's Forests Deforestation in Brief

Indonesia's Forests Deforestation in Brief
-(Shocking Nature News)-

Indonesia has lost an estimated 72 percent of its original frontier forest.
Indonesia is experiencing one of the highest rates of tropical forest loss in the world.

Indonesia was still densely forested as recently as 1950. Forty percent of the forests existing in 1950 were cleared in the following 50 years. In round numbers, forest cover fell from 162 million ha to 98 million ha.

The rate of forest loss is accelerating. On average, about 1 million ha per year were cleared in the 1980s, rising to about 1.7 million ha per year in the first part of the 1990s. Since 1996, deforestation appears to have increased to an average of 2 million ha per year.

Indonesia’s lowland tropical forests, the richest in timber resources and biodiversity, are most at risk. They have been almost entirely cleared in Sulawesi and are predicted to disappear in Sumatra by 2005 and Kalimantan by 2010 if current trends continue.

Nearly one half of Indonesia’s forests are fragmented by roads, other access routes, and such developments as plantations.

Deforestation in Indonesia is largely the result of a corrupt political and economic system that regarded natural resources, especially forests, as a source of revenue to be exploited for political ends and personal gain.

April 29, 2009

Black or Blue

-(Nature Game, Enhancing Group Dynamics, Ice Breaker)-

This is a modified game from Indonesian "Hitam and Hijau" (Black and Green) game. My teacher show this game when I was a young scout in my junior high school. I asume that some of you have a similar game played in your country :) Then I modify it to become "a more nature game" :) . We also can modified many other games to teach environment education, math, social, science, local language in fun way - you should trust me :)

First I choose "Black and Blue" because the words have similar rhyme - in more simple way, we can also play this game by just say BLLLACK or BLLLUE (for example, for kindergarten / smaller kids).

We divide children or adults into 2 groups. This is a massive game, so it will be more fun if we played it with more than 20 kids. Sometimes I played this game in order to refresh, re-energizing participants.

Some statements in related issues (environment, math, social, or else)

Make 4 lines :
1. First line
2. Second line, aproximately 5 meter from first line
3. Third line, aproximately 7 meter from first line
4. Fourth line, aproximately 12 meter from first line

Divide participants into 2 groups. First group will be BLACK group (WRONG statement), second group will be BLUE group (RIGHT statement).

BLACK and BLUE group will stand behind line number 2 and 3, facing each other. A WRONG statement means a BLACK team can catch one of the BLUE team after the teacher read his/her statement completely. A RIGHT statement means a BLUE team can catch one of the BLACK team after the teacher read his/her statement completely.

Please notice that prisoner will be a part the team who catch them. Also pay attention that to secure a position, a target can run until they reach save line (behind first or fourth line).

Make some nature/social/ math/... related statement like :
1. Orcinus orca (killer whale) is a kind of fish
(WRONG answer - it's mamal, so the BLACK group catch one of the blue group. Just grab a hand)
2. There's no way that a mamal can lay an egg
(WRONG answer - a platypus can, so the BLACK group catch one of the blue group)
3. Social related statement: Ujung Kulon National Park (with its Javan Rhino) is in Indonesian - Banten Province
(RIGHT answer - this time so BLUE group catch one of the blue group)
4. Trap statement : You've already eat this morning :P
(So there's no BLACK and BLUE answer - participants will catch each other dizzily)
5. Math related statement: If a tree can produce 200 lt of O2 a month (net), it needs 15 trees to support a man who needs 3000 lt O2 a month.
(You should know that The BLUE will catch the BLACK)
6. Create your own fun statement...

For a smaller kids, create a more simple statement... have fun !

April 21, 2009

Science Team Finds 'Lost World'

Science Team Finds 'Lost World'
-(Shocking Nature News)-

An international team of scientists says it has found a "lost world" in the Indonesian jungle that is home to dozens of new animal and plant species. "It's as close to the Garden of Eden as you're going to find on Earth," said Bruce Beehler, co-leader of the group.

The team recorded new butterflies, frogs, and a series of remarkable plants that included five new palms and a giant rhododendron flower. The survey also found a honeyeater bird that was previously unknown to science.

The research group - from the US, Indonesia and Australia - trekked through an area in the mist-shrouded Foja Mountains, located just north of the vast Mamberamo Basin of north-western (Indonesian) New Guinea.The researchers spent nearly a month in the locality, detailing the wildlife and plant life from the lower hills to near the summit of the Foja range, which reaches more than 2,000m in elevation.

"It's beautiful, untouched, unpopulated forest; there's no evidence of human impact or presence up in these mountains," Dr Beehler told the BBC News website.

"We were dropped in by helicopter. There's not a trail anywhere; it was really hard to get around."

He said that even two local indigenous groups, the Kwerba and Papasena people, customary landowners of the forest who accompanied the scientists, were astonished at the area's isolation.

"The men from the local villages came with us and they made it clear that no one they knew had been anywhere near this area - not even their ancestors," Mr Beehler said.

Unafraid of humans

One of the team's most remarkable discoveries was a honeyeater bird with a bright orange patch on its face - the first new bird species to be sighted on the island of New Guinea in more than 60 years. The researchers also solved a major ornithological mystery - the location of the homeland of Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise.

First described in the late 19th Century through specimens collected by indigenous hunters from an unknown location on New Guinea, the species had been the focus of several subsequent expeditions that failed to find it. On only the second day of the team's expedition, the amazed scientists watched as a male Berlepsch's bird of paradise performed a mating dance for an attending female in the field camp.

It was the first time a live male of the species had been observed by Western scientists, and proved that the Foja Mountains was the species' true home. "This bird had been filed away and forgotten; it had been lost. To rediscover it was, for me, in some ways, more exciting than finding the honeyeater. I spent 20 years working on birds of paradise; they're pretty darn sexy beasts," Dr Beehler enthused.

The team also recorded a golden-mantled tree kangaroo, which was previously thought to have been hunted to near-extinction. Mr Beehler said some of the creatures the team came into contact with were remarkably unafraid of humans. Two long-beaked echidnas, primitive egg-laying mammals, even allowed scientists to pick them up and bring them back to their camp to be studied, he added.

The December 2005 expedition was organised by the US-based organisation Conservation International, together with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. The team says it did not have nearly enough time during its expedition to survey the area completely and intends to return later in the year.

The locality lies within a protected zone and Dr Beehler believes its future is secure in the short term. "The key investment is the local communities. Their knowledge, appreciation and oral traditions are so important. They are the forest stewards who will look after these assets," Dr Beehler told the BBC.

A summary of the team's main discoveries:

•A new species of honeyeater, the first new bird species discovered on the island of New Guinea since 1939
•The formerly unknown breeding grounds of a "lost" bird of paradise - the six-wired bird of paradise (Parotia berlepschi)
•First photographs of the golden-fronted bowerbird displaying at its bower.
•A new large mammal for Indonesia, the golden-mantled tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus pulcherrimus)
•More than 20 new species of frogs, including a tiny microhylid frog less than 14mm long
•A series of previously undescribed plant species, including five new species of palms
•A remarkable white-flowered rhododendron with flower about 15cm across
•Four new butterfly species.

Picture : frog, bird of paradise-new species, Papua Map taken from The golden mantled tree kangaroo picture taken from

April 18, 2009

Box of Unseen

Box of Unseen

-(Nature Game)-

This is a nature game that we can integrate with art, local language, math or anything else (like every nature game in this writings too). The idea is quite simple. We encourage children, or adults to know better about biodiversity, using their senses (in this case, with smelling and touching).

Some box (12 box or more)
Smelly objects from plants (12 or more)

First, I like to remind that we must try to always integrate every nature game, experiment or discussion with other study (biology, art, culture, language, math, social science). In my country, there are limited time to teach environmental education (although it is a very rapid breakthrough to start to did environmental education). If we can put environmental education in many integrated subject, it will become one of education for sustainable development (ESD).

So, lets start with the box:
1. Create a box about 5x5x3 (wide, length, high) without top. We need about 12 box or more. In math, we can also study to calculate the volume of the box, while make a good drawing for the scheme. Don't stick to much with this idea, you also can use paper bag, triangle box or without box.
2. In art and culture, we can decorate the box with local style drawing, or by creating our own style (it is possible to you to create social movement slogan too :P )

Then we start with the game itself. First, bring about 12 different smelly object - from the part of plants (it can be root, seed, fruit, leaves, etc). It must have different flavor. Divide 12 children into 2 groups (each are 6).

For 3 to 5 minutes, every children must smell and recognize the smelly objects. Then they stop and waiting in groups. Every children hold a box and in order, the first group pick up the objects from the teacher (so they pick 6 from 12) and put it into box. The other group standing in a row with eyes closed (use the handkerchief).

When you say start, first group stand and give the box to their opponent. They must recognize the plant with their smell. Is it possible for one kid to receive more than one box. In 10 seconds, first group move backward with their box and second groups calculate their point (right answer). Group number one give all the objects back to the teacher.

Second round, it's time for other groups to do the same. We can make this activity in some rounds until we sure the children have know about the object clearly. For modification, we can use touch for different object : leaves, seeds, flowers, etc. It is my advice to keep their eyes closed so after some smell and touch, when they open their eyes, they will more aware and watching, this time closer than before to the object.

Upper picture: ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

April 16, 2009

Smallest Fish in The World

Smallest Fish in The World
-(Shocking Nature News)-

The smallest vertebrates (and smallest fishes) known are part of the genus Paedocypris of Indonesia, which dwell in peat swamps and can survive extreme drought in part due to their small size (just 7.9 mm long at maturity). Much of their habitat is acid water, with pH as low as 2.9. The members of the genus are thought to be highly endangered.

Male individuals of the species anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps have been documented to be 6.2-7.3 mm at maturity, and thus claimed to be a smaller species. However, these survive only by sexual parasitism and the female individuals reach the significantly larger size of 50.5 mm

Picture taken from :

April 15, 2009

Guess My Name

Guess My Name
-(Nature Game, Facilitation Technique, Improve Listening and Observation, Enhancing Group Dynamics, )-

This activity is a nature game. It is fun and we can do it in a class room or an open area. Our purpose is to know different kind of animal, plant diversity (or something else if we want to develop and relate this game more : like in social issues - city name, village, tribe,...), so we can always practice environment issue with biology, social, geography with this kind of game.

Handkerchief (optional), some game card (we create it)

First, for teachers, we have to make some game card related with our topics (is it about knowing animals? Is it about knowing plant diversity ? - (more advance: is it about local tribe knowledge ; or is it about city/village social knowledge)? This game is very flexible.

Cut a nice picture for the card. You can make it big enough, so the children can see it clearly. This is some example about what things we can do with this card
Animal diversity: deer, jelly fish, pig, worm, shark, sea snake,...
Plant diversity: tomato, chilly, coconut tree, banana tree, other tree,...
Profession: farmer, teacher, ...
Social knowledge: city, village, country name, tribe
Tools : computer, knife, paper map

The game we played needs some participants. We divide kids into 2 groups (each about 3-5 kids). Then we give the cards to them. In round one, one group try to guess what card that the other group have. They can ask about 10 time, which the other groups answer is one of this answer : yes, no, yes-no, or not sure. Not clear answer means that the first group must ask a more clear question

The facilitator only give the first clue like : living creature, profession, country, or more speciall clue like : it can breath (for monkey), or it can be from wood (paper map).

The example for kids that guessing a Banana Tree is like this:
Facilitator: It is a living creature
Q1 : Is it an animal? A1 : No
Q2 : Is it moving? A2 : Yes - No
Q3 : Is it a plant? A3 : Yes
Q4 : Is it have a fruit? A4 : Yes
Q5 : Is it a tropical plant? A5 : Yes
Q6: Is the fruit have a hard skin? A6 : No
Q7: Is their fruit have a green skin? A7 : Yes - No
Q8: Is their fruit consist a lot of water in it? A8 : Not Clear
Q8 : We mean, when we eat it, there is a taste a lot of water in it? A8: Not sure, but Yes
Q9 : Is the fruit flesh is generally red? A9 : No
Q10 : Is the fruit flesh is generally white / yellow? A10 : Yes

Facilitator : Ok, let guess !
Answer : It's a manggo tree (wrong answer). Then the other group show the picture of Banana Tree. 0 - 1 to the answering group!

Some example of animal topic card

For beginner, play with more question limit (maybe 15 question or you can make a time limit (example 5 minutes, rather than 2 minutes). Remember, you can also play this nature game with modifications:
- Play with single player versus groups (as who will guess or answer the question). If the single player play as the "guesser" he/she can stand in opposite direction with the picture in his/her back.
- Play with more topics, like geography, profession, science, and still you can make relation with environmental issues (or not). Just keep the first clue "environmental friendly" ; like "this thing can make you easier doing your environmental proposal" (answer: computer) ; or "this tribe have local knowledges in farming method" (answer : Dayak Tribe in Borneo).
- Even you can play this game with local languange to integrate it with your culture
- Have fun, integrate this environmental education into a sustainable development issue :) !!!

April 12, 2009

Animal Instinct

Animal Instinct
-(Nature Game, Facilitation Technique, Ice Breaker, Grouping)-

"Animal Instinct" is an ice breaking game that we can do to energize children or adults when we study environmental education / else. The story behind this nature game is to to tell that animals generally live in the same species groups, not other groups because they need group protection, and other related things.


First, in circle (or line) we count 1 to 5, and then we start counting the same number again until everybody got their number.

After finish counting, every children in same number stay in the same group. Name that group with animal name like chicken, bear, cat, cow and so on. Practice how the animal will sound, so it's like the cat "meooww" or the cow "moooo"

Then we use handkerchieves to make sure they can't see. Randomised their position / split the groups, and make sure that they are disoriented.

Then in your command, 1...2...3, they start to looking their animal groups by vocalize their animal sound. Be sure that nobody sounding except their animal sound, with eyes closed. The class wil be full with a lot of meooww, mooo, and roar and the games will be stop after each group had their member. The winner will be the fastest group get all their member.

For a larger groups, we can make more than 5 animal groups.

April 10, 2009

Plastic or Paper Bag?

Plastic Or Paper Bag?

-(Green Living Tips)

How about neither. Another easy thing you can do to go green is bring your own bag. Paper and plastic bags both have a negative effect on the environment.

There are over 30 billion plastic bags that end up as litter everyday where they then make it to our oceans killing birds, mammals and other animals by the millions. Plastic bags are man-made where they photodegrade instead of biodegrade. When plastics photodegrade, sunlight breaks the plastics down to smaller pieces where wild animals mistake them as food.

Paper bags may be even worse. Even though more people recycle paper bags compared to plastic bags, it takes more energy to make them and creates more waste then 2 plastic bags.

Countries like Ireland and Australia have banned or heavily taxed the use of plastic bags and the city of San Fransisco banned it altogether.

What choice will you make? Skip the question and choose your own bag. It could be hemp or cotton or even better, choose a bag made out of recycled materials. There are over 2 million plastic bags used a minute and millions of trees cut down to make paper bags. Help our environment by skipping paper and plastic. Visit for more information.

Circle Census

Circle Census

-(Nature Experiment)-

This is a simple environmental activity to make children or adult realize, that many life forms ADA around us. In our bussy day, sometimes we didn't notice that they are move, eat, sleep or flying. It's all about tiny forms that construct our environment.

Needs :
Lines and stake (optional)

We may do this activity in our garden, forest, field, or even near a trash can, so it will be flexible. First we can make a cirle by holding hand together (if there are a lot of friends) or for less people, we can make a circle/square by lines. It's all up to you to make bigger or smaller circle.

Then we divide children into groups. Each of them try to recognize if there is any creatures live in his/her circle area. If there is to many participants, you can make another circle, or divide the circle with lines into smaller area. Try to look under the soil, leaves, rotten branch to see if there are some small life forms.If your inner circle is a tree, sometimes you will find more creatures likely. Don't forget to check the wood apertures also.

After that, children will notes kind and number of creatures they found. If we also calculate the large of the circle, we can find the average density of each creatures (we will learn about the practical use of mathematics too with this activity)

My suggestion, after this activity we can discuss more about:
1. Small and tiny creatures diversity, and their functions in environment
2. Different creatures in different habitat (if we do this activity in different area)
2. Tree/pond/... functions to support small life forms (what happened if a tree/pond/... is loss.
3. Try to relate this activity with much bigger case (forest degradation, property change,...) with help from an article, news or movie
4. Or just have some fun. Don't be to serious-be simply, after all we start to love the nature if we enjoy nature activity :)

April 9, 2009

Orang Pendek, A Mistery from Sumatra

Orang Pendek, A Mistery from Sumatra

-(Shocking Nature News)-

Orang Pendek (Indonesian for "short person") is the most common name given to a cryptid, or unconfirmed animal, that reportedly inhabits remote, mountainous forests on the island of Sumatra., specially in Kerinci Seblat region.

The animal has allegedly been seen and documented for at least one hundred years by forest tribes, local villagers, Dutch colonists, and Western scientists and travelers. Consensus among witnesses is that the animal is a ground-dwelling, bipedal primate that is covered in short fur and stands between 80 centimetres (31 in) and 150 centimetres (59 in) tall

Debbie Martyr, a prominent Orang Pendek researcher who has worked in the area for over 15 years, has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, and alleges to have seen the animal personally on several occasions.

Usually no more than 85 or 90cm in height — although occasionally as large as 1m 20cm, Orang Pendek body is covered in a coat of dark grey or black flecked with grey hair. But it is the sheer physical power of the orang pendek that most impresses the Kerinci villagers. They speak in awe, of its broad shoulders, huge chest and upper abdomen and powerful aims [sic]. The animal is so strong, the villagers would whisper that it can uproot small trees and even break rattan vines. The legs, in comparison, are short and slim, the feet neat and small, usually turned out at an angle of up to 45 degrees. The head slopes back to a distinct crest — similar to the gorilla — and there appears to be a bony ridge above the eyes. But the mouth is small and neat, the eyes are set wide apart and the nose is distinctly humanoid. When frightened, the animal exposes its teeth — revealing oddly broad incisors and prominent, long canine teeth

April 6, 2009

Largest and Oldest (Clonal Colony)


-(Shocking Nature New) -

The Pando tree is a "clonal colony" which means that this whole grove is one living organism that sends up multiple "stems". Each of what we would consider one "tree" is just a part of this giant living organism.

These individual "stems" sprout grow to maturity and eventually age and die and fall over but the organism that they are a part of lives on.

The largest known clonal colony is this forest of quacking aspens in Colorado that is estimated to have 40,000 stems and to be as old as 80,000 years.

* Populus tremuloides

* 107 acres (43 hectares) and approx 47,000 stems

* (Clonal colonies are groupings of "trees" (in reality stems) that are all part of a single living organism)

April 4, 2009

Listening the Wild /Plus Noise Absorber

(Plus Noise Absorber as Experiment)
-(Nature Game)-

This is a game we can do in a
forest, near river, beach or even in the city. The purpose of the game is to remind children or an adult that nature "whisper" something, and we need to reflect and understand what they are trying to say ( :) in other word, to sharpen hearing sense and our heart, and to realize nature existance

Needs :
Handkerchief (optional)

When we come to a place, stand for a moment in a comfortable place to hear what interesting thing that happened in this place. Close children eyes with a handkerchief, or just close their eyes.

Now we only depend on our ears to hear what's happening in the nature. For 5 minutes, make sure that nobody say anything. Keep quite and listening.

There are several different topic we can discuss from this game. Fisrt, you can choose ANIMAL EXISTANCE (try to count how many animal sound we can recognize), or NATURE EXISTANCE (try to count any sound that came from nature).

The rule is very simple. While still in silent and blindness, for every sound they hear, they raise one of their finger. After 5 minutes, children share what they count and hear. Is there any different in number between team members? Make a discussion...

Second, for NOISE ABSORBER we can play this game on two different city location, a park and in bussy road), or else. First, we divide children for two groups. One is standing near a bussy road, and other stand in the park (or city forest). You can modify this simple table:













Give score 1 to 10 (1 is for lowest sound, 10 is for highest sound). Every team does same job in the park / city forest and in the bussy road, near the park / forest. After that, they compare the results and we can discuss about noise absorbser as one of the tree / plant / forest functions.

April 3, 2009

Komodo Dragon Kills Man in Indonesia

March 24, 2009
-(Shocking Nature News)-

An Indonesian man was mauled to death by a Komodo dragon after he ventured into a remote island sanctuary for the giant killer lizards.

The fisherman died from massive blood loss after being bitten in the leg as he looked for fruit on the island in the east of the archipelago.

"The fisherman was with some friends and took a break on Rinca island. He entered the jungle to find some sugar-apples,'' local police deputy chief Benny Hutajulu said.

"The Komodo suddenly grabbed his heel and his two friends in the boat heard a scream and rushed to help him.''

The reptile had disappeared when his friends arrived but the man died on his way to hospital.

"A doctor said that he was bleeding badly and losing a lot of blood,'' Dpt chief Hutajulu said.

"There were no eyewitnesses,'' he said.

Rinca and nearby Komodo, Gili Motang and Flores islands in eastern Indonesia are the natural habitats of the deadly lizards.

Komodos can grow up to three metres in length and weigh up to 140kg.

Typically pack hunters and scavengers, one bite from a Komodo can kill as their saliva is laced with highly toxic bacteria.

There are an estimated 3000 dragons in the park and surrounding areas but fatal attacks on humans are rare.

A park ranger was attacked in February but survived. Last year a group of European scuba divers became stranded on Rinca island and had to fight off a curious Komodo.

Simple Things We Can Do

Simple Things We Can Do
-(Green Living Tips)-
  1. Join in with neighbors to purchase infrequently used products such as lawn mowers, ladders, etc.
  2. Use both sides of each piece of paper -- for note taking or printing documents from your computer (at home or work). Create note pads by stapling together once-used paper.
  3. Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins
  4. Create and use note pads from once-used paper
  5. Make your own cards/letters from once-used products or handmade paper


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