Monday, 3 December 2007

Against incineration? Support activists.

We almost had an incinerator built at Broga, which is within the township of Kajang where I live, so, I can relate to this email request for support to release GAIA activists. They are currently being detained in Bandung, Indonesia after taking part in a local protest against incineration and for climate justice.

The proposed RM1.5 billion thermal incinerator in Broga would have been Asia's largest incinerator if not for the efforts of the residents there and nearby Semenyih who protested to stop the project. Alice, a resident in Broga, tells you her story in this video.

Subsequently, the incinerator project was canceled after taking into consideration the high cost to construct, operate and maintain it. I read from USJ Community forum that many experts have estimated that the cost of burning every tonne of rubbish could be as high as RM240 compared to only RM25 per tonne for the current landfill method. Also consider the cost to transport the waste to Broga. A very large volume would have been required to sustain it.

Broga's safe and before the next incinerator project is approved for development, let us work on saving activists.


Dear Friends,

We write to request GAIA members and friends across the globe to seek the
immediate and unconditional release of the following GAIA activists who
are currently being detained in Bandung, Indonesia:

1. Gigie Cruz, GAIA, Philippines
2. Neil Tangri, GAIA, USA
3. Shibu Nair, Thanal, India
4. Yuyun Ismawati, Balifokus, Indonesia
5. Roni Tabroni, People's Alliance against Waste-to Energy (WTE) Plant,

(please see their brief profiles below)

Gigie, Neil and Shibu arrived in Indonesia last Saturday, 1 December, to
campaign for "Zero Waste for Zero Warming" at the UN Framework on Climate
Change Conference that will take place in Bali on 3-14 December.
Balifokus, Jala-Sampah (Garbage Network) and GAIA are planning to convene
a civil society forum tomorrow on waste and climate.

Before heading to Bali, Gigie, Neil and Shibu traveled first to Bandung
City to take part in a community people's assembly against a proposed
incinerator. This event was organized by several environmental groups
campaigning for climate justice. The activity, which drew the warm
support of over 2,000 people, also formed part of the GAIA Global Day of
Action against Waste and Incineration.

At the rally, Gigie, Neil and Shibu spoke about the ill effects of
incinerating waste, advocated for Zero Waste and conveyed their solidarity
with the local campaign against incineration and for environmental health
and justice. They did not attack the Indonesian government in their
statements before the assembly. After their well-applauded speeches, the
police accosted them, together with our Indonesian colleagues Yuyun and
Roni, and brought them to the police station where they underwent lengthy
interrogation. The police also seized their passports. All of them are
currently detained in a police station in Jalan Jaya (or Jaya Street) in

There are no formal charges yet against Gigie, Neil and Shibu, but there
is an expressed threat of deportation if our Indonesian friends do not
succeed in persuading the authorities to set them free and let them fly to
Bali for the UNFCC events. We are unaware of the charges against Yuyun
and Roni, both of whom are Indonesian citizens.

TAKE ACTION: We call on you to please register your concern and appeal
for the immediate and unconditional release of Gigie, Neil, Shibu, Yuyun
and Roni, so that their human rights are fully restored and that they are
permitted to travel to Bali.

1. Please CALL/FAX the Indonesian Embassy / Consulate in your city.
2. Please CALL/FAX the Bandung Police Department (+6222-4204666, foreign
affairs unit) and the Bandung Immigration Department (+6222-7275294).
3. Please E-MAIL Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, UNFCC Secretariat

Terima kasih banyak-banyak (Thank you very much) for your immediate response.

Sincerely yours,

Manny C. Calonzo
GAIA Secretariat
Unit 330, Eagle Court, Quezon City, Philippines
TelFax: +632-4364733

1. Gigie Cruz, our assistant coordinator, has been working with GAIA
since 2001 in various capacities, including membership, campaign and
information support. Her most recent task was to coordinate last week's
Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration.

2. Neil Tangri is one of GAIA's esteemed founders. He wrote the GAIA
report "Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology." He recently rejoined GAIA
to coordinate our work on waste-to-energy and climate change)

3. Shibu Nair was part of the 3-person team from the global south who
went to California for GAIA's first Zero Waste fellowship. He works
closely with Jayan, a GAIA Steering Committee member from India. Shibu
was part of the Thanal team who hosted the Waste Not Asia Meeting held in
January 2007 in Trivandrum, Kerala

4. Yuyun Ismawati is Executive Director of Balifokus and a GAIA member
for many years. She attended the GAIA Global Meeting in Spain in
September 2007, where she played a very active role in the members'
deliberation on the funding of waste disposal technologies under the CDM
of the Kyoto Protocol. Yuyun sits in the national advisory committee on

5. Roni Tabroni is from the People's Alliance against WTE Plant, one of
the groups formed to question and resist a planned WTE facility in


Investing in Tomorrow said...

It's great that everyone is so involved. It's also good to take a close look at technologies proposed. Zero waste is also a very good objective as landfills are one of the largest contributors to Global Warming!!!
What I disagree with is to oppose the general concept of incineration as it depends on what technology is implied. Is it an exotic wannabe or is it proven clean technology - one has to be able to make that distinction and it does not help to be only 1/2 educated! Too often people let emotions get in the way of a good judgment and instead of improving the environment one actually makes things worth.
I give you a good example: The US continues to be the worst polluter in the world and produced about 25% of the worlds CO2. And that has not changed despite all the efforts of the "environmentalists" efforts. If you now take a look at a country like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, etc the story is quite different. Let's take the German example: The Green Party supports waste incineration - if done correctly (check out - and keep an open mind - otherwise you are wasting your own time and energy and should not continue to fight this fight as you are making things worse not better!). Germany will be one of only two countries to achieve Kyoto objectives largely contributed to switching from landfilling to waste incineration. In Germany switching from landfilling to better waste management strategies (Germany has a recycling rate exceeding 65%!) that specifically includes the law (as of June 1st 2005) no more untreated waste in landfills - this has resulted in higher Greenhouse gas reductions than all other renewables (nearly 25,000 windmills, over 1.5 GW from solar, geothermal, switching to more efficient light bulbs, etc) combined! We will continue to produce waste as it is our nature (unfortunately) but we can change how we make our waste - by using renewables rather than non-renewables and replacing dangerous chemicals with non-harmful ones for example in hardening or softening plastics etc.
That way we will achieve 100% sustainability and the products, as they will be CO2 neutral can be used in energy production (we will need energy) without adding CO2. This is a little in the future but a very realistic goal. Germany will achieve ZERO WASTE within in the next 12 years and they will be the first!
My recommendation is to take a step back, get informed and don't let emotions get in the way as that definitely does not make things better but worse.
Please think before you speak and think before you act for the sake of our future.
P. Schmidt-Pathmann

Nancy Poh said...

I think it is best that we learn to do our 3Rs properly first before considering using the incinerator to clear the waste.

It is like taking fast food. It used to be the best solution in our hectic lifestyle. Now we know better.