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Stakeholders seek to curb pollution
Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, 16 July 2004

Jakarta officials and organizations concerned with air pollution resulting from vehicle emissions have started to develop a computer simulation program to help analyze the city's pollution problem, which it is hoped will help them to formulate policies to reduce pollution levels.

The stakeholders attended a workshop on Thursday, the first of six events to be held up until April 2005, according to Shanty M.F. Syahril, the program coordinator of the organizer, the Pelangi Foundation.

"We expect that by June 2005, we will have completed the development of the simulation program. We will later distribute the program to the stakeholders," she said.

The program, called a system dynamics methodology program, was introduced by Jay W. Forrester from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1950s.

It is aimed at helping people understand how a system is working and later create strategies to intervene so as to bring about necessary changes.

Shanty said that the workshops would help those in attendance to understand the issues involved in air pollution in Indonesia, particularly in Jakarta.

Up to 60 institutions and organizations have been invited to participate in the workshops as stakeholders in clean air policies, including officials from the central government, and representatives from the Association ofIndonesian Automotive Industries (Gaikindo), the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda), and political parties.

"About 40 representatives have agreed to participate in this program," Shanty said. "However, some crucial stakeholders, like Organda and Gaikindo, have not responded to the invitation. I hope they will participate in the subsequent workshops."

The first workshop, where the participants identified current emission problems, was also attended by the Association of Repair Shop Owners.

Workshop facilitators required the participants to write down their opinions on emissions.

Most of the participants agreed that the sheer number of motorized vehicles on the roads was one of the factors that worsened air pollution in Jakarta.

Regarding growth in vehicle numbers, the participants suggested that better public transportation and pedestrian facilities were a must.

Cheaper cars and motorcycles were also mentioned as factors that worsened air pollution.

They also pointed out that consistent policies to reduce pollution were urgently required.

In addition, the participants identified the low quality of fuel in Indonesia as a primary factor, and urged the government to develop the infrastructure required for environmentally friendly natural gas-fueled vehicles.

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