Surabaya story from abroad

Nadya SitumeangSometimes it is not easy to see how our face is changing because we see it every day. One may not see that her or his face is shrinking and growing older. Other can see our face today and how it is difference with our past. It happens also to a city. I may not able to see difference between Surabaya today, and Surabaya ten years ago. But people who seldom come to Surabaya may see the difference.  I realize it when my colleague from IGES, Kitakyushu Japan mentioned it.

Takakura-sanMr. Toshizo Maeda, Acting Director of IGES (Institute of Global Environmental Strategies) Kitakyushu Center visited my office earlier this month. Maeda-San coming to see me and we had time to share some thoughts regarding urban environment. Maeda brought some IGES brochures and explaining them to me.

IGES establishes a program to disseminate  environmental preservation to cities. The program offers assistance to improve urban environment in Asia and Pacific. A component of the program is to reduce household refuse. I was a little bit surprise when Maeda-san showed a brochure which shows successful waste management in Surabaya.

The IGES brochure called “Empowering Asian Pacific cities to Lead Local Initiatives for Cleaner Environment”. It is an initiative of Kitakyushu to develop and to extend urban environmental network among cities.

The rear cover of the brochure is about waste management model to be introduced to be to Asia Pacific by adopting Surabaya waste management model.  The brochure is written as follows:

“One of the most outstanding achievements under Kitakyushu Initiative (KI) program was Surabaya’s solid waste management model, which has been transferred to other cities in various ways after gaining recognition nationally and internationally. …. …. ….

The Surabaya model, especially the composting component, was promoted in the Philppines (Bago, Cebu, Talisay and Puerto Princesa), Thailand (Bangkok, Sankamphaeng and Sri Lacha) Nepal (Lalitpur) and Malaysia (Sibu and Kuala Lumpur). In this way, Surabaya’s waste management model especially composting component, has been replicated in other cities in various forms as shown in figure below. The main reason behind this is the simplicity and low-cost nature of the practices, utilizing only local resources”.

The story of Surabaya has been admitted by an international agency like IGES and to be introduced to the region. Recognition of Surabaya is like a face being seen by others.  As a citizen of Surabaya, and as a civil servant in Surabaya, I may not see clearly the successful of Surabaya, but other parties see “the new face” of Surabaya and they give respect and honors to the success. Surabaya from abroad can be seen as a best practice of urban environmental improvement.

Congrats to the people of Surabaya!!.

Keep composting….. keep recycling,…. keep planting trees,… keep saving water, ….. keep saving energy,….. keep green,….. keep changing…..

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