How to be friendly with your surrounding environment

What is your resolution for the coming months or years? Everyone of course needs a better life. More income. If you haven't find a soulmate, you hope to meet a nice prince or princess for your heart. Listen all your dreams or hopes are closely related to how you interact with other people, God and Nature. The followings are my tips to live a friendly life with nature.

Baby turtles in Waigeo island
The release of hatchlings (baby turtles) in West Papua

1. Don't litter. A simple example, every time we go to a supermarket, we receive plastic bags where we put our goods in. When arrived at home, we throw these plastic bags into the garbage bin. More often these plastic bags fall on to the front yard and blown away. They then end up on the ditch and block the flow of water. When water cannot flow it will spill over the road. Later these plastic bags gathered at a river and run off to the sea. They cover to coral reef and block the sun light which is needed by the corals to carry out photosynthesis. When this happens the coral reef will die and the fish will leave the area. Your plastic bags have caused the death of corals and the fish. My solution, when you go shopping at a supermarket, bring your own basket so you do not have to bring plastic bags which would later become additional burden to our nature or universe.
2. Don't kill animals even though they are only insects at home. One day, your kitchen floor is covered with a lot of ants. Many of you will kill these ants. It is wrong. You are the ones who has to be blamed. Why you dropped food leftovers on the floor. The leftover attract ants. If you clean your kitchen or isolate your table by putting water in small containers at all four feet of the table, then the ants will not gather or occupy your kitchen. They will live on a tree outside your home or in little holes under ground. When a squad of termite come to eat wooden beams and pillar of your home thus bringing down the entire construction, then the ants will eat them. Ants as insects are natural predators for the termite. This is similar to lizard which is the natural predator for mosquito.

3. Buy products that are environmently friendly. Environmentally friendly products are products that can unite with nature when they are returned or thrown away to the nature. For example: wooden spatula, cotton cloths and wooden chair. When you don't use or want them anymore, you can burry them into the ground and then they will decay and unite with the nature. Don't buy too many plastic things.
4. When you have a picnic, don't litter. This point No 4 is similar to point No. 1. More often when we have an outdoor picnic, we bring food and drinks that are kept in plastic or metal packaging. After drinking softdrink we just throw away the cans, or plastic bottles. Don't do that. Bring the plastic packaging and the metal cans back home. Put them in the garbage bins where they can be recycled. By doing that you have lived in a friendly life with the environment.
5. Don't just cut the trees or bush around your home. If there is a tree in front of or next to your house, consider it as a blessing from the nature. If it blocks sunlight into your house, just prun one or two of its branches. The green leaves emits positive energy into your house. Sometimes in the mornings or in the afternoons, birds stop by at the tree branches for a short brake before flying again to their homes. It is a natural blessing for you.
There are still many ways which you can do to live a friendly life with nature. You can do it. when you have done it, believe me, all your plans, works and efforts in your daily life will totally be supported by the whole universe. by Charles Roring in Manokwari, Indonesia

Cycling Can Increase Productivity

Cycling is a fun activity. If it is done regularly, it can improve our health. Our body will be fitter through riding a bicycle. The health improvement, we get, is shown in reduced obesity, improved blood pressure and circulation. Most of us know well that obesity has become a major weight related problem in modern society. Obesity is found among 25 percent of adults and 10% of children. Unfortunately, many people still think that cycling is only for children going to school or playing round their neighborhood. Exercise will shape our body. But most people are reluctant to allocate a specific time for exercising because they are too busy working or finishing their office assignments.
Cycling is good for our health.
A Office Worker with his bike
Around 41% of our daily trips are less than two miles. This is considered as short distance which can be reached through cycling in less than 15 minutes. As a way out of promoting cycling in the communities, cycling has to become an integral part of our daily life. Governments must spend more money in providing adequate infrastructures for cyclists such as parkings, and cycle network. The investment government spend in supporting cycling will immediately bring results in the communities.
More people cycling on the road mean fewer cars on the road, and less air polution. Cities and towns will be calm and less noisy. Our plan to implement 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 can be achieved by cycling. Riding bicycle is a clean low-carbon mode of travel. Healthier bodies and reduced street congestion improve the productivity of a community. The Netherlands is one of the European countries that has been seriously integrating cycling in its transport system. Bike to work or cycle to work should be introduced to companies. Tax exemption imposed by the state will allow employers to loan cycles and cyclist safety equipment to their employees. In addition, cycle manufacturers can implement a special credit scheme to businesses so that they will be able to offer bicycles to their staff. This sheme will encourage more workers to ride bicycles to work. if properly implemented, more people cycling will help workers staff more money, create healthier bodies and increase productivity as well as improve living condition and the surrounding environment. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Mountain Biking in the Table Mountain
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Mountain Bike for Ladies

Preservation of Dutch buildings urgently needed

Two or three days ago I walked around my neighborhood. I was accompanied by a four year old and beautiful niece, Grace. I brought with me a small but very good digital camera. It was a Sony Cyber-shot 6.0 mega pixels. I took some interesting pictures as I was slowly walking with Grace.
Catholic house for priests
A Dutch building that is now the clergy house of Roman Catholic church in Manokwari
Today I have time to write about them. One of the pictures is a Dutch house built on top of a hill. An old Papuan named, Jan Manusawai, told me that the house had been around since before the World War II. It had been used as hospital before becoming the residence for Catholic priests. Now it belongs to the Catholic church of the diocese of Manokwari – Sorong. There are a lot of beautiful buildings, houses, and shops that were built by the Dutch in this town. Unfortunately, they are being demolished one by one and replaced with new ones. It seems that today’s rapid growth of population or development does not pay particular attention to the preservation of old buildings. Dutch houses are seen as old fashioned constructions that have to be replaced by bigger multi-story buildings. People might think that they are “more suitable” for a modern city.
Such perspective is misleading in terms of historical preservation. The development of a city or town has to be in line with its own historical background and nature. Current civilization is built upon the previous civilization. It means that there has to be a continuation between the past and the present civilizations. European cities like Praque, London, and Madrid are good examples for this matter. Old buildings exist side by side with new ones. We should not destroy all the old ones that are still good. But it doesn’t mean that we always live in the past.
The Nusantara archipelago, which is now called Indonesia, used to be a Dutch colony. Western civilization grew in these beautiful islands. Although the Dutch had returned to Europe, they left behind many beautiful buildings which we should preserve as part of our history. Many of them can still be used as offices, houses and even as hospitals. Therefore, there are no excuses that we can use to demolish them.
Huis ten Bosch park
Dutch houses in Japan
Japan, one of the most modern state in Asia, knows well how to preserve old buildings for future generation. There is a park in Nagasaki. Its name is Huis ten Bosch park which is also known as Holland village. Tourists like to visit it as they considered it as a unique cultural heritage. The existence of this park strengthens the relation between Japan and the Netherlands.
We can learn from Japanese experience who knows how to maintain past heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. By preserving Dutch buildings in Indonesia, we can maintain and increase the relation between the two countries in such aspects as economy, trade, culture and education and etc.
I hope that one day, people will appreciate old Dutch buildings, restore and preserve them as part of their history for the sake of present and future generation. by Charles Roring

Underwater Pictures from Bakaro Beach

Bakaro is the name of a beach near Manokwari city. I often visit it on Sundays or when I guide tourists who like snorkeling.
Travel to Indonesia
White Sandy Beach in West Papua

It has got a beautiful white sandy beach. From the beach, I can enter the water to see its marine life. Beautiful coral reef teeming with various species of fish, and other marine animals can be seen from reef flat  to its buttress and fore reef zones. Coral reef is like tropical rainforest. It is the Amazon of the sea. We will not see trees and birds in the sea but we can find sea cucumber, sea star, christmas tree Worm, lobster, sea turtle, sea snake, sea crabs and ornamental fish and a lot more
I used to guide snorkeling tourists to this place and they liked the experience of swimming over the reef in crystal clear seawater of West Papua.
Table Coral at Bakaro Beach
From those trips to the beach, I took hundreds of underwater photographs. I used Nikon W300 or Fujifilm X2.
Visitors who are interested in traveling to Manokwari or other regencies in West Papua such as Sorong, Raja Ampat, Tambrauw or Wondama and Kaimana can combine their trips with tours to rainforest to see birds, butterflies, bats, fireflies and a lot of tropical vegetations that are unique and beautiful.
Marine life in tropical sea of Manokwari
Marine Life in Manokwari regency 
Soon the access to West Papua province for foreign tourists will be opened by government. Everyone who is traveling across Indonesia has to follow a safe health protocol under New Normal that is stipulated by government.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and it is the main gate to this tropical state. After flying to this city, visitors can continue their trip by flying to Manokwari city.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180  if you are interested in taking your holiday here.

Plan your next travel to Surabaya city

I don't travel very often. But when I have time I usually fly to Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia. Surabaya is famous for its malls, traditional markets and restaurants. Surabaya is the trading hub for East Indonesia region. It is also a transit city for travelers who want to go to Bali or Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
Traveling in Surabaya is easy because all places can be assessed by car. Most of the problems that are related to city life are the crowds and traffic jam. Usually traffic jam occurs early in the morning at around six to eight and in the evening at around five to seven.
So if you intend to travel around the city, choose the right time. Your travel guide or tour agency can set the most suitable hour and places to visit.
In my experienced when I traveled to Surabaya early this year, Singapore of Surabaya was the recommended place to eating out at night. It is located not far from Pakuwon mall. There travelers can enjoy the romantic night live of Surabaya. There are restaurants along the street which offer Indonesian, Chinese and Western cuisines.
Travelers can also enjoy shopping in Tunjungan Plaza, Delta Plaza or Galaxi and Pakuwon Mall. Personally I like to visit Tunjungan that is located in the city center. Most foreign travelers like to go to Galaxi mall. You can choose whatever shopping centers you are interested in.
After traveling around Surabaya, you can continue your trip to Malang and Batu where you can see the beautiful scenery of Mount Bromo. I will write about it later.

The best urban forest in Indonesia

Surabaya had got huge areas of green trees. Trees grow on both sides of the streets creating fresh and cool air. The mayor of the city has received award from the UN for her works in creating an environmentally friendly city in Indonesia. This was written by Charles Roring

Threats to Indonesian Coral Reefs

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. It consists of more than 13,000 islands. These islands are located between Asia and Australia continents. Coral reefs can be found in most of these islands. Indonesian reefs have more species diversity than any other country in the world.
Coral reef environment
Coral reef in Raja Ampat
Nowadays, these world class reefs are being destroyed at a faster rate. Tsunami which occurred in Indian Ocean destroyed most of the reefs along the western coast of Sumatra island. In South East Maluku and North Maluku islands, hundreds of trawlers catch fish. Most of them are equipped with shrimp nets that catch fish and shrimp on the bottom of the sea. While many countries are restricting the bottom trawling practices, Indonesian seem to ignore them.
Coral reefs in Banda islands and South East Molucan islands have been dying for years from poisonous tailing produced by Freeport, the largest copper mine company in the region. Sea water which has been contaminated by this tailing has even threatened Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Most of the coral reefs in Kepulauan Seribu have died since tens of years ago due to coastal development, sedimentation and debris from Jakarta, the capital city of the state.

Underwater world of west papua's reef
Coral reef in West Papua

People believe that reefs in Bali and Bunaken of North Sulawesi are still in good condition. In fact, the reefs in those islands are being damaged by debris from Manado city and some tourism activities. Many of the physical damages of reefs in Bunaken National Marine Park are caused by anchors and divers and snorkelers, as well as swimmers. Some recreational divers touch and turn corals or turtles. Many hotels or resorts built along the beach do not have sewage water treatment systems that are required to process and filter the wastes before being discharge to the environment.
Papuan coral reefs are not excluded in this case. The Geelvink coral reefs which have been in pristine for hundreds of years are facing threats from soil sediments. These sediments flow during the raining season from riverbanks. Rapid deforestation of Papuan forest cause more mud flood that flows to the sea. The mud covers sea grasses and reefs which are the source of food of fish.
From 1942 to 1944 West Papua was the battle ground US and Japanese troops. Both sides dropped thousands of bombs, laid sea mines and torpedoed ships. Today sunken ships, and unexploded ammunition still pose potential threats coral reefs in the Papuan and other Pacific islands. This was written by Charles Roring

Japanese Stockade in West Papua

Yesterday, I walked around my neighborhood. There were two elementary schools, one kindergarten, one junior high and one Church. When I passed by the Padma II elementary school, I saw an interesting concrete structure located in the middle of the school yard. It was a small stockade made of concrete material. I guess it was built by WW II prisoners of war, who were mainly Dutch, under the instruction of Japanese forces.
The chaos of World War II had long been over. Now, the quiet neighborhood was usually noisy in the mornings full of children playing around during school hours. I brought a digital camera at the time. I shot the stockade. I didn't see any children playing inside it. Perhaps, they are afraid of ghosts lingering in that concrete structure. Or maybe they get bored with that old fortification. I saw that the stockade was being dumped with garbage. I realize that people do not really know the history of this town. If the local government really know about the history of this stockades, they will maintain them as World War II monuments. Tourists can come to these monuments and recount the fierce battle of the Pacific.
There are many such stockades in West Papua. The Japanese used them during the war to defend themselves against US bombardments. Now, years after the bloody war, these fortifications are abandoned. Many are dumped with garbages. Migrants who came later to this town might not know that tens of years ago, this little town was the battle field of two major powers of the Pacific. Unexploded bombs had been cleared up from the town by the Ducth in 1950s. There are some unexploded bombs in the jungles. I cannot mention the exact number but there are. Many lie at the bottom of the sea slowly corroding. I am concerned that some fishermen have picked them up and used them as explosive material for blast fishing.
Blast fishing is a dangerous practice for the sustainability of coral reef and marine life. One blast can damage the soft and hard corals, polyps, fish and tiny marine creatures. We need to remind the fishermen to stop using this fishing method as soon as possible.
Besides the unexploded bombs, wrecks on the bottom of the sea contain fuel oil that is trapped in corroding tanks. If the tanks leak, oil will flow out and polute the reefs, fish and the beach. There are hundreds of shipwrecks in the Pacific region. We need to observe them closely. They are very fragile structure that can cause environmental pollution anytime in the future. This was written by Charles Roring, from Manokwari, West Papua.