Indonesia: World's first environmental radio station airs in smoggy Jakarta

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

JAKARTA, INDONESIA – The smog-choked capital of Indonesia seems an unlikely place for the world’s first environmental radio station. But it’s here that Green Radio 68H, powered only by solar panels, broadcasts up to 10 hours of environment-focused news and information each day.

Located on one of Jakarta’s rare tree-shaded lots, Green Radio aims to build a more ecofriendly mind-set in a city faced with threats from widespread flooding, dismal sanitation, and water contaminated by sewage and garbage.

“This is what Jakarta needs,” says station manager Nita Roshita, noting the lack of environmental awareness among the city’s 9 million inhabitants.

The commercial station’s ethos covers every­thing from its clean-energy operations to its advertisers: mining and cigarette companies are prohibited. It also works with the national park system to plant trees in one of Java’s fastest shrinking forests.

After more than a year and a half in operation, the station appears to be gaining a foothold.

Environmental activists say the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide still has a long way to go, but Ms. Roshita says she believes Green Radio can help build support for environmental preservation by capitalizing on Indonesia’s new love for all things Earth-friendly.

“We start with a trend and go from there,” the radio manager says. “We’re not going to change the whole world, but we can change Jakartans’ way of living.”

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