Jakarta governor rewarded air quality champion  


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December 17, 2006
Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso was rewarded as international champion of the 2006 Air Quality Management for his outstanding leadership to provide the city with sustainable public transport, the Indonesian daily Jakarta Post reported Saturday. The award, which went to four recipients, was presented during the final session of the three-day Better Air Quality 2006 workshop by Walter Hook, the executive director of the Institute for Transport Development and Policy, on behalf of the workshop's organizing committee. "Of course I feel honored but I never expect awards for what I do. I just believe these are very serious problems that must be properly addressed," Sutiyoso was quoted by the daily as saying after receiving the award. Air pollution directly affected human health and traffic congestion, he said. "We have learned that 70 percent of the air pollution (in Jakarta) is caused by motor vehicles. This must be cut. And I am aiming to do so by launching a fast, efficient and environmentally friendly mass transportation system," Sutiyoso said. Jakarta is currently developing three public transportation projects, the subway, monorail and the TransJakarta Busway. "Under ... Governor Sutiyoso, Jakarta has taken a leadership position in addressing urban transportation issues," said Frank Murray of Murdoch University who led the AQM Champions selection committee. One of the criteria for winning the prize was taking a risk, where failure and loss of face is a real possibility, and succeeding when "playing it safe" would have been easier, Murray said. The other three winners were Justice Hamid Ali Shah of Pakistan for his work in improving air quality in the Pakistani city of Lahore; Supat Wangwongwatana of Thailand for his efforts to institutionalize air quality management in his country; and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency for its efforts in raising awareness, building capacity and strengthening policies on air quality management. Source: Xinhua