MC(f): In our last presentation, Professor Aris Ananta will elaborate more on the determinants of the availability of food based on three points, and they are: speculative economy, demand, and supply.
MC(m): Professor Aris Ananta is a senior researcher at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore. He will be presenting a working paper titled “Paradigm on Economic Development and Food Security.” Let us welcome Professor Aris Ananta!
AA(m): Thank you very much.
AA(m): This is very timely, actually, very timely. Why? The first one you know - we are experiencing a global crisis, and the world is now thinking about new development paradigms. Without new development paradigms, the crisis will happen again and worse. Now, you know that the financial sector has been improving, but that is very fragile. No fundamental changes have been made in the mainstream economics. I am an economist, but I'd like to change the development paradigm of economics. Many people in the world are also working in that direction.
So this seminar is very, very timely. We, from Indonesia, can contribute to the world development paradigm. Second: Why it is very timely? This morning, the new government of Indonesia just appointed a new cabinet. And one thing that makes me happy is the appointment of Professor Dr. Armida Alisjahbana as the chairperson of the National Development Planning Agency. Professor Alisjahbana is an economist with much concern about the environment. So, I hope it reflects the choice of the government on economists with interest in the environment.
Hopefully, with the assignment of Professor Alisjahbana as the head of the National Development Planning Agency, we can change the direction of development, change the direction of economic programs in Indonesia. Well, I would like also to thank the State Minister of Environment for inviting me, allowing me to share my ideas with this distinguished audience, and especially also that Supreme Master Ching Hai, hopefully, will be listening to me, too, and we could work together in changing the development paradigm. What I want to mention… actually, only three things.
First, change the development paradigm. I tell this especially to my fellow economists - change the development paradigm from a growth-oriented model to something else. So far, we always, we economists, talk about income growth as the most important thing in the world. But we have to change that development paradigm. The second message is: eliminate speculative behavior in the economy. We know that speculative behavior has been the cause of the crisis in the world. And people are doing speculative behavior in the financial sector. They are not happy on that one, they go to the energy market, they go to the food market. So, to create food security we have to work together, everybody in the world, and we, in Indonesia, have to eliminate speculative behavior in the market, including speculative behavior in the food market.
In Indonesia, we have Islamic economics and this can be used to eliminate speculative behavior. The third message is that we have to involve the business community to be able to implement the new development paradigm. Without the involvement of the business community, it is impossible to do this thing. We have to know Indonesia has a 230-million population. It's a big, big market. Everybody wants to use Indonesia, it's a big market. Why don't we see ourselves as a big market? And the new government, I believe, now also understands this one.
And I'd like to show you that not many people are already in the business of making organic, vegan food. So why do you not join it now, while not many people are working in the organic food market? It is a lucrative business, 230 million-population Indonesia, produced locally like Madam Hira mentioned. Another important thing, it's not only a lucrative business, but the price must be affordable, the price must be low so that we can reach the 230-million population of Indonesia.
Why do I like to be here, ladies and gentlemen? Tonight there are free delicious organic, vegan foods! Last thing, but importantly, is good governance. When we want to have food security, we have to remember good governance, we have to remember about social responsibility, we have to remember that when we produce food we should avoid corruption in the production and marketing of the food.
This is the new paradigm I have been talking about in the last year. So, I talked about food security in the framework of this new paradigm. These are some important issues on creating food security. First, I mentioned, that it must be environmentally friendly development, for example, by producing organic, vegan food. Good governance, by creating social responsibility, no corruption in production and marketing. It must be people-centered development. It should be healthy by consuming less meat and dairy products.
Make the consumers informed on the quality of the food product. Don't cheat the consumers, inform the consumers. Make people educated. That's also the responsibility of us who want to produce organic, vegan food. Third is: ability to move. That is, guaranteeing consumers the ability to move anywhere in the world to enjoy environmentally friendly healthy food and having freedom from fear, guaranteeing the freedom to consume whatever people like to consume. What should we do? We should help the government, we work with everybody, inform the people of the need to create an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle.
Make it as a new icon of modernity, that a modern man and woman, a modern boy and a modern girl, should be people who are concerned about the environment. The price should be low to be able to reach the majority of the large number of the population. This is to get the largest profit. We should bring gastronomy to help make it affordable and also tasty.
My friend said that when I brought him to eat vegetarian food and I asked him whether he liked it. He said, “I don't care if it's vegetarian or not, the most important for me is `delicious.'” So tasty food is also important and gastronomy should be included if we want to create an environment which is profitable in the business of organic, vegan food. Well, I become hungry, cannot wait for the dinner! Yes, it should be environment-friendly healthy products. It is an emerging, lucrative business.
The last recommendation is that one of the criteria to measure the success of a government is whether it can supply affordable, environmentally friendly, healthy food products to the majority of the population. I hope the government of Indonesia, every three months, can make a report whether they have been successful in supplying affordable, environmentally friendly, healthy food products - not only economic growths.
Economic growth is second or third. But this is a very important criterion and I believe the government of Indonesia can do it. Every three months, make a report to the whole population of Indonesia and the world whether it's already making progress in supplying affordable, environmentally friendly, healthy food in Indonesia. Thank you very much.
MC(f): Thank you, Professor Aris Ananta, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share such valuable information with us. Once again, there is a very strong call. Let us all spread the message about why it's important to become organic vegan today so that our beautiful planet and all living beings on her, become healthier, and so that we can all maintain our food security by shortening the chain of food production. We have now come to the end of our line-up of expert presentations.
We feel truly fortunate to be able to participate in this climate change seminar and sincerely thank the Ministry of Environment for hosting this very significant event. The Ministry of Environment considers this seminar as a timely and positive response to the unprecedented urgency with which we need to find a solution to the escalating problem of climate change.
MC(m): We would now like to invite you to join us in listening to some music that we are sure you will agree will calm our hearts and soothe our souls. This is a particularly soothing music called “Arumba,” played on traditional bamboo instruments which are uniquely Indonesian, and can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful music, performed by a young generation of musicians who aspire to carry on that musical tradition, whilst also caring about our living environment.
MC(f): The first music is a traditional Javanese piece. And the second music is a modern composition, named “Mission Impossible.” For some people, to save the world seems an impossible mission, but nothing is impossible for us if we are determined to work hand-in-hand to save the planet. We hope you enjoy them.
MC(f): Beautiful, soothing music, isn't it, everyone? MC(m): See, I told you.
MC(f): Bamboo instruments originate from Indonesia and have been used and played by the Sundanese in West Java since ancient times. Sundanese people used “Angklung” to signify time for prayer as well as for building community spirit.
MC(m): And now, we invite you to look at the image displayed on the stage background. The symbol you see there is called the “Kayon” which, in Indonesia, represents change. We need constructive change right now to cope with climate change. Specifically, the change we need now is to adopt the vegan diet, and under the Kayon, you can see organic vegan images. Again, please give another round of applause for our young generation and their wonderful performance!
MC(f): So many people, both dedicated professionals and volunteers, have been involved in the preparation of this event. Many of us are aware of what climate change means to our beloved country through the significant impact it is already having on our daily lives. Recent occurrences of earthquakes and mudslides in Indonesia and neighboring countries show the seriousness of this problem. Scientists are also providing confirming evidence of the unstable and dangerous situation in which our planet finds herself.
MC(m): Next on our program is the highlight of today's seminar, a videoconference with our most beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai! We are sure that her honorable presence in this seminar will help to elevate the consciousness of the people in Indonesia, and of viewers around the world.
MC(f): Supreme Master Ching Hai is a renowned humanitarian, spiritual teacher, poet, composer and highly accomplished artist. For over two decades, she has devoted herself to helping people in need around the world and to promote an ecological and compassionate lifestyle. For her tremendous philanthropic contributions, in 2006 she received the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize award, which is equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize of the East - just one example of countless awards she has received for her worldwide humanitarian works.
MC(m): And more recently, Supreme Master Ching Hai has provided support to the victims of many of the natural disasters occurring with greater frequency around the world. Indonesia has always had a special place in Master's heart. Whenever there was a disaster in Indonesia - be it a tsunami, a typhoon, an earthquake, or a flood - Supreme Master Ching Hai has always sent an immediate donation and relief teams to ease the suffering of our Indonesian people.
MC(f): Supreme Master Ching Hai has been invited to many international conferences to discuss global warming with scientists, politicians, journalists and many leaders from around the world. She has shared with them, and the public, the easiest and the most effective way to solve global warming, which has been supported by the United Nations and many other authorities and scientists as well. Supreme Master Ching Hai has been invited as guest of honor to attend this most meaningful event, and we are very, extremely, happy and honored that she can join us today through a videoconference.
MC(m): Ladies and gentlemen, let's now welcome Supreme Master Ching Hai with a warm round of applause!
MC(f): Hi, Master, how are you? You look lovely today!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hi, hi. Hallo, everyone!
MC(f): Yes. Hi! Thank you for joining us today!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thanks for having me. Thank you. God bless you. God bless all of you. God bless Indonesia.
MC(f&m): Thank you, Master!
MC(f): Supreme Master Ching Hai, before we begin our question-and-answer session, would you like to share some of your thoughts about climate change with us?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'd be honored to join you today. And I'm sure all of us already know, through the distinguished guest speakers, through their contribution of knowledge to our dire situation of the planet, but I'll be glad and honored to share a few thoughts. I hope everyone is okay. How are you? Are you okay? Feel good?
MC(f): We're really good, thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Splendid. Splendid. I will try some Indonesian, like “Nice to see you!” [Senang bertemu Anda! =“Nice to see you” in Indonesian]
MC(f): That's really good, Master! MC(m): Nice to meet you too, Supreme Master!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm very honored to be here today and meet the beautiful people of Indonesia again, since a long time. And, of course, my heart would like to give the best of thanks to all the distinguished guest speakers, dignitaries and audience members, as well as the media for your participation and support. Indonesia, your country, is an amazing nation of many islands, beautiful, beautiful, with a variety of ethnic cultures that are harmonized through your national motto: “Unity in Diversity.” Beautiful motto.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, beautiful. Your land is also richly endowed with natural wonders, and a myriad of colorful living beings who live in the forest and beneath the seas around you. I was so sorry to know of the earthquake disaster recently that struck your communities. I had conveyed my humble prayers and some humble emergency support, and I'll continue to pray for the safety of your people, as I do for the rest of the people of the world.
On this shared island in space we call “Earth,” we have been abundantly given everything we need, but we must care for it while we still have the chance. Specifically, it is time to protect Indonesia. Protect her oceans and lush forest - the largest of all in Asia, is in Indonesia. I pray that through this important event all of us will be further motivated to preserve the beautiful country of Indonesia as one of the jewels of our planet. So I convey my best wishes for a successful conference today.
In just a few days, scientists from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be meeting in Bali. That's another beautiful place in your country. I have been there. May this gathering, significant in its own way, serve as a push for genuine concern for the momentum that we need to save our planet in time. May Allah bless you all. May Allah bless Indonesia. Thank you ever so much!
MC(m): Thank you, Supreme Master Ching Hai, for your insightful words. And we would like to thank you for all the humanitarian work that you have done for Indonesia, for so many people in so many places.
Interviewee (m): Yes, we must do something. My message to the world is to be consistent in being a vegan because in reality being vegan is a quick way to save the world from the global warming crisis. Save the animals which have suffered all this time and then bring them back to the forest again to help them play their roles for all of us. Be veg! Go green! Save the planet!
Ghea Artist Spoken in Indonesian Ms. Ghea (f): As one of the younger generation, I feel this is the time that we have to act and do something. And after I saw today's presentation, it is enough to open my mind regarding "What should we do?" And it turns out there are a lot of things we must do. And it's so amazing! I am happy a lot of my friends still care about global warming. I am still learning as to how I can change my diet so it will be a better diet, not only for the world, but for myself too. Hopefully I can do it as soon as possible. Be veg! Go green! Save the planet!