A new type of concrete that is
made out of waste materials and can bend under load has been developed by
researchers from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.
This material, which
incorporates industrial waste products such as fly ash produced by coal-fired
power stations, is especially suited for construction in earthquake zones – in
which the brittle nature of conventional concrete often leads to disastrous
Access to affordable, reliable energy transforms communities. For most Australian and Indonesian families and businesses, that energy still comes from national grids—the networks of power lines that connect users to power suppliers.
But about 67 million Indonesians—almost a third of the country’s population—are not on the grid. They either rely on expensive, non renewable sources of power—often diesel—or they have no access to power at all. That poses a critical challenge for sustainable development of Indonesia—a nation of islands. To meet the Government’s goal of 90 per cent electricity coverage by 2020 the country’s electricity generation must grow by nine per cent per year.
Supporting farmers and improving crop sustainability are the focus of collaborative work to save Indonesia’s ailing cocoa bean yields.
Production of cocoa beans for chocolate making is big business in Indonesia, especially in Sulawesi—where from the 1970s to 1990s, production grew from almost nothing to around 1.5 million hectares of smallholder plantings, and the third-largest production output in the world.
How can cities grow and thrive in an era of climate change? This is a challenge faced by both Australia and Indonesia. With ever-increasing population shifts towards urban environments, it is crucial to make cities sustainable.
Australian cities are adopting water sensitive approaches. Melbourne Water, for example, has created over 10,000 raingardens. But progress is slow, in part because of the existing massive traditional water infrastructure.
Six Southeast Asian countries are working together to better conserve the world’s centre of marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle, with the hope that this will lead to a more collaborative approach to sharing coral reef resources in the area.
The Coral Triangle sits between Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, a group of countries that have formed the Coral Triangle Initiative. It is home to 76 per cent of the world’s known coral species, 2,500 reef fish species, and the largest area of mangroves in the world.
Researchers are diving deep to find out more about the ocean sunfish, the Jabba the Hutt of the fish world, that hang out on the reefs off Bali for just three months each year. They’ve become an intriguing tourist attraction for divers, but is this tourism sustainable?
The sunfish head to the reefs from July to October to seek out cleaner fish—such as longfin bannerfish and emperor angelfish— which help them remove skin parasites and clean up skin lesions.
Indonesian street vendors are the new muses of Australian and Indonesian architecture students, who are creating sustainable shelters to help vendors keep trading in style.
Known as Pedagang Kaki Lima (‘five legs’), the travelling street vendors not only play a crucial role in Indonesia’s economy, they’ve also become an icon of resilience and bravery following the January 2016 Jakarta terrorist attacks—where photos of vendors and the meme “keep calm and BBQ satay” were shared widely on Twitter.