Nov 10

Posting ini ditujukan untuk membantu menjawab pertanyaan “Untuk apa Barack Obama datang ke Indonesia? Cuma bikin macet saja!”

OK, mungkin cuplikan ini pun tidak akan ditanggapi positif. Sekali nyinyir, tetap nyinyir ya? Hehe.  Alhamdulillah, Indonesia adalah negara demokrasi. Yang nyinyir silakan. Saya sih memilih untuk tidak.

Anywaaay.

Presiden Barack Obama datang untuk antara lain membahas kerjasama bilateral Indonesia Amerika Serikat. Di website resmi Gedung Putih terdapat fact sheet tentang program Comprehensive Partnership Indonesia-Amerika Serikat. Saya kutipkan beberapa poin yang relevan dengan dunia pendidikan tinggi:

Bidang Pendidikan:

  • Funding: President Obama highlighted the U.S. government’s commitment to invest $165 million in higher education collaboration over five years.
  • Exchange Initiatives: Expanded educational exchanges, including the new Fulbright Indonesia Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Program, the Community College Initiative, English language teaching, and student advising.  Commerce will lead the largest U.S. government-led education trade mission ever to Indonesia in 2011.
  • University Partnerships: Improve the quality of higher education in Indonesia by supporting collaboration between the United States and Indonesian higher education institutions.

Bidang Sains Teknologi:

  • Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: Signed on March 29 and awaiting entry into force.
  • Science Envoy: Following President Obama’s announcement in Cairo last year of the global Science Envoy program, former president of the U.S. National Academies of Science Dr. Bruce Alberts visited Indonesia and launched the Frontiers of Science program.
  • Frontiers of Science: This scientist exchange program brings together scientists from the United States and Indonesia to share experiences and information with the hope that those linkages will lead to joint research and information-sharing.
  • NOAA Okeanos Explorer: The joint research voyage of NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer and Indonesia’s Baruna Jaya yielded the discovery of unseen formations on the ocean floor, new species of coral and ocean fauna.  This joint voyage marked the beginning of our ocean science partnership. Plans are underway for a second expedition

Environment and Climate Change

  • SOLUSI (Science, Oceans, Land Use, Society and Innovation -“solution” in Indonesian): A multi-agency suite of environment and climate activities, with significant USAID funding, that will work with Indonesian government counterparts and civil society to facilitate and accelerate Indonesia’s sustainable development through a balanced approach to environmental protection and socio-economic improvement.  U.S. commitment of $136 million over three years.
  • Technical Assistance: New focus on forests and peat lands, related measurement and reporting of GHG emissions from all sources, as well as monitoring of the impacts of climate change.
  • Climate Change Center: This past June, President Obama announced that the United States, alongside Norway, will support the establishment of an Indonesia Climate Change Center.  Planning discussions between the U.S. climate agencies and Indonesian counterparts began in July and are ongoing

Tentu saja… untuk implementasi program-program di atas, peneliti dan institusi perlu “merebut” pendanaan program-program ini melalui proposal-proposal.

Oh ya satu hal lagi. Tentang pengamanan dan dampaknya terhadap rakyat “biasa”. Ah, gimana ya. Orang Amerika memang (lebih) paranoid dari negara lain, dan tuntutannya selalu macam-macam. Lebay to the max. Tapi dipikir-pikir masuk akal apalagi setelah 9-11, dan perang-perang yang timbul sebagai dampaknya. Ancaman yang diterima Presiden Amerika lebih heboh daripada Presiden negara lain.

So what gitu loh? So what? Kalau ada kejadian tidak enak, mau terima imbas? Mau terima citra yang salah tentang Indonesia sebagai tempat yang kurang aman, sehingga banyak travel warning? Saya sih tidak mau.

Ketidaknyamanan yang ditimbulkan, terutama bagi warga UI pada hari ini 10 November, haruslah dianggap “minimal”. We’re humans, we’ll adapt.

Jadi? Dengerin ya pidatonya dengan pikiran terbuka. Buang dulu sikap apriorinya.

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