Friday, April 26, 2013

Hibiscus flower in watercolor

The following picture is my latest watercolor sketch of hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). I saw it in the north coast of Manokwari when I was guiding Georgie a student from the United Kingdom. She came to West Papua to see its plants and flowers and stayed here for two weeks. She went hiking and camping in the jungle with me as well as snorkeling over coral reef of Mansinam island. She was very interested in tropical rainforest, flowers and art. I used Derwent watercolour pencils to make this little painting.

For me, painting in watercolour pencils is much easier than oil color due to its simplicity. I usually begin with a sketch that I make using a 2B staedtler. Then I apply light stroke of colors over the sketch to see how it will look like before fully painting it with watercolour. When I feel that I can confidently "wash it" with wet brush, I will begin coloring the background area of the artwork. Sometimes I have to wait for a few hours until the paper dries again before applying another color over the previous ones. Watercolor is a great painting media. You should try it if you are thinking of taking up painting as your pastime activity.
I uploaded this hibiscus flower painting into website so that anybody can have it in the T-shirt or any products.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charcoal Sketch of Dolphins

I frequently see dolphins when I go to Abasi or Bakaro beach. Cape Bakaro is one of the best surfing spot in Manokwari city. I accompanied Matt Fox this morning to make some pictures and videos of him surfing in the area. He was surfing with a local Papuan surfer for around 4 hours. Matt works as a project manager for West Papua office of Conservation International Indonesia. At around 10.30 a.m. I saw a group of dolphins approaching the waters of Cape Bakaro.

Surfers often see dolphins surfing in the big waves. They attracted my attention. I stopped making pictures of the surfer and began aiming my friend's camera to the dolphins. Unfortunately, they were too far. The Cannon Powershot G1X that I used was not powerful enough to magnify the picture of the dolphins. Back at home, I decided to make a little study about dolphins. Here is the picture of two dolphins jumping out of the water. Dolphin is still considered as the best wave surfer. No human can match this animal at a big swell.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Charcoal drawing of a palm and a moth

One day I was guiding a Dutch girl named Aafke in Arfak mountains. She was a researcher who wanted to know whether an eco-tourism project in West Papua could improve the standards of living of the indigenous people and at the same time preserve the environment. She interviewed a lot of people from the villagers in Arfak range to the tourists who had visited the area. On the last day before leaving the mountains, she picked up an insect that had already been dead on the ground.It was a small moth. Its colors were orange brown with white dots on its wings. Aafke put it on her palm. I turned on my camera and aimed it at her palm and the moth. I took two beautiful photographs of this interesting subject.
Aafke's palm and a moth
The above image is the drawing that I based on one of the photographs. I made this sketch using woodless charcoal stick that I bought in Ubud town last year. I drew this sketch on the half part of the A4 size sketchbook. The other upper half area of the paper has been filled with the sketch of striped surgeon fish.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Charcoal drawing of Striped Surgeonfish

While snorkeling in the waters of Abasi beach near Manokwari city, I saw various species of reef fish. One of them was Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus). My friend, Henoch, took some underwater pictures using Canon Powershot G1X. It is a powerful digital camera that can capture subjects in low light condition. Using one of his photographs, I created a sketch of the fish. I drew it with a Woodless Charcoal Xpression 8803 Medium. I have been sketching several artworks using this drawing material.
Charcoal gives strong black lines for the sketch of the fish that I made on my drawing book. Sometimes we don't need to present the whole color of a fish. Lines drawing is good for designs that can be used for T-shirt or calendar prints. I hope that I can make more drawings with this robust tool. by Charles Roring

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Plastic Wastes Pose Real Threat to Marine Environment

Last week I went snorkeling at Pasir Putih beach of Manokwari city. I wore a pair of snorkeling mask that I had used for around two years. Pasir Putih means white sand. The beach has been the most favorite recreational area in this city for years. Unfortunately, the beach goers who frequently visit the beach on weekends do not pay attention to the cleanliness of the environment. While I was snorkeling around the waters of the beach I could see a lot of plastic bags, and bottles at the bottom of the sea. A lot of fish die after eating that wastes. They sank into the sea after being filled with sand and water. I used to see a program in NHK about an industrial exhibition in Thailand. Some manufacturers presented bio-degradable plastic products that are made from plant fiber such as cassava. I hope that more manufacturers will increase the use of this material to protect our environment.
At the depth of around 5 meters, I saw two anemones, one was empty whereas the other was occupied by two clown fish. I like the fish and descended to them trying to see them in closer distance. The bigger fish, perhaps the male one, chased me trying to show that it is his territory. I did not bring underwater camera at the time so I cannot show you how beautiful these fish were.
The following photograph was not from the Pasir Putih beach but Raimuti island. The coral reef in Raimuti is still in good condition because it is located outside the city. Today the land area on the mainland near the island is undergoing rapid development. It will cause damage to the coral reef if the wastes in the area are not properly handled.
The wastes that are thrown by the citizens of Manokwari in the streets will flow into the sea during rainy days. The situation is getting worse with the increasing number of cargo and passenger ships that make Manokwari as their port of calls. The dumping of wastes into the sea has to be stopped at the very moment to prevent more destruction to marine environment in Dorey bay of Manokwari that support the livelihood of most of the fishermen who live in the coastal areas of the city. With proper social campaigns and dialogues on mass media, I believe that we can ask the city dwellers of Manokwari to stop the marine pollution.
If we do not act right now, it will be too light to save the reef five or ten years from now. by Charles Roring

Big Data Analysis of Japanese Earthquake

Big data from disaster zones in Japan during March 11, 2011 earthquake is now being analyzed by Japanese experts. This big data was generated by cell phone calls, twitter and facebook messages, and GPS way-points of cars in congested roads. It is saved in cyberspace. It could have been used by rescuers to help large number of people stranded in collapsed buildings or congested roads. When the east coast of Japan was hit by giant tsunami, the rescue operations were carried out without using big data as reference. Rescuers from Japanese Self-Defense Forces, Fire Fighting Agencies and groups of ordinary civilians relied on visual information and phone calls and text messages, or reports of other survivors. If they also used big data presented in 3 dimensional map presentations, they could have saved more people.
Three Dimensional Representation of Big Data in Disaster Hit Area
People in the cities and towns that were effected by the earthquake immediately used their cell phones or other communication devices to seek helps or contact their loved ones. Cars with GPS tracking systems moving or facing traffic congestion in streets provided valuable information that could have been used by rescue teams minutes before tsunami reached urban areas. NHK World TV just aired a documentary entitled: Disaster Big Data: Saving Lives Through Information. It shows how the three dimensional presentation of big data such as the one shown in this article could be used by rescuers to save more people.
All governments must learn from the Japanese in utilizing big data as a way to develop rescue operation procedures if their countries are hit by natural disasters particularly in urban areas where most city dwellers have got cell phones, iPads, or GPS tracking devices. The potential of saving more lives is high if a good computer software can be developed to visualize the big data in 3 dimensional map presentation like the one in this post. The intense vertical red lines are indicators of high concentration of population stranded in the effected areas and they were the ones that should be prioritized during the rescue operations.
Big data has been used by several multinational companies to analyze market trends and develop products and services that are needed by their customers. The use of big data in mitigating natural disasters would be a great contribution of modern technology and brilliant breakthroughs that can save more lives. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marine Tourism in Manokwari city

I have written a lot of articles about coral reef preservation and marine tourism in Dorey bay of Manokwari. These articles are posted in this blog and my blog to help visitors get information about this regency before coming to Manokwari. My main objective of the promotion of eco-tourism is to help the indigenous Papuan people to preserve their environment and at the same time generate some income from the natural resources that they have.

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, wave surfing and fishing in Manokwari. I have arranged tours and guided a lot of visitors during their trips in Manokwari. Many of them went to Arfak range to watch paradise birds, or see orchids and rhododendron flowers. Those who like snorkeling have a lot of spots to explore. I have some snorkeling masks that I can lend but I highly advice that tourists bring their own snorkeling gears.
All tourists who enjoy snorkeling or wave surfing in Manokwari will be served by local Papuan people that I try to empower. They are important part of this ecotourism program because they will be the ones who preserve the coral reef from such irresponsible fishing practices as fishing bombing, and poisoning.
Manokwari is a beautiful coastal city in the bird's head (vogelkop) region of New Guinea. It is now the capital of West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. Flights between Jakarta and Manokwari are available every day.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pink Anemone Fish in Dorey bay of Manokwari

Dorey bay, located in the bird's head region of Western New Guinea, was the place that Alfred Russel Wallace- a British naturalist visited in 1858. He met three German missionaries in Mansinam island. At the time he collected some birds of paradise, and insects. Today, the land that is rich in plants and animals is facing a lot of destruction due to the rapid growth of human population and irresponsible exploitation of the natural resources. This afternoon, a group of Papuan youth went snorkeling in Dorey bay of Manokwari to assess the condition of its coral reef and marine environment. They brought an underwater camera Canon Powershot G1X to take pictures of the corals and the ornamental fish that live in the waters around Raimuti island. They took pictures of corals, and fish. One of them was Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion). We can identify this fish by its unique physical appearance. It has got narrow white head bar, and white dorsal stripe from between the eyes to tail. This anemone-fish belongs to the family of damselfish.  
Pink Anemone Fish near Raimuti island of Manokwari
The coral reef around the waters of the island is still in good condition but rapid construction works along the coastline of Arfai and on the nearby Arfai hill may raise the amount of silt that will flow into the sea during rainy season. The following underwater photograph shows two pink anemone fish that live in the reef. The efforts of the Papuan youth from Abasi Surfing Club to record a lot of underwater pictures from the bay are intended to raise awareness among city dwellers of Manokwari about the importance of coral reef preservation in the area. We hope that city dwellers will stop dumping wastes into the sea after seeing the pictures.
Dorey bay of Manokwari is still an interesting place for tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. 

The Empowerment of Local Community Through Ecotourism

I have been working as a tour operator since 2010. I don't run a big travel company. I prefer to work side by side with the indigenous Papuan people on the development and promotion of their natural resources as tourist destinations. The destinations include coastal areas along Abasi beach and Cape Bakaro as well as mountainous villages such as Syioubri, Kwau, Warmarway, Senopi and Asai. New Guinea is the largest tropical island in the world. Its forest and coral reef are home to great number of plants and animals. Half of the island, the Western New Guinea, is under the administration of Indonesia. There are two provinces in Western New Guinea, i.e. Papua and West Papua.
Some American tourists and Papuan people in the jungle of Arfak range
My eco-tourism program is a community based one. Local people will be the ones who own the guesthouses, guide the tourists and carry the bags that belong to the tourists while trekking in the jungle. This scheme will make the indigenous people give more value to their natural resources that have become the target of local, national and multinational companies. Huge areas of tropical rainforest in Western New Guinea have been converted to palm oil and cacao plantation. Significant percentage of the land have been deforested and changed into farmlands where migrants from other islands of Indonesia are invited to open rice fields, vegetable and fruit gardens.
When a group of 5 tourists go trekking in Arfak mountains, they will spend between 500 to 1,000 US dollars. This money is given directly by the visitors to the local villagers who take turn surfing the tourists. Children will gather firewood whereas mothers work as cooks. Youths will be the porters who help the visitors carry their bags and photographic equipment.
When villagers get money from this tour, they know that they have to preserve their environment if they want to get more guests. Pristine forest and coral reef absorb CO2 gases that are emitted by all of us around the globe. This simple community based ecotourism program greatly helps us in preserving our environment.