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Thankfully, Indonesian band Navicula's nickname "the green grunge gentlemen" refers only to their environmental nature and not to a type of radioactive dirt.

They are one of Indonesia's most successful rock bands, having just returned home to their island of Bali after touring the U.S. and Australia. Their name "Navicula" refers to a type of sea algae that glows in the dark and is shaped like a boat.

It's a name that seems to have been carefully chosen to illustrate the band's goal to travel around the globe raising environmental awareness through music. Speaking to PortalKBR/Asia Calling, Navicula's drummer Gembul explains the symbolism. "With this small ship, we can maybe go around the world. And its color is golden, which is valuable, so that's our philosophy."

Explaining that the band's inspiration has always been social and political issues, he adds that "everything is hectic in the world today. You don't know what's a priority anymore. We think that even if you want do a small thing honestly and passionately to make the world better, just do it. Don't waste your time being a parasite."

Navicula, who was nominated Environmental Ambassadors of Bali by the local government, act according to their own maxim. Lead singer Robi teaches organic farming in school and says he likes bringing up those issues as inspiration for the band but also to do his part in changing the world. "It's kind of like being a journalist but using music as a media," he says.

Among the band's songs is "Metropolutan," about being trapped in the polluted air of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, a city that get less than 30 days of clean air per year, Asia Calling reports.

They also sing about the last 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild in an angry "Harimau! Harimau!":

As for "Orangutan," which is available for free download, Navicula wrote the song "to encourage people to do more in orangutan conservation, to protect this endangered species," the band explains on YouTube. In English, the lyrics read, "The orangutan is crazy because man is crazy. Not at home in the city, he misses its habitat, in the jungle."

In 2012, Navicula, who also battled Indonesia's palm oil industry, successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them tour over 2,000 kilometers from Bali to Kalimantan, on the Borneo Island, to join Greenpeace activists campaigning against logging. "It's kind of sad. Rainforests are not only for Indonesia or Borneo. The whole world depends on them," the band tells Asia Calling. Deforestation "is like a worldwide suicide," they add.

The band's latest album came out in November 2012. It is called Kami No Mori, which means "The Forest of Gods," and serves as the documentary soundtrack for their Greenpeace tour.

"We're not angels. We're just trying to do something that makes people realize what needs to be done so we can still live in this world."

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 222: Ukrainian Army Makes New Gains In Regions Annexed By Russia

The Ukrainian army is pushing the front line forward in several directions.

Fire after a rocket attack by Russian troops in Kharkiv

Anna Akage, Meike Eijsberg and Sophia Constantino

The Ukrainian army is pushing the front line forward in several directions, including the liberation of two more cities – Arkhangelske and Myrolyubivka – in the southern region of Kherson. There were also reports Monday of major breakthroughs by Kyiv forces along the Dnipro River in the south.

Ukraine has also made progress in the past 48 hours in the region of Luhansk. Notably, these are two of the four regions that Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had annexed on Friday.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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With these advances by Ukrainian forces, along with gains in Donetsk (see below) and Zaporizhzhia, Russia does not hold the full territory of any of the areas of occupied Ukraine that Moscow now claims as its own.

Fighting has also intensified in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Ukraine has also made significant advances and Russia continues shelling in response.

The successful counterattacks by the Ukrainian military in Kherson and the Kharkiv region since last month has left Russian forces controlling less Ukrainian land than they did at the start of the war in February 2022, an analysis by CNN found. Russia’s first massive push overnight into February 24 allowed it to secure or advance on one fifth of Ukrainian territory, or about 119,000 square kilometers. Russia now controls roughly 3,000 square kilometers less land than it did in the first five days of the war.

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