Bincang Hijau with GPOCP

By Cassie Freund, Program Director

Disseminating information about orangutans, the rainforest, and other environmental issues through radio broadcasts has been in GPOCP’s repertoire of conservation activities for almost 17 years. During that time, we have reached an estimated 400,000 people per month, broadcasting thousands of talk shows and radio commercials promoting the conservation of the Gunung Palung National Park landscape across three different stations. When we first began this program, radio was the main medium through which people in Indonesia received their news. There were no smart phones, no internet access, and only the wealthiest few owned television sets. Radio was the most efficient way of reaching hundreds of thousands of people at once. Today, with the introduction of modern technologies to even the most remote communities, things have changed a bit. GPOCP has adapted as well – our social media program is growing rapidly and we routinely publish news stories in online newspapers. However, despite these new¬†technologies, radio still remains popular in Indonesia, and thus we find this to be an effective conservation campaign method. To¬†further increase our impact, beginning last month, we initiated several new efforts to improve and evaluate our radio program.

GPOCP Environmental Education staff member, Petrus Kanisius, and a guest share information about orangutan conservation with radio listeners.

GPOCP Environmental Education staff member, Petrus Kanisius, and a guest share information about orangutan conservation with radio listeners.

The first of these was to institute a monthly theme for the radio show. Each month we produce eight hours of radio programming for our show Bincang Hijau (which translates roughly to “Green Discussion”), and so focusing on a single theme means that we can dive deep into the topic. In March, our theme was oil palm plantations, including the environmental and social impacts of agricultural expansion. In April, we will focus on mining. In addition to normal informational broadcasts, we also have at least one talk show with a government official or community leader per month. For example, this month we invited an official from the Ketapang Department of Agriculture to answer listener questions about oil palm expansion in the region. We have also added in twice monthly call-in shows and given people the opportunity to “text-in” (using SMS messages) to take feedback from our audience – making radio a more interactive communication medium. Finally, we are now working with International Animal Rescue to help them develop their radio program, and they run two of our eight shows per month, bringing a fresh perspective on orangutan conservation to GPOCP’s broadcasts.

Finally, to evaluate the impact of this program, including how many people listen to our radio programs on a regular basis, GPOCP has created a web-based survey that we are circulating in local social and news media to gather information from people in Ketapang Regency about their radio-listening habits. This survey includes questions about listener demography, their geographic location (so that we know the radio station’s range), what shows they listen to on the radio, and what specific topics they are interested in hearing on Bincang Hijau. We are hoping to gather input from people who listen to our show as well as those who don’t, so we can better understand the demography of our listeners. The results of this survey will help us estimate the size of our audience, understand the conservation impact of our work, and guide future programming decisions. We will also share the data collected with the Ketapang Regency radio station, who have been very supportive of GPOCP’s work over the past 17 years.

GPOCP’s radio programming can be heard (in Bahasa Indonesia) via our Sound Cloud account at:

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