By Petrus Kanisius, Environmental Education Officer & Communications Coordinator
To commemorate Earth Day this year, Yayasan Palung/GPOCP carried out a series of activities throughout Ketapang and Kayong Utara regencies in the time leading up to the holiday, which occurred on April 22. This year was a little bit different, because Earth Day coincided with the celebration of the Idul Fitri (Eid al-Fitr) holiday, one of the holiest times in Indonesia. As a result, all of the Earth Day activities happened a bit early this year.
On April 14, we hosted an event to plant tree seedlings. More than 100 Areca palms were planted around Jalan Karya Tani in Ketapang. This event also supported the government program “Gerakan Penanaman Satu Juta Pohon” (the One Million Tree Planting Movement). This activity was carried out by YP/GPOCP in collaboration with our Ketapang-based youth group, RK-TAJAM.
Also in attendance were members of IKAHUT UNTAN in Ketapang (a group of alumni from the Forestry Program at Tanjungpura University), including the head, Pak Adi Mulia. Other guests came from the Ketapang Military Command, the Gunung Palung National Park Office, the Ketapang Education Office, the Ketapang Regional Disaster Management Agency, the South Ketapang Forest Management Unit, other local youth groups, and students from Ketapang junior and senior high schools. Support for the purchase of the 100 seedlings was provided by the Ketapang Regency PerkimLH (Public Housing, Residential Areas and Environment Service).
YP/GPOCP Field Director, Edi Rahman, gave opening remarks at this celebration to thank participants for joining together for this event of mutual concern. Edi also took the opportunity to remind all parties to continue to care for the environment, especially now that it is the dry season in West Kalimantan, so that everyone is extra vigilant to help ensure forest and land fires do not occur in this fire-prone region.
Meanwhile in Kayong Utara, Earth Day was celebrated on April 13, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan. To celebrate both holidays, the Bentangor Kids club broke the fast together and practiced using various used goods to re-purpose to make artwork.
The Simpang Keramat Kids club participated in Earth Day activities on April 14, planned by REBONK youth group members and the YP/GPOCP Environmental Education Team. They also broke the fast and made creations from recycled goods. These activities help teach children about the importance of caring for the environment, and produce a tangible piece of art they can keep as a reminder of what they learned.
Lastly, on April 15, the REBONK youth group members listened to a series of presentations delivered by YP/GPOCP’s Simon and Widiya. Members from Sustainable Livelihoods farming and artisan groups also attended. Topics covered included Earth Day and Environmentalism, and Gender Equality. After the presentations, the group broke the fast together.