Young journalists present innovative green projects
Hundreds of Denpasar students presented impressive green projects to solve the island’s mountain of environmental problems.
In a program called “Journalistic Actions for the Earth”, participants took part in dozens of competitions — wall magazines, a documentary film festival and photo and writing competitions.
The program was organized as part of SMAN 3 high school’s annual journalistic expo, held until Saturday, July 28.
The organizer of the Presslist competition is a group of school journalists called Madyapadma, renowned for their environmental activities.
This year, this journalist club received a prestigious Kehati Award, an environmental award presented annually by the Kehati Foundation.
“Participants are required to explore the local wisdom of Balinese society in preserving their nature,” explained Ni Putu Kompiang Ratna Dewi, chairperson of the program.
There were 23 documentary film entries produced by students in Bali and other islands competing for the Youth Sineas Award 2012.
Dewi said all the competitions were open to students from junior high schools and senior high schools.
Ivana Alvaretta, chief editor of wall magazine from SMP Tunas Daud junior high school, presented her club’s study on the importance of maintaining the backyard of Balinese traditional homes—locally called tebe. “The function of the tebe had been crucial in providing open spaces for homes, as well as being a water catchment area to absorb rainwater,” the study revealed.
In modern times, many Balinese families have left this priceless building tradition adopted by their ancestors. They prefer to build houses with modern, Western, architectural styles, rather than preserving these centuries-old Balinese traditional architectural concepts.
Another student, Fifin Diah Olivianti from SMAN 3, had previously conducted similar research on the function of the traditional backyard in a Balinese home.
Olivianti said she discovered that the backyards would absorb toxic CO2. “The Balinese ancient communities already had extraordinary green and sustainable building concepts in maintaining a harmonious environmental balance between humans and nature.”
She described there being a number of trees usually planted in the backyards, including banana and coconut trees, as well as cassava, all of which were effective in reducing CO2.
The Tunas Daud group also studied another piece of local wisdom, now forgotten by many Balinese people: The maintenance of the walled temple yards as open and green areas.
They discovered that these yards were now being used as commercial sites, rented out to local residents during religious ceremonies.
“The temple yards have become dirty and noisy during any ceremony,” the group said.