The Jakarta Post
The Indonesia Botanical Garden Foundation (YKRI) has teamed up with Dyandra Prmosindo and Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Sinar Mas to promote natural resources and environmental conservation among students.
Called Jaga Wiyata, the joint project was launched at Kemirimuka I state elementary school in Depok, West Java, on Tuesday. It is part of the Jaga Bhumi (Sustain Earth) movement initiated by the foundation and Promosindo.
APP Sinar Mas is involved in Jaga Bhumi out of its concern about the environment through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
“We really appreciate APP Sinar Mas for its support of our Jaga Bhumi initiative. This movement educates Indonesians, particularly students, about conservation and introduces them to botanical gardens as the last bastion of Indonesia’s flora,” said YKRI vice chairman Alexander Sonny Keraf.
Indonesia boasts 41 botanical gardens, the best known being the Bogor Botanical Garden.
“Jaga Wiyata is but one of YKRI’s efforts to bring awareness to elementary school, high school and university students about the need to Indonesia’s sustain natural resources and ecosystems,” Sony added.
With the involvement of educational institutions, the movement has two main programs: Goes to School and Goes to Campus.
The Goes to School program aims to involve students from 150 elementary schools in four provinces, namely Jakarta, West Java, Bali and Riau.
Founded in 2001, the YKRI campaigns for a green environment, focusing on preserving Indonesia’s diverse flora, which is under threat due to weak conservation efforts.
Indonesia is home to between 25,000 and 30,000 plant species or about 10 percent of the total number of species in the world. More than 590 of those species are at risk and classified as endangered.
“Our support of the Jaga Bhumi movement for the second time proves our commitment to environmental conservation through various activities, one of which being Jaga Wiyata, as we are doing now,” said APP Sinar Mas director Suhendra Wiriadinata.
Suhendra hoped Jaga Wiyata would encourage students to be passionate about the environment, starting with their own neighborhood.
“The collaboration by stakeholders in the Jaga Bhumi movement can ensure a green environment in the future,” he said.
Tuesday’s Goes to School event saw about 50 fifth grade students enthusiastically taking part in the green campaign.
“Do you want to play?” a foundation’s volunteer began his presentation.
“Yes!” the students replied cheerfully.
“You will learn about the environment while you are playing,” the volunteer said.
Young and green: Students of Kemirimuka I elementary school, Depok, pose for a photo (above) at the end of the Goes To School green campaign on Tuesday. The students enthusiastically participated in the event, organized jointly by the Botanical Gardens Foundation, Diandra Promosindo and APP Sinar Mas. (./.)
Learning how to protect the Earth through books and games, the students were also encouraged to write about the importance of preserving our environment through the Ayo Menulis (let’s write) campaign.
“By writing, the students express the knowledge they gained from our program. Writing is a skill we must nurture among Indonesia’s young generation from an early age,” Suhendra said.
The school welcomes the campaign as part of the student’s learning process about conservation.
“This kind of activity is new to us and I hope after this meeting, the students’ awareness about the need to preserve the environment will improve,” said school principal Sukarsih.
The day’s program ended with students planting medicinal plants in the school’s garden.
Asked which part of the program she liked most, fifth grader Talita said: “Planting.”
Hopefully, she will also love cultivating more plants to help preserve the environment.