The Environment and Forestry Ministry has named 20 villages in the country winners of this year's Climate Village Program (Proklim), awarding their initiatives to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation programs.
The ministry's director general for climate change mitigation, Nur Masripatin, said on Monday that the villages had been awarded for concrete efforts on climate change mitigation, such as waste management techniques and recycling, energy conservation as well as forest fire prevention.
'They have shown us how to adapt to climate change and take concrete action to protect their environment from damage,' Nur said.
The ministry has been running the Proklim program since 2012 to encourage active participation of local communities at the neighborhood, hamlet or village level in dealing with climate change.
Nur also said that, in the long run, the program could contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020.
She said the ministry planned to award 2,000 villages by 2019.
'Until this year, we have awarded 38 villages. You can imagine that we really need to rush to reach the target in the next four years,' Nur said.
This year, 174 villages had joined the competition, and the winners were announced after several stages of selection.
One of the winners is the village of Bono Tapung in Riau's Rokanhulu regency, which was awarded for its biogas program.
Mahdi, a leading public figure in the village who initiated the biogas production in 2009, said that he produced biogas from the fermentation of cow dung which he collected daily.
'The biogas is now regularly used by most villagers for household needs, such as for cooking and lighting,' Mahdi said, adding that the village already had nine biogas production plants.
Another winner, Setya Negara village in Kuningan regency, West Java, was awarded for its Masyarakat Peduli Api (people who are careful with fire) group, which has been active since 2007.
The village's economic and development division head, Kusri, said that the group was responsible to take care of a patch of forest in their village, which is located on the foot of the Ciremai volcanic mountain, the highest mountain in West Java.
'The group takes care of the forest, particularly during the dry season when the forest is prone to fire. They will do anything to preserve the source of water, because the forest is our source of life,'
Nur stressed that the award winners could set an example for other communities.
'They could use social media, such as Facebook, through which they could post pictures of their activities, or by holding training coursing and consulting other villages. The point is, their initiatives should not cease,' she said. (foy)