The Jakarta Post
Dozens of foreign tourists from Hungary and Brazil on Sunday celebrated Christmas by participating in a tree-planting event in Gangga district, North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).
The event is a reforestation program encompassing Gawe Gawah, an annual ritual that locals hold as a statement of gratitude to nature, coordinated by the Lombok-based environmental group Pawang Rinjani.
“This is our Christmas in Lombok,” said Hungarian tourist Mark Gauder, 38, who participated with ten friends in planting the trees.
Besides the tourists who planted the 100 flamboyant seedlings in the Gangga district, hundreds of high school students and environmental organizations also participated in the events.
The event was also attended by Environment and Forestry Ministry official Yulianto, Pawang Rinjani Lombok supervisor Djohan Samsu and NTB lawmaker Farouk Muhammad.
Pawang Rinjani Lombok spokesperson Abdullah Apink Al Kaff said the recent disasters in NTB were the consequence of massive deforestation. He hoped that Gawe Gawah would bring awareness to protect the environment in the area.
“The message is that all citizens can contribute to the conservation of their own environment,” Abdullah said. (nmn/wit)