Stephen only got back last night from being in the field and today left for Singapore to renew his visa - sorry no posts from him. So for this week over to Sally, from Yayorin..... Kampung Konservasi (Indonesian for Conservation Village) is an integrated environmental learning facility ran by Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia) at the city of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. What started as a dream, now has become a dynamic place where people come to learn more about how to live “in harmony with nature”, a concept barely heard of in the area before.
The idea of Kampung Konservasi is quite simple really. Because Yayorin believes that there will be no real conservation without education, we felt (and still do) that people, especially those who live surrounding the orangutan habitats, must be introduced to the idea of “nature conservation” in more direct, simple, personal ways. We need an education center; a place where people can actually go to. We cannot just preach and say “Do not cut the trees!” or “Do not kill the orangutans!” because most of those who did illegal logging practices or illegal wildlife trade in this area only did that out of necessity. They needed the money to survive. If we really want conservation to happen, if we really want people to take conservation seriously, we need to work with these people and offer them alternative ways to make a living.
As I mentioned before, Yayorin believes that education empowers people. We believe that we must educate the young, and that is why in Kampung Konservasi we arguably have the biggest environmental library in the whole Kalimantan, regularly play environmental movies in our little theatre, offer small, informal “classes” for children to take part in and work together with local schools in many other environmentally-related activities. In addition to that, Kampung Konservasi receives visits from school teachers, student groups, youth groups, farmer groups, church groups, government groups and individuals almost every month.
Since its first opening for public in March 2006, Kampung Konservasi has grown so much. Through the Orangutan Foundation UK we have received operational funding from The Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation for three consecutive years; and some generous groups of people also donated funds for us to purchase more lands to enlarge our sustainable agriculture demonstration plots (more on this next time). There are still so many things to be done and so many people to be reached, but the future certainly looks promising for this exciting program. We hope that we can continue to bring you updates on Kampung Konservasi on a regular basis in this blog.
Visit us using this Virtual Tour