Earth Day in Central Kalimantan, Borneo

Earth Day came and went, and the Education team (from the Indonesian NGO Yayorin) from our EC funded project in Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve made sure it didn't go unnoticed. children wirh Yayorin mascots

Our theme for Earth Day was "Menanam Pohon Untuk Mengurangi Panas Bumi" or "Planting Trees to Decrease Global Warming". We wanted to inform the community about climate change, and how we, as individuals and also as a community, can contribute to a better, sustainable environment.

The target for Earth Day was the community of Sukamara, a district of Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) and the youth group which the Orangutan Foundation facilitate, called Green Organization. The Education team spent a week in Sukamara prior to the event, to meet up with government and school officials to ensure that the Earth Day celebrations were a joint collaboration.

school children colouring

school children colouring up close

On Earth Daywe had a drawing competition for schoolchildren of various age groups at our EC-Lamandau project office in Sukamara. There were also environment games, including building a globe (out of sustainable materials). We encouraged the youth to build tree costumes out of boxes, and make up their own environment banners.

Earth Day and banner

 Teachers and parents kindly volunteered their time to assist with these activities. An Earth Day parade mostly comprised of the youth from the Green Organization was organized, and everybody brought pails of water, of which they would spontaneously water the trees planted by the roadside. The idea is to inculcate the feeling of social togetherness and caring for the local environment. The soils in Sukamara are quite poor, and sandy and therefore, any trees, shrubs or plants in the community were 'celebrated' for being there.

The day ended with 124 individuals comprising of youth, government officials and villagers descending to Danau Burung nursery (also a guardpost manned by Orangutan Foundation and Forestry Department staff, that borders the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve) to plant at least 250 indigenous seedlings.

Students planting

To thank the Green Organization youth who so enthusiastically volunteered their time to help and participate in Earth Day, we treated them to a well-deserved barbeque and an environment film screening.

Earth Day in Sukamara was hailed as a success by all, and we can't wait to start planning for the next year!

Thank you,

June Rubis

Orangutan Foundation Programmes Manager