Solidaridad celebrates World Environment Day with future farmers of Indonesia

08 June 2017

In celebration of World Environment Day on 5 June, Solidaridad Indonesia, Keling Kumang Group and Business Watch Indonesia held two important events in Sintang and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The events were intended to bring communities together to honour progress in sustainability and teach the next generation of farmers the importance of protecting the environment.

Close to 100 children from five local schools participated in a special planting ceremony complete with short films and coloring competition. The children showed a lot of enthusiasm for learning how to properly plant a tree by watching the planting ceremony performed by representatives of Keling Kumang Group and Solidaridad Indonesia in the presence of local government officials.

Supporting the next generation of farmers

Children are the leaders of the future and early education about the environment is deemed crucial. During the closing ceremony, the children took the oath to protect and preserve the environment and asked the government to proactively support their action too.

The Head of Business Development Department of Keling Kumang Group, Moses, explained this was the first time Keling Kumang Group celebrated the World Environment Day and assured participants this sort of activity will be held regularly every year.

Bringing local communities together

In addition to the important educational opportunity provided by World Environment Day, four villages came together to sign a declaration of cooperation, witnessed by Solidaridad Indonesia and Business Watch Indonesia. The declaration signed by representatives from the villages of Selo, Cepogo and Dukun with Mount Merapi National Park Agency (Balai Taman Nasional Gunung Merapi) was part of the commencement event for a planting ceremony in Merapi slope area where the “Sustainable Landscape in Merapi Region” programme is conducted.

This programme supports food resilience goals outlined by the Government of Central Java Province. Coffee agroforestry was chosen as one of the primary natural conservation efforts because the benefits of the crop are both economic and environmental.

“In the first place, by planting coffee in the forest, the community will receive extra income. Secondly, a forest cover will be created to protect farmers’ livelihoods in this ecologically vulnerable area. Thirdly, it helps to halt damage to the environment in Tlogolele village,” said Widodo, chief of the village.

Protecting unique native vegetation

Along with coffee agroforestry, Business Watch Indonesia, in collaboration with Solidaridad and Mount Merapi National Park Agency, encouraged the community of the buffer villages in Merapi to conserve Merapi’s native vegetation, including Berasan (Tarrenoidea Wallichii) – a unique tree able to tolerate the mountain’s volcanic ashes.

Solidaridad Network Executive Director Nico Roozen mentioned his appreciation for the progress made in the communities. Solidaridad has been partnering with local villagers in this programme for a significant period of time in order to scale up the economy and preserve the environment.

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in South & South-East Asia