Despite the country’s attribute for its ample biodiversity, empirically Indonesia’s nature is under threats of climate crisis and business practices that are not sustainable, exploitative, and destructive. Some of them are like mining and palm oil plantation expansion that have brought about forest degradation, as well as overfishing that destroys sea resources and ecosystems. On the other hand, Indonesia’s nature plays a pivotal role to cope with climate crisis. It requires many parties’ roles and engagement, among others, from young generation, to minimize the situation so as to defend the last remaining nature.
“The remaining natural resources are in eastern Indonesia, and it is imperative for us to defend them,” said Bustar Maitar, the CEO of EcoNusa, in his opening speech of the 2022 National School of Eco Diplomacy (SED).
To grasp the importance of young generation’s role, EcoNusa Foundation initiated a School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) program. This is a program to build youth capacity to build leadership and green knowledge to promote cultural diversity and natural richness while upholding the sustainable management of Indonesia’s natural resources particularly in Tanah Papua and Maluku Island.
This year the National SED was held on 22-29 August 2022 at Kinasih Resort in Depok, West Java. For several days, the participants learned about information and knowledge to increase their sensitiveness to ecological and environmental crises, problem analysis, solution formulation, community-based action planning, and some other knowledge in support of their endeavors to be a green diplomat.
There were 35 young people across from Indonesia coming and learning together the green diplomacy movement from competent experts and some noted figures in Indonesia. Some experts here were a green activist, Chalid Muhammad, Deputy II of the Executive Office of the President (KSP), and founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, Dino Patti Djalal.
Felia Salim, the Board of Trustee of EcoNusa Foundation, also showed up and gave her motivating words to SED participants. “If we want to improve ecosystem and make a change with extensive impact, we should regard it comprehensively, from social, economic, ecological perspectives and all other aspects,” she said.
Karel Alfando Yembise, one of the participants from Manokwari, thought that the activity here was very beneficial and supportive to youth movement for making a better change for earth. As to Karel, being part of the SED participants needed no reason, but it is a need. As the agent of change, youngsters should have a lot of knowledge ranging from the diplomacy way, environmental and cultural knowledge, concept making, and good public speaking technique. “The SED here meets the youth needs. It was not only me who wanted to take part, but also many friends of mine. They asked me to share the knowledge from SED soon I came back to Manokwari,” said Karel.
The participants went through the processes in a week to get knowledge on green diplomacy from the experts. They did not only have indoor activities, as on the last day of 2022 National SED, they were called to meet various stakeholders for green diplomacy in Indonesia, such as the Regional Legislative Council (DPD), Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, German Embassy, and CNN Indonesia.
Youngsters today are the leaders of the future. What they are doing today will defined the future fate of earth, particularly the Indonesian nature. If there are many more Indonesian youths to take part in concrete action for the earth, so the hope for a better future is no longer a pipeline dream.
Editor: Leo Wahyudi