Indonesia has the third largest forest in the world. More than 50 percent of Indonesia’s land area is covered by forest that supports the life of living things on earth. Like mothers, forests provide all human needs. Unfortunately, the existence of Indonesia’s forests is not free from various threats. Efforts to protect forests have also been called for since decades ago, both by the government, non-profit organizations, to indigenous peoples whose lives depend heavily on what the forest provides.
In order to protect forests, Indonesia also takes various steps. Since 2009, the Indonesian government has announced a commitment to fight the climate crisis and save forests by reducing emissions by 26% – 41% at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, as stated by Teguh Surya, Executive Director of Yayasan Madani Sustainable. Meanwhile, the government’s strategy in saving forests, one of which is by issuing a moratorium on new licenses in protected forest areas or peatlands.
Realizing the importance of the existence of healthy forests for the lives of Indonesian people, on 7 August 2020 it was initiated as Indonesian Forest Day. The date was chosen not without reason. Exactly a year ago, namely August 7, 2019, President Jokowi signed Presidential Instruction No. 5 of 2019 concerning Termination of New Permits and Improving Management of Primary Forests and Peatlands. In addition, on 7 August three years ago, a petition on the establishment of Indonesian Forest Day on change.org was launched and received support from 1.4 million people.
Marking the commemoration of Indonesia’s first Forest Day, it was celebrated with the Indonesian Forest Day Festival with the theme #HutanKitaJuara. This event was initiated by Hutan Itu Indonesia and Conservation International, and supported by 141 collaborators, including the EcoNusa Foundation and more than 250 digital volunteers.
Indonesian Forest Day was also initiated to remind the Indonesian people that in our lives, there are forests that need to be protected. And we humans are an inseparable part of the forest. Indonesian Forest Day is also a momentum to dedicate and be grateful for the existence of forests and all the wealth in them.
The 2 hour virtual event was enlivened by music performances, stand-up comedy, live meditation, and live talk shows by a number of Indonesian musicians and public figures such as Pongki Barata, Ramon Y Tungka, Nadine Alexandra, Arif Brata, and Baby Borneo who performed music. traditional. In addition, there were also professionals who care about environmental issues who expressed their support for the establishment of Indonesian Forest Day on August 7, 2020.
“Indonesia’s forests are a miracle, because a lot of natural wealth and luxury are stored. Unfortunately, we ourselves, who are close to tropical forests, don’t care and even ignore them. It is time for us to care for and protect tropical forests. Hopefully, people’s feelings are moved and feel sorry for our forests. Hopefully many feelings will be moved by this campaign, ”said Pandji Pragiwaksono at the beginning of the event.
Meanwhile, Nadine Alexandra, in the event, stated that the nickname of the Emerald of the Equator for our country should be something that we should be proud of because Indonesia is a home for animals and plants that are endemic and cannot be found anywhere else.
“Our rainforest should be very attached to our identity as Indonesians. We have a beautiful gift that we can share with people all over the world, “he said.
As part of the series of the #HutanKitaJuara Indonesian Forest Day Festival, there will also be Forest Adoption actions that can be followed by all people by donating through Kitabisa.com or the Harihutan.id website until October 2020. Donations collected will be channeled to community organizations that act as forest guards in 10 locations in various regions in Indonesia.
It is hoped that the Forest Adoption Action will be able to make a real contribution to protecting forests in Indonesia and biodiversity for healthy forests. Thus, all living things can continue to experience its benefits for future generations. Because, the breath of the forest is our breath.
Editor: Nina Nuraisyiah