Rumah Bakau Jayapura: A Home for Environmental Communities in Jayapura

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Many young people are now forming or joining communities with the goal of taking environmental action. For example, some communities regularly clean up waste, while others focus on the purpose of planting trees, run intensive social media campaigns, and engage in a variety of other activities. One thing for sure, all of these groups have the same goal in mind: to save and protect the earth.

Even though they belong to different communities, it is important for existing communities to communicate and collaborate with one another.  That way, the movements for the environment that are carried out can have more impact. Realizing the importance of this, Rumah Bakau Jayapura (Jayapura Mangrove House) was founded in 2018 and served as a home for communities concerned about the environment, especially in Jayapura.

Start Taking Self Action

Gamel Naser identified environmental problems in Jayapura, which led to the birth of Rumah Bakau Jayapura. He found out that there are at least two major environmental issues in Jayapura, namely waste and flooding. On the other hand, he also discovered that there are many young people in Jayapura who want to help the environment but don’t know where to start.

Finally, on March 25, 2018, he founded Rumah Bakau Jayapura in the heart of the Hamadi Mangrove Forest, Jayapura, to accommodate the ideals of youth in taking environmental action. However, before taking such a large step, Gamel encourages the young people in this community to start small, by reflecting on their own habits. For instance, consider if they have always disposed of trash in its proper location and reduced the use of single-use packaging over time.

An example of their implementation is when there are instructions from the mayor to reduce plastic waste. Then each member tried to put it into practice by refusing to accept or use plastic bags to carry their daily belongings. Instead, they use a tote bag or noken which is a typical Papuan bag. Another example is to be used to drinking water from a tumbler rather than from plastic bottles.

Waste Clean Up Action

After successfully building habits from themselves, then they try to transmit these good habits to their fellow members and the general public. Because at Rumah Bakau Jayapura there are many environmental communities from various circles gathered, they will also regularly discuss what actions they can take together. Many new ideas will arise as a result of the discussion.

One of their regular efforts is waste cleanup in several locations in Jayapura. Rumah Bakau Jayapura usually does this activity in partnership with the community. This activity was carried out on a weekly basis before the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this activity is limited during the pandemic, it does not lessen their enthusiasm. This cleanup action is now usually scheduled to take place three times a month.

Every time the cleanup is conducted, the public expresses a strong desire to participate. The total number of persons who took part in the three initiatives to clean up waste in Jayapura reached 600. They’ll pick up waste from roads, rivers, mangrove forests, and other locations. Then, the action committee gradually began to ask people to stop using single-use drinking bottles and instead use the tumblers.

In addition to the waste cleanup, Rumah Bakau Jayapura has a number of other initiatives, including campaigns to reduce the use of single-use plastics, planting mangroves, caring for mangrove forests, and commemorating Earth Day by turning off the electricity for a short period of time, and many others. They hope to continue to show the general public about the concern of today’s youth to care for the environment. So, if you live in Jayapura and want to show your support for environmental protection, come join the community at Rumah Bakau Jayapura!

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