School of Eco Diplomacy

Number of Alumni

Youth action to protect nature and diversity through diplomacy.

Despite being titled as a mega biodiversity country by its super high diversity in forest and marine life, Indonesia is actually threatened by deforestation and forest degradation, especially due to the expansion of palm oil concessions. In 2014-2015, Indonesia’s deforestation rate even reached 1.09 million hectares and became one of the highest in the world; destroying some of the tropical rainforests that support the life of both animals and indigenous peoples.

Tidak hanya di rimba, tantangan serupa juga melanda kawasan pesisir, laut, dan sektor perikanan. Praktik penangkapan ikan skala besar, metode penangkapan ikan yang merusak, dan tata kelola yang bermasalah, membuat kesejahteraan nelayan dan daya dukung ekosistem laut menjadi rendah, serta populasi biota laut terus menurun.

Not only in the jungle, similar challenges also hit coastal areas, the oceans, and the fisheries sector. Large-scale fishing practices, destructive fishing methods, and problematic marine governance have reduced the welfare of fishermen and the carrying capacity of marine ecosystems, and the population of marine life continues to decline.

The only area that currently still has a fairly good quality of ​​tropical forest and marine ecosystems is in eastern Indonesia, especially in the Land of Papua and the Maluku Islands. This makes Eastern Indonesia now the last stronghold of tropical rain forests in Indonesia. Unfortunately, Indonesian people’s perception of the eastern region is still dominated by negative stereotypes, such as conflicts, natural disasters, and the backwardness of indigenous peoples. This can not be separated from the tightly controlled information by the central government since decades ago and is also exacerbated by the lack of communication infrastructure which limits the flow of information.

On the other hand, Indonesia is also blessed with an extraordinarily high human resources. According to the 2015 census results from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesia’s population is 238,518,000 people, and it is estimated that it will reach 271 million people by 2021. Nearly 30 percent of Indonesia’s population is young and of productive age, with a population of teenagers aged 16-30 years as many as 63.82 million people or equivalent to 24.51 percent of the total population in 2018.

EcoNusa believes that young people have a big role and opportunity to be involved in protecting the forest and marine ecosystems by building a new narrative about Eastern Indonesia. The youth can bring positive messages and inspire people to change for the better for the environment and the people of Eastern Indonesia.

The School of Eco-Diplomacy (SED) program is the form of EcoNusa’s initiative in increasing the capacity of young people to promote cultural diversity and rich biodiversity in Indonesia, especially in Papua and the Maluku Islands. SED aspires to create a new narrative to accelerate the welfare of citizens and the preservation of the natural wealth of Eastern Indonesia. New stories about ecology and society, especially in Papua and the Maluku Islands, are expected to be able to change the way natives and outsiders perceive the situation, as well as fostering hope and optimism from the people of eastern Indonesia.

The SED program prioritizes an environmental diplomacy approach that negotiates the interests of the parties by emphasizing the importance of protecting and saving the ecology. The approach is developed into three types of diplomacy as a focus for developing the capacity of young people, namely:

  1. Public diplomacy, which promotes values ​​and policy interventions related to the public interest. 
  2. Community diplomacy, which communicates the exchange of knowledge, skills, and empowerment in the community. 
  3. Digital diplomacy, which utilizes digital information technology to campaign broad issues.

With this environmental diplomacy approach, SED alumni are expected to be able to find their interests and aspirations related to ecological and climate issues in various regions in Indonesia, and actively communicate them to networks from local, national, to international levels.

SED Activity

A program for Maluku youths who are interested in environmental issues and creating changes

Maluku is one of the regions in Indonesia, which is well-known for its beautiful nature. In Maluku local wisdom, there is an institution called the Kewang Institution that plays a major role in managing and protecting the local nature.

As an attempt to introduce and spread the spirit of Kewang to more young people in Maluku, in 2021 the EcoNusa Foundation together with Moluccas Coastal Care held the Kewang Muda Maluku School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) program in Banda and Kaimana. This program is intended for young Maluku people who are interested in environmental issues, sustainable development, and creating changes.

For 4 days, the participants were given lessons about ecology, climate, and other environmental issues. Starting from this year’s SED, issues concerning forests were brought up, too. Furthermore, they also got a golden opportunity to be mentored by experienced mentors in designing their environmental actions.

A program for youths to build their awareness of protecting nature through diplomacy

The eastern part of Indonesia is well-known for its extraordinary natural resources and cultural wisdom. To maintain its sustainability, the role of young people in an effort to promote nature conservation, maintain the ecological balance, and prevent the rate of natural destruction in Eastern Indonesia is very necessary.

Because of this, EcoNusa Foundation organized School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) program with the aim to increase leadership capacity and participation of urban youths, especially in Papua and West Papua in promoting ecological values, local culture, and sustainable development.

In 2020, SED was conducted 3 times. The elementary level of SED was held twice on 22-25 September 2020 in Sorong, West Papua, and on 16-19 November 2020 in Merauke, Papua. During the 4-days session, many activities were carried out, including soft skills and hard skills training on public diplomacy in environmental issues, pitching innovation ideas, as well as connecting the participants with various parties, such as governmental institutions and embassies which later can support their innovative ideas. Meanwhile, due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the intermediate level SED was conducted online for 6 weeks. Even so, this program was joined by participants from various regions in Indonesia with great enthusiasm.

Encouraging young Papuans to speak up about environmental issues and make changes

Efforts to sustainably conserve the environment of Indonesia, particularly in the eastern region, must be continued. Protecting our environment and natural resources is not only the government’s responsibility; it also requires the active participation of the Indonesian people.

The EcoNusa Foundation held its second School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) in 2019, following the success of the first program in 2018. SED was conducted in awareness of the importance of young people’s participation in fostering environmental conservation through real acts and more popular ways, such as through social media.

In 2019, for the first time SED activities began to be made in stages to meet the needs of young people who are interested in joining this program. A tiered system based on basic and intermediate levels. Basic class of SED was conducted in the cities of Jayapura and Manokwari due to the significant population of young people in these two cities. The training was carried out for 4 days, and the participants had the opportunity to take part in many activities with a focus on the theme ‘Papua Land Ecology and the Climate Crisis’, such as learning directly about this issue from the experts, doing field trips to nature reserves, to presenting action plans that want them to do.

The first School of Eco Diplomacy, aimed at encouraging Indonesian youths participation to speak out about environmental issues

Indonesia is a country with an abundance of natural resources. Unfortunately, human activities are now causing an increasing number of environmental issues, such as the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and many more. This, of course, cannot be ignored. All parties, including the community, must take an active role to conserve nature and prevent additional destruction.

Seeing this problem, in 2018 the EcoNusa Foundation began to create the School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) program for the first time. This initiative intends to encourage young Indonesians to become environmental diplomats who actively participate in nature conservation activities and raise awareness of environmental issues, particularly in eastern Indonesia.

The first SED was joined by 10 participants, 7 of whom were from Papua and 3 others from outside Papua. During the program, they were invited to get to know various environmental issues up close by living in a village. In addition, they also had the opportunity to travel to Jakarta to speak for environmental issues with a variety of stakeholders.



Hampir seluruh wilayah di Papua Barat terletak di pesisir dan pulau-pulau kecil. Secara geografis, wilayah ini menjadi basis sumber daya lokal bagi industri perikanan. Agar sumber daya tersebut tetap terjaga, gerakan-gerakan diplomatis oleh kaum muda menjadi kebutuhan penting untuk tujuan perlindungan dan keberlanjutannya. Pada Mei 2021, 18 pemuda mengikuti rangkaian kegiatan School of Eco Diplomacy (SED) di Kabupaten Kaimana, Provinsi Papua Barat, selama 5 hari. Dalam kegiatan ini, mereka menyelami kearifan Tanah Papua yang melihat hutan, laut dan manusia sebagai hubungan yang erat.

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