RIC DONATED $500 TO THIS WONDERFUL EVENT. IF YOU WANT TO HELP SUPPORT NEXT
YEARS EVENT CONTACT
Avi Mahaningtyas email@example.com
June 18 2003
Dear friends and colleagues,
Here are a short report and pictures from the World Environment Day commemoration in Jakarta, 5-8 June 2003. SGP-Indonesia, together with 50 Civil Society Organizations, Companies, Indigenous Peoples, Women Organizations, environment urban poor, marginalized and disenfranchised children. At least 450 women, children, Indigenous Peoples and SGP Indonesia's partners camped, held workshops, organized public awareness activities and press conferences for three days. Translating the international theme of this year's WED, we agreed to choose "Water for Everyone, One Earth for All" as our common theme among supporters of Community Forum for Earth. This Community Forum was designed as a forum for shared learning, cross communities communication and meeting place for all parties from all walks of life to discuss about environment concerns and to build network to address environmental problems at community level and beyond. This year Community Forum for Earth has received kind supports from the Ford Foundation, Multi-Stakeholders Forestry Programme-DFID, the Rainforest Information Centre-Australia, GEF-SGP Indonesia, Bina Desa, Kehati, Kemala, Konphalindo (with support from Fair Trade-Oxfam GB and VSO-Spark), Komseni and Martha Tilaar Group. The list continues. We have a long list of individuals and organizations who worked very hard and tireless to organize and materialize this event. Our deepest gratitude to all dedicated people, environmentally disadvantaged children, organizations, companies, government and donor communities who shared beliefs and good energy with us. Special thanks also go to our National Steering Committee members who have seen the importance of reaching out to as many hands as we can. Documentations in VCDs, DVD, pictures and media coverage are available upon request.
Planting two indigenous species trees (menteng and kecapi) by senior grassroots environmental activist and ambassador for smallest primate (golden tarsius for North Sulawesi) witnessed by children, owner of our future earth. (Although not stated publicly, these two fruit trees of Betawi are dedicated for Jane and Sally-the two SGP's mothers. The trees are expected to bear fruits for children and birds, while preserving local fruits that gradually are vanishing from the local fruit market).
Among about 50 units of bamboo booth on the fair ground, SGP-Indonesia's National Host Institution's (Yayasan Bina Usaha Lingkungan) booth offers renewable energy solution to public. Everyday, during the Earth Harvest and Positive Energy exhibit, hundreds of school children and local communities including religious groups visited the exhibit. The Organic Village miniature, organized by Konphalindo and 20 other CBOs and CSOs, has drawn interests from various parties. BBC Radio had a life interviewed with them for an hour along with three other Jakarta-based radio, newspapers and TVs. Outputs: new network on organic life style (beyond products) from across communities and sectors; direct communication with customer buyers (e.g. the Madina's women traditional batik cloth coloring (using local indigenous plants) and weaving received orders from government office, public figures and communities; palm sugar of Kasepuhan Indigenous Peoples met buyers through initial order of 0.5 ton of palm sugar; the Dieng high plateau communities sold almost all of their local carica fruit pickled in jars; traditional herbal medicines claimed to sell of their products; alternative medicine booth offering acupressure, acupuncture and homeopathy were visited by about a hundred patients with serious illness and visitors wishing to maintain wellness while mending relationship with the earth.
Boys and girls of 10-15 year from 9 communities representing street kids, urban poor, disabled, and other marginalized communities joined the Earth's Children camping and environmental workshop from 5-8 June. One of the disabled kids flew safely during the Flying Fox game as part of environmental leadership workshop. SGP-Indonesia, Rakata Outdoor, Sanggar Anak Akar (Roots Children Community), Jendela Ide (Window of Ideas) and other groups helped facilitate the gathering of 150 children from various communities. Workshops program include a simple water filtering technique, domestic waste management, creating book through clay media (interconnection of life basic elements), environmental decision making and network building. The children agreed to decide on what they want to consume and to cook their own meal. With the agreement of 150 children, the organizer provided market of all fresh and organic products. Consensus among campers stipulates that instant products should not be consumed during those days. Each tent was equipped with energy efficient clay cook stove (technical assistance from the cook stove network). Output: books on children's perspectives about water and environment; 100 children's diaries consisting of in-sight of the program; inclusive environment network of children.
Environmental activism can be expressed through theater, performance art, films and music. Every afternoon from 5-7 June, the camping ground was filled with environmental music from various school and artisan groups. Spirit consisting of international communities in Jakarta donated 5 songs on environmental and social critics during the opening ceremony attended by at least 500 visitors, NSCs members and distinguished guests. Note that many embassies in Jakarta issue warning for their citizens to avoid crowd in response to series of bombing in April and May. However, solidarity and consciousness to say no to violence through earth friendly activities are still stronger than fear. The above theater show depicts interpretation of wasteful-throw away society. Piles of wasted mineral water plastics and PVC based plastic bags, very often clogging our river, sewage and burned in the dump sites, are becoming part of urban environment and culture. Something that our children can actually live without (?)
Behind the scene, there was a large silver screen to run environmental movies and documentation produced by activists, communities and independent film makers. At least 6 SGP's supported project was screened. Konfiden, a community of young independent sineas, produced a short (10 minute) documentation on micro hydro project supported by SGP and was used as the opening film to show respect to water.
Respecting life and earth is the central theme of this women group of Kasepuhan Indigenous Peoples. Braving 14 hours of bumpy journey from Halimun Mountain, these women sang the wisdom of rice planting and harvesting. The communities even brought special brown rice forbidden for trade to SGP Indonesia's camp. The brown rice became a true education media to question ourselves how ready we are to adopt organic lifestyle and to respect communities' hard work to produce healthy food for us and for the earth. Despite the nutrition facts and health advice, some activists and participants still thought that brown rice (organic and local) is not very good for human consumption. The above picture was taken during the opening of Women's Conference on Water Access and Food Sovereignty.
SGP Indonesia organized Earth Entrepreneurs Camping and workshops on marketing strategy, packaging, and outreach and business plan development for partners. More than 30 partners and two other participants from Kemala network attended the experience exchanges and skill sharing. Although the camping ground is located right in the heart of South Jakarta, it is very quiet to enable three workshops to run in parallel within the establishment. Three experts in marketing strategy, packaging and business development as well as government officials related to community-based production and trade attended the workshop. Martha Tilaar Group, whose founder serves as dedicated and inspiring NSCs member, sent her best experts to help SGP grantees analyze their marketing strategy and share the recipe of success for natural product marketing. The outcomes from this meeting include possible cooperation among partners, product development with Johny Utama and Martha Tilaar Group, information access to Department of Industry, Energy and Cooperatives. The event was also a good opportunity for grantees to practice media strategy, public awareness and awareness program, and accountability principles. This is also to show that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility and not anymore the domain of environmental NGOs only. Lessons learned from this meeting: better publication strategy, allowing longer period of planning and more self confidence for next year event. (This event was effectively organized in two and half months of preparation.) Media coverage of this Community Forum, not including preparation phase, include two life interview with Jakarta-based radio stations, three interviews with private TV stations, three articles on newspaper (with one headline in Jakarta-based periodical).