Indonesian Scouts act for sustainable development
The Gerakan Pramuka Scout Organization in Indonesia is World Scouting’s largest NSO. Thus, it comes as no surprise that beginning in January 2012, the NSO launched not only one, but three projects working to protect the environment as a build up to showcase WOSM’s contribution to the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The following three initiatives by Gerakan Pramuka were made possible with support from World Scouting’s flagship initiative Messengers of Peace.
Scouts Coral Restoration
Indonesia is the largest collection of islands in the world. Because of Indonesia’s unique geography, a huge portion of the world’s coral reefs surrounds its islands. The reefs are composed of some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and are home to about 25% of marine species. Unfortunately, destructive human activity and global warming has been deteriorating these valuable reefs and will continue to do so unless something is done. In response to this crisis, 15 Scouts from the communities of Pasir Putih, Situbondo, and East Java have launched the Scouts Coral Restoration Project, which will benefit 550 people throughout the nearby communities. Through this Project, Scouts have harnessed their strong respect for nature to help restore and protect these vital reefs. Through a series of activities, Scouts are learning how to dive safely, how to plant new coral reef, and most importantly, how to protect the existing coral. Additionally, the Scouts Coral Restoration program is working to build a Coral Reef Conservation Community managed completely by local Scouts. This is where Scouts will be able to share their knowledge and educate their communities on how to be eco-friendly and why it is important
Saving the Planet, One River at a Time
The Pesanggrahan River at Lebak in South Jakarta Indonesia is polluted with garbage and suffering from soil erosion. Many in the community are unaware of the positive effects that a clean, healthy river would have on their lives. That is why 100 local Scouts launched the Saving the Planet, One River at a Time Project. These incredible Scouts are working not only to clean the river, but also to educate their communities about the negative affects of littering and how to follow other crucial eco-friendly guidelines. As a result of this Project, Scouts will not only help to ensure the sustainability of the Pessanggrahan River but they will also gain valuable knowledge about the environment, public health education, how to care for the river and surrounding areas, and about humanitarian aid. Cleaning the River and acquiring this invaluable knowledge will benefit 5,400 people in the surrounding communities. The work of the Scouts and the lessons they learn and subsequently pass on to their community will help to ensure our world stays healthy.
Mangrove Trees – Saving Indonesia’s Coast
In Semarang City Indonesia, the coastal ecology has been deteriorating with time. Recently, the community has been working to restore the coast by planting mangrove trees. 75-hectares have already been restored but there are still 85-hectares remaining. Thus, 10 local Scouts stepped up to help and started the initiative. They saw a need in their community and rose to the challenge. Mangrove Trees – Saving Indonesia’s Coast enlists Scouts to help with the vital coastal conservation work as well as informs the Scouts of the importance behind planting the mangroves. The leaders of the Project feel that it is important for everyone in the community to understand the importance of a healthy environment. They also feel that the youth are the best messengers for this initiative because they will share their experiences with their friends and families, thus increasing the communities’ overall knowledge. Through this Project, the Scouts are learning how to plant mangrove trees, they are developing skills in coastal ecology conservation and most importantly, they are learning how to establish a sustainable environment in the region, which will ultimately benefit over 8,200 people.
Each of these projects is working to establish a sustainable environment and protect the planet. And although these three projects originate from the same country, they are all focusing on different issues. This illustrates the far-reaching capabilities of support from the Messengers of Peace initiative. Through Messengers of Peace, Scouts from across the globe are able to launch projects that are important to them and their communities while still working together for a common goal, to create a better world.