October 26, 2020

Building Environmental Awareness through Religious Leaders Training on Peatland and Conservation

By nicole

Seruyan, C Kalimantan, INDONESIA, Oct 26, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – In this modern world, all humankind has been affected by the impact of the global climate crisis. Not only facing the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we also have to deal with floods and forest fires currently occurring in our region.

Scientists have given extensive warning regarding the effects of climate change on our planet, however collective action to hinder the climate crisis is largely considered to be too slow.

At the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project, we have made concerted efforts to play a leading role in mitigating the damage done to the environment in our region through the introduction of various initiatives, including a spiritual approach to change community behaviour and to engage them by encouraging active involvement and inclusion in all efforts taken to preserve the environment and to minimize damage.

Rimba Raya empowers local community members to play a role in protecting and conserving the peat forest with a long-term philosophy of ‘community for healthy forests and climate’. The project aims to consistently work towards achieving the UN’s SDGs, both within the project area and the bordering villages. In September 2020, Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve became the world’s first forest conservation project to independently verify its contributions to the environment, biodiversity and social SDGs under the newly created Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), and has managed to target all the 17 SDGs goal.

In collaboration with the National Peatland Agency (BRG), Seruyan District Government, Rimba Raya conducted “Dai Gambut” Training on the 6-7 October 2020. The training was aimed at promoting capacity building efforts, help increase knowledge regarding peatland restoration and to raise awareness in the importance of being environmentally friendly in our daily activities.

The training was conducted combination between online and offline in Kuala Pembuang. There were 28 (twenty-eight) participants from 14 villages. The speakers; Kyai Cholil Nafis and Kyai Sholahuddin Al Aiyub (Wasekjen Field MUI Fatwa) used zoom to convey “environmental fiqh” (Muslim jurisprudence). The in-person meetings were presented by Dr. Fachruddin Mangunjaya or well known as Ustad Rudi. Topics included; Fusing Faith, Education and Environmentalism.

“Taking care of the environment is about making action and behavioural changes that are controlled by the human heart and mind. A religious approach can contribute to highlighting the importance of caring for our environment,” said Ustad Rudi during a training session.

After training, the Da’i will share their knowledge through religious preaching about the importance of having healthy peatland, healthy forests and the need to practice conservation and land clearing without the traditional ‘slash and burn’ technique.

“This collaboration with BRG is very beneficial for the Rimba Raya project. The hope is to encourage a change in behaviour and increase public awareness to the importance of preserving the peatland ecosystem,” said Sylviana Andhella, Executive Director of Rimba Raya Conservation.

Rimba Raya has established a partnership agreement with the National Peatland Agency (BRG) from June to December 2020 under the Deputy of Education, Socialization, Participation and Partnership. This includes 5 activities namely; peatland restoration socialization, Da’i training and/or Peat Care Pastor, Sustainable Farmer Field School, peatland restoration literature (for students); understanding value added commodities (Non-Timber products) in the 14 villages that are within the RRC working areas.

The project area acts as a vital buffer zone for TN Tanjung Puting National Park and focuses on Ecosystem Restoration. It aims to restore and preserve the tropical peat swamp forest which is essential habitat for orangutans and is managed under the principles of ecology and economic & social management. Initiatives implemented positively impact 14 villages in two sub-districts (Seruyan Hilir and Danau Sembuluh), in the Seruyan Regency, Central Kalimantan.

Rimba Raya initiatives are developed by InfiniteEARTH with a focus on assisting local communities to improve their economic status and embrace the positive impacts of being a REDD+ project.

Frita Junita
Communication Officer Rimba Raya Conservation
Email: rimbarayajakarta@gmail.com
Hp: +62 857-1743-7001

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