At the East Asian Seas Congress in Danang, Vietnam, PEMSEA launched a small grants program for youth leaders in the region. Proposals came in from China, the Philippines and Indonesia. After a rigorous screening process, the grant was awarded to Enggar Yulia Wardani from Indonesia.
She submitted a proposal on behalf of Smart Blue Action Community (SBA-Community), which focused on mangrove rehabilitation. In collaboration with HIMASPER IPB, another youth organization, SBA-Community mobilized local stakeholders to plant mangroves in Subang. Along with the proposal to plant mangroves, SBA-Community also created an education program for children across 14 schools. The education plan includes an original 3D storybook and a board game. These tools were designed to engage children in identifying marine species and understanding the value of marine ecosystems in a fun and interactive manner. They have been implementing this education program by visiting different schools for the past few months.
In partnership with the Center for Coastal and Marine Resources Studies and HIMASPER IPB, SBA-Community led a mangrove planting event in Legon Wetan, Subang, West Java. In the days leading up to the event, they held an Instagram contest to increase awareness on their activities. Participants posted images using the hashtag #AyoIkutGBCMangrove. Prizes were given to those with the most number of uploaded posts, the most powerful image and caption, and to the post with the most votes (through “likes”).
On September 10, 2016, there was an orientation and training program on mangrove care. That same day, they executed their education program for over 40 children at Legon Wetan Elementary School, Subang.
The following day on September 11, youth participants from high school up to post graduate students worked together with local community representatives to plant mangrove seedlings in Legon Wetan, Subang. The participation of the local community is crucial, as they will be responsible for the long-term care of the mangrove ecosystem. Representatives from the environment community also graced the event, namely Hilo Green Community Bogor, Indonesian Green Action Forum and the Executive Board of Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences IPB.
Right before the planting activity, there was a short program with three main speakers. Dr Ir Fredinan Yulianda MSc, an expert on the conservation of aquatic ecosystems and ecotourism, talked about marine conservation. He discussed how to plant and care for mangroves. Mr Fredinan also explained the characteristics of different mangrove species and each of their functions. The second speaker was Luisa Andrea, who won the title of Miss Earth Indonesia in 2016. She emphasized the value of mangrove ecosystems and how to work for environmental conservation. The last speaker was Ampung from IMARF (Indonesian Mangrove Restoration Foundation), an organization focused on mangrove restoration. His topic was on increasing the passion for conservation and specific actions to conserve mangroves.
The feedback from the participants was very positive. They were enthusiastic throughout the event and expressed the desire to have activities like this regularly. It was a fruitful day for everyone involved. The youth not only gained new friends and experiences, but learned about mangrove ecosystems and how to be actively involved in environmental conservation.
At the end of the event, approximately 1,500 mangrove seedlings were planted on 1.5 hectares. The next step is for HIMASPER IPB and the local community to sustainably manage the mangrove ecosystem. The local community will take care of the daily upkeep since they live near the mangrove area. HIMASPER IPB will be monitoring progress on site every 6 months. Follow them on Instagram @gbchimasper to stay updated on their activities.