BNF hosted the third Anak Sebangau Festival to promote waste management for clean environment


Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) recently hosted the third Anak Sebangau (children of Sebangau) Festival at the Kereng Bangkirai port, the entrance gate to the Sebangau peat-swamp forest, on Sunday [25/11/2018]. The fest has been celebrated annually since 2016, a year after 2015 devastating forest fires that took away millions of acres of pristine forest in almost the whole regions of Central Kalimantan. Since then, the environment is always placed at the heart of every Anak Sebangau Festival to raise public awareness on the importance of keeping and living healthy environment.

Anak Sebangau is BNF’s education initiatives for the local children that aim to raise the awareness of young generations for the sustainability of their environment through after-school activities. Currently, there are about 34 active members of local children joining the programme aged 9 to 14 year old. Every year, these little conservationists deliver the environmental messages to the publics through their art and culture performances which are packaged in the Anak Sebangau Festival.

Trash Monster: The key message to this year’s fest is better waste management for clean environment
Photo by Ahmad Fauzi | Borneo Nature Foundation

The fest is to encourage these children develop their confidence to perform in front of the audiences. This confidence is critical part for the children allowing them to voice against the environmentally destructive behaviour. The ‘soul’ for the festival this year is the waste management for clean environment which features various performances by Anak Sebangau including Dayak traditional dance, drama, musical performance from recylced plastic drums, theatrical performance on the ‘Trash Monster’ and other fascinating activities.

“Through this festival, we hope that these children can help voice the better waste management for the public considering the potential of black river and Sebangau forest for the eco-destinations” said Petricia (Coordinator for Anak Sebangau programme).

As many know, Sebangau forest has been established as the National Park in 2004. It’s also the largest conservation for the beautiful peat-swamp forest conservation in Indonesia. The forest is home to hundreds of magical flora and fauna of Borneo which include the critically-endagered wild Bornean orangutan. With such great potentials, Sebangau will make the biggest asset for the province through well-managed eco-tourism. However, this has to be followed by the maturity of the people in better waste management.

Although the dark clouds engulfed the city of Palangka Raya during the festival, it did not stop the visitors to come and enjoy the event. There were many people coming; adults, family, and children not only those who live in the villages but also those from town were also ethusiast to see the performance.

“It’s my first time coming to this fest and I think it’s a good opportunity for parents to bring their children to the festival to get the message on living healthy environment” said Doni, a visitor.

The fest was aimed to promote waste management for clean environment. By having good waste management, we all can help protect the environment. If not, this woud have gone otherwise. Recently, we were shocked with the news on the media showing us devastating impacts of the not-well-managed waste on the environment. We saw the blue oceans worldwide are transforming into a huge storage of plastic waste. The animals are dying, the fish population decrease, and this also indirectly affects the livelihoods of the people who depend their life on the fisheries. Fresh fish will be gone if we are careless to our oceans or rivers.

Performances by little conservationists, Anak Sebangau, during the Fest
Photo by Ahmad Fauzi | Borneo Nature Foundation

As for the success of this event, we would like to thank the Darwin Initiatives for giving us the major support on the BNF’s Education programme. We also thank BPDAS – HL Kahayan who provided us with 150 seedlings that we distributed to the visitors to raise their awareness on making the healthy environment with more trees planted. In addition, we are also grateful for the additional supports from BNI 46 and Bank Indonesia for the third Anak Sebangau Festival. (AE)