Young people from Anak Sebangau (or ‘Children of Sebangau Forest’) put on a great show at the 4th Anak Sebangau Festival on 24 November 2019. The event was held in Kereng Bangkirai; the main gateway to the Sebangau Forest and a village that has now become an attractive local tourist destination.
Anak Sebangau is BNF’s education initiative for local children, which aims to inspire a young generation to care and take action for the environment. Through after school activities, children learn about different environmental topics each month. At the end of the year, they share their new skills, knowledge and experiences with parents and local community members at the annual festival.
This year, they learned about biodiversity in the Sebangau Forest, current threats and conservation solutions. It becomes the ‘soul’ of this year’s festival which featured various performances by Anak Sebangau, including Dayak dancing, and a musical and theatrical performance about the threats of logging, hunting and forest fires.
Once a week, children from Anak Sebangau have the opportunity to learn about their traditional Dayak culture, which is highly connected with the forest and native wildlife. BNF work together with the Sanggar Darung Tinggang (traditional dance academy) to teach the children about Dayak culture and dancing. The children amazed the audience at Anak Sebangau Festival by performing a complete Dayak dance in full traditional clothing.
At this year’s event, BNF’s Education Team also introduced our new programme for local teenagers, called ‘Sebangau Rangers’. This is a new community group for young people, who live adjacent to the Sebangau Forest, to learn about environmental issues and become conservation ambassadors.
At the end of the festival, BNF together with local stakeholders planted trees in the village to commemorate World Tree Days on 21 November 2019 and Indonesia Tree Planting Day on 28 November 2019. The seedlings were kindly provided by BPDAS-HL Kahayan.
We would like to thank Darwin Initiative, Arcus Foundation, The Orangutan Project, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Fundacion Bioparc, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Twycross Zoo and Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust who support BNF’s Education Programmes. In addition, we are also grateful for the support of Kalaweit Radio as our media partner for this event.