There are 8 students from SMAN 1 Palangka Raya together with two accompanying teachers had the opportunity to participate in various activities at the Peat Forest Natural Laboratory of the Sebangau National Park. For two days from 4 to 5 November 2019, students participated in BNF researchers’ activities and explored the natural laboratory forest.
On the first day of exploration, students observed orangutans with BNF researchers, visited the former 2015 fire site and learned about forest fire restoration, visited several canal locations, one of the main causes of draining of peatlands, and directly saw canal blocks which was built to hold the rate of peat water into the river in order for the peat to always contain water. Arriving back at the research station at night, the students rested and watched a documentary about the extinction of animals, titled Racing Extinction.
On the second day, the students immediately started their activities before the sun rose. They get up very early to observe gibbons, including listening to the singing of gibbons in the morning, away gibbons communicating with each other and perhaps with other animals to announce their territory. The day continues with learning to navigate using a compass and GPS through fun-learning games. Then, the students also learn how to use a camera trap that serves to monitor the activities of wild animals in the Sebangau forest.
Students get the opportunity to see wild gibbons in Sebangau Forest. Photo by Ferdinandus Eko | BNF | LLG UPT CIMTROP
“I learned many important lessons and challenges from activities in the Sebangau camp. I learned many important and interesting things from the surrounding environment. I had the opportunity to see wild gibbons and orangutans. In my opinion, protecting the environment is a necessity in order for human and the environment can have a better relations. “Dimas Bekti Wibisono, a student at SMAN 1 Palangka Raya.
“I joined the research at CIMTROP LAHG and the experience was very exciting, the environment is still beautiful and the air is also very fresh. I have a message for all my friends and young generation, ‘Let’s protect the environment because if the air is clean it must be nice too!’ Don’t forget to participate in educating about various things related to the environment because it is for ourselves too,” Angi Pania Syeka, a student from SMAN 1 Palangka Raya
“I am very happy with the last two days’ activity as I can share various things about wildlife and environmental issues, not only in theory but also through direct observation of researchers’ field activities. They can get new field experiences and I hope that these students can start making a change in Palangka Raya and also can invite other schools to actively participate in overcoming environmental problems.” Eka Cahyaningrum, BNF gibbons and red langur scientist.
These 8 students were the winners of the poster and quiz competition held by the Borneo Nature Foundation in collaboration with the Central Kalimantan Provincial Education Office, carrying out an education program for the preservation of gibbons (Hylobates albibarbis) on the commemoration of International Gibbons Day which fell on 26 October 2019. There are 10 high schools from Palangka Raya who participated in this activity who have been involved in the Gibbon Youth Campaign since last March, where the Education Team and BNF researchers provided various knowledge about gibbons and various environmental issues.
“Through this event, we hope that students will increasingly understand the benefits of protecting and preserving the environment and protecting the survival of animals including gibbons,” said Head of the High School Division, Central Kalimantan Office of Education, Ahmad Syaifudi in Palangka Raya on 26 October 2019.
Syaifudi further said that the education program wrapped up in the “Gibbon Youth Campaign” was in line with the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government’s program, particularly in integrating school education to be environmentally friendly.
Syaifudi emphasized, “For this reason, we are looking forward to this program not only touching schools in Palangka Raya City but can be expanded to reach schools in other districts in Central Kalimantan,”
During the International Gibbon Day celebration, student representatives from 10 high and vocational schools participated in a gibbon protection campaign poster quiz and competition. The winners of the poster and quiz contest received a prize of field learning trip to Sebangau forest research station for 2 days, 4 – 5 November 2019.
“Students seem to have very high enthusiasm (to take a trip to the Sebangau research camp) as seen from the many critical questions, especially regarding wildlife and gibbons in the Sebangau Forest,” said Jesika Karina, one of the BNF education facilitators who provided material about gibbons during Gibbon activities. Youth Campaign.
BNF Co-Director, Bernat Ripoll Capila said the event was held as an effort to encourage young people to love the environment and animals around them more, especially gibbons. Students are also expected to play an active role and contribute to the preservation of Borneo gibbons as endemic animals, whose status is critically endangered due to poaching and disruption of their natural habitat. “Because all of us, including students, have a responsibility to preserve and protect the environment and all animals in it. All must participate in protecting nature as part of the gibbon conservation,” said Bernat Ripoll Capilla.