Pemuda Bicara (or ‘Youth Talk’), supported by Borneo Nature Foundation, took place on 15-16 October 2016 in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. The event created a platform for young people to speak out and take action for their environment and culture, in the hope of preventing climate disaster. It has similarities with the spirit of Sumpah Pemuda, a Youth Pledge taken on 28th October 1928, to build the foundation of Indonesia. Pemuda Bicara is a forum to discuss issues and find solutions.
There were panel discussions about forest condition in Central Kalimantan, alternatives for land clearing without using fire, and how to inform young people about environmental issues using mass media and social media. On the Saturday night, there were cultural performances by community groups, such as Teater Palangka Raya, Shouts of Wurmbii, Teater Kampung, Mutan Borneo, Riak Renteng Tingang dance group, Betang Batarung dance group, Darung Tingang dance group, Bellacoustic, Oi Palangka Raya, and Tingang Tabela Teathre. On the Sunday morning there were music performances by Republik Borneo, Hutan Tropis, The Generaction, and Navicula; all of the bands share important messages about environmental protection.
We opened an information booth to share our work and provide educational activities to keep children engaged during the event. There were also stalls from other communities and NGOs, such as Rumah Talenta, Youth Act, WWF, BOS Foundation, Rumah Berkarya and Rumah Baca Bahijau.
A small section of our I am the Forest photo exhibition was also on display during the event. We added two extra photos of Palangka Raya in the thick haze from the devastating fires in 2015, so people could reflect on the environmental disaster that we were facing this time last year.
Borneo Nature Foundation supported this event, because we want to empower young people to address environmental issues that they care about. Part of our role in Kalimantan is to support, empower and encourage young people to take action to better protect their forests, their environment and their culture. Events, like Pemuda Bicara, are an opportunity for youth to join forces so we can all move forward together.(DN)
Watch the video