Written by Dwi Riyan (BNF Education Manager)
Reforestation is one of the important conservation activities delivered by BNF. As well as our reforestation programme in the Sebangau National Park forest, we have initiated tree planting sessions in schools in the village of Mungku Baru. Mungku Baru is located in the Rungan Landscape; 150,000 hectares of rich forest, home to an array of incredible wildlife, but is currently under threat.
At the end of last year, together with parents and teachers, we closed our 2019 environmental education programme in Mungku Baru by tree planting with schools in the village. This planting session was the first activity, which we have conducted with all teachers and students in Mungku Baru. No less than 150 students participated in the tree planting sessions.
The first session was carried out with the Junior High School no. 4 by planting 23 seedlings, including the species Alau (Dacrydium pectinatum) and other native species, such as Rombusa (Tabernaemontana corymbosa), Tanjung (Mimusops elengi) and some local fruit trees.
The same activity was held with elementary and senior high students, who planted more than 32 seedlings in each school as a symbol of reconnecting with nature and the growth of this new programme.
Besides the school teachers and students, the Head of the Sub-Village was also involved in the tree planting activities:
“For me, it is really good to have tree planting sessions in the school. Firstly, the trees will provide shelter in the schools and the students can learn more about reforestation. I hope in the future, we can also do the same activity in other villages, near to Mungku Baru, not only in the schools but for the whole community. We can also educate the community about the benefits from the forest and our responsibility to replant our forest and surrounding areas for the next generation” said, Ramai Susanto, the Head of Sub-Village of Mungku Baru.
Oktami, a student of Junior High School no. 4, said “ It is very helpful for Mungku Baru because there is a lot of tree cutting in my village, so we are very thankful to BNF. For the school, yes it makes our school greener. I really hope to visit the forest where the seedlings came from in the next year to experience the nearby forest, which I have never visited.”
During the tree planting sessions, the students also had a chance to socialise with each other and strengthen their teamwork skills, including teachers and parents. Ina Christina, BNF’s Education Programme Coordinator for Mungku Baru, said that this activity is to give the students a hands-on learning experience about local biodiversity and put into practice the new knowledge delivered by BNF in the last 6 months, while also sharing the results of the programme with the wider community.
“I do hope BNF can continue their programme here. With support from BNF, we can take the students to the forest for them to gain a deeper understanding of why it is important to save their environment, including the rainforest. Also, maybe we can do this kind of activity again in other areas in Mungku Baru” stated Good Rolly, a Senior High Teacher from Mungku Baru.
We are ready to cooperate with more local schools and government in Mungku Baru. Our environmental education programme will continue to encourage more curiosity about nature and conservation. We also plan to invite community members to talk about the link between Dayak culture and how their ancestors treated their environment. It will be exciting for the students to discover that they already have environmental-friendly practices rooted in their culture.
Tree planting with students from elementary school, junior high school and high school Mungku Baru