Bekasi, November 2015 – In a clear sign that today’s students are tomorrow’s environmental leaders, pupils from a senior high school in Bekasi, West Java, have initiated an environmental awareness campaign and competition for junior high schools. State Senior High School (Sekolah Menengah Atas Negeri, SMAN) 6 Bekasi, one of the eco-mapping pilot project schools selected by GIZ PAKLIM WA3, held a seminar for more than 400 junior high school students and organized a competition based on the 3R’s: reduce, re-use and recycle. The idea came solely from the students of SMAN 6 Bekasi to show the other schools and the public the importance of creative student-led activities on environmental issues. The seminar covered waste and other environmental issues, while the 3R’s competition involved students creating environmental campaign displays from used materials. During the seminar, a team from GIZ PAKLIM WA3 raised the issues of common perspective and a new paradigm toward waste by promoting the concept of ‘The Happiest Place’. A red line drew out of the obvious answer: the happiest place is a place without waste. The event involved several fun activities, which provided an engaging learning environment for the junior high school students. Activities included a peer-to-peer discussion, the screening of an animated film on the impact of over-consumption on nature, and a fun quiz. The film prompted students to reflect on their resource consumption habits and to understand how to reduce unnecessary consumption. “We can bring our own lunchbox so we will not waste food packaging at the cafeteria,” commented one student. The students learned that they can take simple actions that will make a huge difference to overcoming environmental problems.
The Environment Agency of Yogyakarta City is collaborating with GIZ PAKLIM WA3 to disseminate eco-mapping in three schools, as well as in waste bank communities, where people can exchange recyclable trash for money. Eco-mapping, which raises environmental awareness through practical activities, is implemented in five steps over an initial timeline of 9-12 months. The five steps are Introduction, Environmental Audit, Action Plan Follow-up, Performance Check, and Internal Audit. At the launch of the eco-mapping on 20 November 2015, Mrs Ika, Head of Capacity Development at Yogyakarta Environment Agency, explained how the activity can support the Adiwiyata (Green Schools) program by enabling communities to develop environmental assessments and action plans. “By implementing the eco-mapping process, it is expected that participating schools and waste bank communities will come up with reasonable and measureable environmental action,” she said. Representatives of Yogyakarta’s Junior High School 7, Senior High School 1, and Senior High School 7, as well as a waste bank group called Miggunani, attended the Introduction, which explained top management’s commitment to the entire cycle, which is crucial for the process. Environmental audits were conducted over 9-14 January 2016 with assistance from staff of a former eco-mapping pilot school, Senior High School 6 Bekasi. The schools and waste bank communities are now equipped with skills to identify environmental problems and find solutions. Such participative action should foster a sense of environmental stewardship among the young participants, enabling them to tackle environmental issues related to energy, waste, water, land, air pollution and risk. A peer-to-peer workshop opened up opportunities for insight and collaboration through sharing and evaluating action plans among the schools. When the fifth step of the eco-mapping process concludes, it does not mark the end. Instead, it’s the start of a challenging journey for the selected schools and waste bank group to continue efforts to improve local environmental awareness and management.
The Education, Youth and Sports Agency (Dikpora) of Surakarta City in Central Java province, in association with GIZ PAKLIM WA3, is introducing eco-mapping to 10 more local high schools with the aim of changing the way young people think about the environment. The eco-mapping process is a student-centered experiential learning approach designed around the Ecomapping© toolbox and a tool for teachers called curricula mapping, which involves putting relevant environmental issues into lessons. The eco-mapping cycle comprises five stages conducted over approximately one year. It will then be repeated and broadened annually, resulting in continuous improvement of the wider school community. Students from the selected national junior high schools (SMPN) and national senior high schools/vocational high schools (SMA/SMK) are now learning to deal with environmental issues such as waste management, sanitation and energy conservation. A seminar introducing eco-mapping was held at Surakarta Dikpora, attended by headmasters and teachers from the city’s SMPN 1, SMPN 4, SMAN 1, SMP Ursulin, SMAN 6, SMA Batik 1, SMA St. Yosef, SMA Warga, SMPN 8 and SMK 9. Representatives from two previous eco-mapping pilot project schools and the coordinator of the Adiwiyata National Green Schools Program provided insight into the student-centered approach to working for a sustainable school environment. The heads of the local Environmental Agency (BLH) and Dikpora emphasized the schools’ commitment to completing the entire eco-mapping process. Participants received an inspiring success story from the teachers of the two successful pilot schools, who explained how schools could make money by separating waste and selling recyclable materials. Initial environmental audits were held over October 27-29 and November 2-6 at each of the 10 new pilot schools to equip them with skills in identifying environmental problems and generating potential solutions. Five teachers from the former pilot schools provided guidance on eco-mapping. The students keenly participated in identifying their schools’ environmental problems, such as heaped solid waste, stinking unclean toilets, inefficient electricity consumption, and broken infrastructure. They discussed potential solutions and then shared them with the other students. Teachers said eco-mapping is compatible with the character building component of the K-13 education curriculum, which encourages students to speak up and debate. They said this method of learning is encouraging and motivational, as students are now becoming environmental stewards. “This is beyond my expectation, to witness students identifying problems and discovering solutions on their own,” enthused one teacher. The newly involved teachers and students are now able to carry out eco-mapping together to transform their schools into environmentally friendly places. It is hoped that values learned by the students will be shared among their communities to improve environmental conservation.
An educational community park and herb garden has been opened in Probolinggo, East Java province, enabling people to learn about traditional herbal medicine and environmental conservation. Taman Hidup (Life Park) was established by the Environmental Studies Tourism Park (Taman Wisata Studi Lingkungkan, TWSL), an institution managed and operated by the local Environmental Agency (Badan Lingkungan Hidup, BLH), in partnership with GIZ PAKLIM WA3. The park attracts many visitors, especially school students, who can gain practical experience in preserving the environment and learn about the medicinal uses of herbs. The cooperation with GIZ PAKLIM WA3 supports TWSL’s vision of serving as an environmental education center by offering a wide range of out-of-school learning activities. The opening of the park on June 11, 2015, was attended by representatives of Probolinggo’s Informal Meeting Forum, 12 local Adiwiyata Independent schools (also known as Green Schools), BLH Probolinggo officials and local environmental education groups. Taman Hidup raises awareness and knowledge of environmental and climate change issues among students, providing them with hands-on experience and greater understanding of the important benefits of conservation. TWSL has provided the 12 Adiwiyata Independent schools and environmental education groups with training in gardening. Their knowledge of plants and composting methods was further expanded by Quick Response Codes developed by GIZ PAKLIM WA3 team, so that learning can also be done through smartphones. Several Probolinggo schools involved in the national Adiwiyata Green School program have been given their own garden beds in Taman Hidup to be utilized and maintained. “The purpose of this Taman Hidup is to reactivate the cultural and environmental spirit of the Adiwiyata Independent schools,” said BLH Probolinggo head Heru Tutang Aribowo.