Why do we need to invite the younger generation to care and understand for the environment, especially for people who live with peat?
Early childhood is an important period to equip children with knowledge and education to develop their potential. This age is also optimal for instilling awareness and caring, and forming a positive mindset. Especially good attitudes and behaviour towards preserving ecosystems, and especially peat.
Peat-IMPACTS Indonesia sees the need to and importance of initiating non-formal education programmes for all school students, by providing an introduction, understanding and awareness through education. Together with local development partners in two Peat-IMPACTS site locations in South Sumatra and West Kalimantan, we initiated a programme for capacity strengthening and mainstreaming an Environmental Education Curriculum starting at the district level.
Workshop in South Sumatra on Capacity Building and Mainstreaming Environmental Education (Watershed and Peat) as local content for elementary school students, 23-24 September 2021
Introducing students to the surrounding environment is the main objective of this programme. South Sumatra province is often faced with environmental and ecosystem problems, such as forest and land fires, some of which occur in peatlands. In addition, watershed degradation caused by erosion, land-use change and environmentally unfriendly agricultural cultivation, also has a major impact on South Sumatra. For this reason, it is important for us to instil an understanding of peat and watersheds at all levels of society, for both adults and children. West Kalimantan province is also facing land and forest management problems, including peatland forest and land fires, land erosion, and deforestation. These affect community well-being, both in and around forest estate areas.
Workshop on Capacity Building and Mainstreaming the Environmental Education Curriculum (Peat) as local curriculum content in Kubu Raya district on 8–9 November 2021
This programme expects to be useful in providing elementary school students with the necessary attitudes, knowledge, and skills to be aware of their natural, social, and cultural environment, which will benefit them and their communities, and in developing local cultural values in the context of supporting national development. This is also to prepare school students to have a solid insight into their environment, and nurture attitudes, behaviours, and a willingness to conserve and develop natural resources, social qualities, and culture to support national and regional development.
Workshops were conducted involving key academics from the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, provincial and district education offices, school supervisors, principals and teachers, development partners and others.
Topics presented included the important functions and roles of peat for life and livelihoods, what peat degradation is, and how to carry out peat restoration. The workshops received support from stakeholders for the establishment of a working group to prepare a draft curriculum and teaching materials for environmental and peat education. We hope this activity will break ground for other regions to do the same thing in taking concrete steps to rehabilitate and conserve peatland and instil the idea that “peat is the future”.