January 31, 2023
There has never been a more crucial time to instill a sense of environmental responsibility in the next generation, as the world becomes more conscious of the effects of human activities on the environment.
Learning via hands-on experience is especially interesting to members of Generation Z. For this reason, the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) team hosted eight students from SMAN 1 and SMAN 3 Teluk Meranti at our Eco Research Camp, the operations base and Tropical Peatland Science Center, in November 2022 as part of RER’s Eco Education program.
At the Eco Research Camp, the students participated in a variety of activities, including a conversation with UNRI Forestry Lecturer Dr Ir Defri Yuza S.Hut, Msi IPU on the topic of “The Role of Young Generations in Environmental Conservation”.
Additionally, at Eco Research Camp, students had the chance to watch Frontier Sumatra, the first documentary film to highlight both the beauty of this region and the ongoing attempts to preserve it.
“I’ve never had the chance to view a peat forest in person before,” said Rendi, a third-year student at SMAN 3 Teluk Meranti. “Even the trip to the Eco Research Camp was no joke, I already feel like a ranger and I’m excited to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience RER and get a deeper understanding of the vital role peat ecosystems play in the lives of many species, including our own.”
For Salsabila, a student from the same school, it was “like being in Jurassic Park, only without all the stomping dinosaurs. Everything about this place is fantastic and otherworldly. This is my first time ever getting inside a forest, particularly a peat one.”
As stated by RER Estate Manager, Dibyo Kuswiyono, “One of the most important factors in shaping a brighter future for Earth is environmental education for the next generation, particularly in the classroom. In reality, however, we need to think of ways to teach that will really interest them.”
Since 2018, RER has been hosting Eco Education, which aims to teach people of all ages about the need to care for our planet. This includes the company’s internal staff so that they may improve their environmental awareness and expertise.
In 2022, 15 people from RER and APRIL Group attended the Tree Species Introduction training as part of the Eco Education series.
One of the primary goals of Eco Education is to instill in the next generation an appreciation for the necessity of protecting biodiversity, which includes not only animal species but also plant species that play a crucial part in preserving ecological equilibrium.
“At RER, we are used to always looking forward with the mindset of bettering ourselves. For this reason. This training is a useful chance for us to continue to improve ourselves and expand our knowledge about peatland restoration and conservation even though we have become a member of the RER team,” explained Sarisha Dyahkalandarani, a Database Analyst at RER.
Eco Education was also attended by the Head of the Meranti Bay Sub-district, Raja Eka Putra, S.Sos. who also attended the screening of Frontier Sumatra.
One of the SMAN 1 Teluk Meranti teachers, Syamsuar, expressed his hope that the children will carry the lessons they learned during Eco Education into their adult lives. Syamsuar thinks it’s crucial to keep organizing and expanding events like Eco Education, where people learn to appreciate and take care of their natural surroundings, and to do so on a larger scale.