Indigenous Youth Camp

Indigenous Youth Camp

Monday, August 29, 2022

The night temperature at Wisma Nangun Kerthi Bedugul is quite cold and windy. There were about 30 people gathered in the room, following the Indigenous Youth Camp: Engaging and Empowering Youth as Leaders for Forests and Communities. The title was indeed “camping”, but because of the weather at that time – especially in areas with an altitude above 1000 meters above sea level, the temperature was very cold and wet, sleeping in a tent was not the right choice. To warm the body and the discussion, the activity begins with the introduction of the event organizer and participants. Participants were introduced by mentioning their name, origin, and favorite color. Some games are also done to create familiarity and a sense of warmth.

The Indigenous Youth Camping is an activity organized by WGII (Working Group ICCAs [Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas] Indonesia), NTFP-EP (Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme), NTFP Indonesia, and the Wisnu Foundation. The activity was facilitated by Rimbawan Muda Indonesia (Young Foresters of Indonesia). Participants from Bali were represented by areas that have conservation areas, Adat Dalem Tamblingan and Banjar Dukuh Sibetan, plus Kerobokan Traditional Village as a village in urban area.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Participants were again asked to introduce themselves in more depth. Participants were asked to describe the condition of their respective areas:

  • Bali: in South Bali a lot of agricultural land has been converted into buildings as tourism areas, while in Central/North Bali many large trees have been converted into plantation/agricultural crops.
  • Banyuwangi: many agricultural lands have also been turned into hotels.
  • Sigi, Sulawesi: agricultural land and plantations near forest areas.
  • Merauke, Papua: The Marin people live on the beach in traditional huts in a coconut plantation. Coconuts are used for coconut oil.

Self-introduction of participants is done by drawing and telling self-mandalas, through self-symbols, aspirations, strengths, and self-achievement of each participant. Mandala yourself is poured on white paper, using pictures or writing in the newspaper, which represents what you want to convey. After that the participants were divided into three groups, discussing each issue given by the facilitator, whether they agreed or disagreed with the issues/statements given, such as:

  • Ecotourism has changed the face of the village. The benefits are not worth the risk of loss.
  • Many young people do not know their own culture/customs. Adat is abandoned because it does not provide benefits.
  • Economic development in the village must be prioritized. Community sacrifice is required.
  • Formal education cannot solve problems in villages/indigenous communities.
  • Indigenous people living in the forest are destroying the forest and need to be relocated so they don’t destroy the forest.
  • Indigenous women often experience discrimination from their own group.

The next interesting thing was that the participants were asked to write down and tell about Changes over a 30 Year Period in their respective villages. In general, there are changes that bring positive and negative impacts. Positive changes have occurred in the economic and technological fields, but in the social and environmental fields there has been a very large decline in quality. The most noticeable thing is that today’s air temperature is no longer as cold as before, many springs have dried up and the quality has decreased, forests have become productive plantations or agricultural land or even concrete, diversity has decreased, soil fertility has decreased. Meanwhile, in the social field, traditional games are no longer played and traditional rituals have shifted, medicine and traditional medicine have been replaced with chemical drugs and clinics/doctors.

In the evening, the activities continued with discussions related to conservation areas. That conservation must be carried out in an inclusive manner, that is, the natural environment, animals and humans cannot be separated. This is what underlies the management of forest areas, through an approach based on human rights and local wisdom. Participants were also asked to identify important places in their village. Most mentioned forests and water sources as areas that needed to be conserved, as well as places for traditional/religious rituals.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Visited Alas Mertajati – Tamblingan forest and lake, to share about forest management and the challenges it faces. Introduction to Alas Mertajati begins with Bale Melajah, then cycling to Dalem Tamblingan Temple, followed by trekking through the forest and back to Bale Melajah (Learning Center).

After arriving at Bale Melajah and enjoying lunch, the participants were again divided into four groups, namely the Environmental, Socio-Cultural, Economic, and Stakeholder groups. Each group was assigned to interview several people regarding their respective themes, to find out the conditions and changes that have occurred in the Adat Dalem Tamblingan (ADT) area:

  1. Socio-Cultural: the ADT people have a ritual of entanglement, walking north for about 21 km to the beach. There are 17 temples scattered in the forest. The rindik (bamboo musical instrument) used to be played to each other among residents, but now it is only those who are members of associations. The traditional gasing game is increasingly rarely played.
  2. Economy: most of the ADT area functions as coffee and clove plantations which are the main source of income. Previously, around the 1970s it was sourced from paddy fields, vanilla and other plantation crops. Another economic source is tourism. The community formed the Brasti group, one of whose activities was selling local products whose profits were used for conservation activities.
  3. Environment: changes occur in climate, temperature, springs, and flora-fauna. Lake water began to run, coffee plants around the forest area were replaced by flowers and vegetables. One of the coffee shade plants is dadap which is very good at storing water, as well as a place for caterpillars to live. Currently caterpillars become pests because there are no more dadap trees. Dragonflies and springs have decreased a lot, the air is not as cold as it used to be, the clove harvest season is no longer regular.
  4. Parties: there are foreign investors who want to build/develop a tourist area. One of the divisions within Brasti is Network, tasked with communicating and accessing cooperation with the parties. The big challenge facing Brasti is the lack of desire of young people to be involved in conservation activities.

Furthermore, the participants made a follow-up plan, regarding personal commitments, things that could be done with their group in the village, as well as activities that could be carried out in the Indigenous Youth Camping network. The good thing is, almost all participants are committed to carry out and invite their groups to carry out conservation activities and manage customary areas. Good luck!!!

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