LESTARI recognizes that engaging youth communities is a critical part to addressing the complex challenges of deforestation, peat fires, and threats against biodiversity that face its landscapes. These challenges require commitment across generations in order to build lasting, sustainable constituencies for conservation.
On October 15, 2016, LESTARI collaborated with Indonesia Nature Film Society (INFIS), Mongabay Indonesia, WWF, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), media, and the youth community to raise awareness through the Pemuda Bicara: Untuk Lingkungan, Budaya dan Siaga Bencana di Bumi Tambun Bungai (Youth Voice for Environment, Culture, and Disaster Preparedness in Tambun Bungai Land) event in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.
Attended by at least 200 youth, this event was successful in building younger generation interest in environmental, cultural, and climate change issues at the provincial level. The event also showcased inspirational community leaders in the field of fire-free clearing, raising their profile and community-based solutions with key local policymakers. Mofit Saptono Subagion, Vice Mayor of Palangkaraya, valued the event as an effective way to communicate environmental challenges to a younger audience. He stated, “I hope this event will continue in upcoming years. Active participation of the Palangkaraya Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) to foster youth movement to protect our environment is also important.” Mofit, chairperson of the LESTARI-supported MSF, expects that the massive peat fires that occurred in 2015 will not be repeated again.