When Children around Yang Highlands Learn about Wildlife Conservation


Living close to Yang Highlands Wildlife Reserve does not mean that the children of Baderan village, Sumbermalang, Situbondo, East Java knows a lot about wildlife conservation. In fact, the same also applies to the people in other villages around the 14,000-hectares conservation area, for instance Taman Kursi, Karirejo, and Sumberargo villages.

The lack of information about nature conservation for the younger generation was revealed after the Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) came and intensively visited local schools since 2015. Since then, PROFAUNA's activists has been routinely giving education about wildlife conservation at schools around the remote villages.

It takes great efforts to reach the schools because the roads are often very steep and full of sharp turns. A smallest carelessness can send you to the bottom of the cliffs.

"Not only the roads are dangerous, but the places we pass are frequently flooded and turn into a mud pool when it rains. We really have to be extra careful," said Ehsan Nugroho, PROFAUNA's activist from Sidoarjo who is spending a month to volunteer at Baderan.

"The challenge for us in raising the children's awareness towards nature conservation does not come only in form of damaged roads, but also the children's low interest in going to school. It requires unconventional approaches to make them understand their natural environment," added him.

"We educate the children about nature conservation through games and films. Mostly are outdoors, so that they do not get bored," explained Nuril Haris, another activist of PROFAUNA from Malang who currently works together with Ehsan.

PROFAUNA's well designed approach has shown a positive result. The children in those villages start to get excited every time PROFAUNA hold any activities for them. "They were shy at the beginning, but upon seeing our fun activities with all the games and stories, they have become more enthusiastic," said Ehsan.

"I like to play with the people from PROFAUNA, because we can learn about the forest while playing games," said Ahmad, one of the children in Baderan village.

PROFAUNA believes that education for the local people is very important because they are the most effective force to defend the nature conservation area. Education is a long term investment towards a better future for Yang Highlands Wildlife Reserve.

Staying at the Village to Work for Nature Conservation, Unpaid!

PROFAUNA's educational activities in several villages around Yang Highlands Wildlife Reserve are a long term structured program. This program would be impossible to be carried out without our activists who work voluntarily, without being paid.

Volunteers like Ehsan and Haris willingly leave their jobs to dedicate their time and energy, living temporarily in remote villages away from the city life. They are currently staying at PROFAUNA's field office in Baderan village.

Although they are not getting paid and have to live in a basic condition, Ehsan and Haris have been zealously conducting many activities related to nature conservation. Not just education, but also assisting the Nature Conservation Agency officers in protecting the area.

PROFAUNA's volunteers who would work for wildlife conservation come from many different places, including from other countries. For example, Jaal and Lauren who came all the way from England to help with PROFAUNA's educational activities in Baderan and other villages.

"PROFAUNA has been running volunteer program since twenty years ago, and it has been proven effective to promote forest and wildlife protection issues. This mechanism has saved us a lot of money and resources, and also help improving the public's awareness towards their responsibility to protect the nature," said Rosek Nursahid, the founder of PROFAUNA Indonesia.

Read more about Yang Highlands Wildlife Reserve here: http://www.profauna.net/en/content/yang-highlands-wildlife-reserve-home-rare-wildlife-species#.Vl0nSNIrI1I

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats