With the slogan: It starts with one for future generations, several volunteers organized a celebration for the10th anniversary of the Earth Charter in Indonesia, during the framework of the World Environment Day on June 5, 2010. The celebration was held at Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta and was part of the lndonesian Environmental Week. This is an event hosted by the Ministry of Environment, and consists of exhibitions, seminars, launch of different programs, entertainment, etc.
There were over 100 participants during the EC+10 event, coming from schools (students and teachers), education practitioners and general public. The book “Memperkenalkan Keberlanjutan di Ruang Kelas (Bringing Sustainability into The Classroom)” was launched during the event. This Earth Charter guidebook for teachers was translated into Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) just prior the event. It brought the message that education is key in bringing sustainability therefore the book in Bahasa Indonesia will open a wider access to more people who expect to increase awareness and actual use of the Charter.
Before the official opening of the event, the group Komunitas Atap Alis played a blend of musical and theatrical performance. Rhythmically playing bamboo instruments, performers started chanting “my earth, your earth… our earth” repeatedly when a man painted and dressed like a tree, voiced out nature’s concerns on the horrible ways humans are treating her, and asked all the participants to care for the entire community of life on earth. In addition, several videos about the Earth Charter were played.
Following the theatrical performance, two teenagers representing Indonesian youth stepped up on stage and recited the main principles of the Charter in English and Bahasa Indonesia.
The event was officially opened by Ms Sri Hudyastuti, Assistant Minister of Environment for Economic and Poverty Eradication Affairs. Afterwards, the event continued with a lively discussion panel on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The panel was moderated by Ardina Kaidir from Madania Progressive Indonesian School, and some of the panelists were Ari Sutanti from British Council, Stien Matakupan from Sampoerna School of Education and Koen Setyawan from Jaringan Pendidikan Lingkungan ( Environmental Education Network NGO).
The discussion was opened with the question “What are some of the difficulties in implementing ESD?” Starting from the lack of teaching materials all the way to the need to reform the educational system, panelists explored the various aspects of ESD, especially in the local context. Some of the take away points were:
- There is a need for more contextualized teaching materials for ESD.
- Science should play a bigger role in explaining that some of natural disasters are man-made and that we are responsible to make a change.
- Implementing ESD in schools entails a cultural change across the schools’ stakeholders.
- Consistence and perseverance is key in advancing ESD.
Ms Sutanti also explained about the program “Climate for Classroom” run by the British Council. The program has been tested in West Sumatera, one of the 33 provinces in Indonesia. The British Council provided a handbook which will be in line with book “Memperkenalkan Keberlanjutan di Ruang Kelas”. Ms Matakupan explained about the importance of discussing environmental issues with students at Sampoerna School of Education, because these students are soon to become educators.
Having verified that the lack of more contextualized teaching materials is one of the problems in implementing ESD, a symbolic handover of the Earth Charter guidebook translation was done by Ms Rina Kusuma, from The Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (Yayasan Keanekaragaman Hayati) to the panelists, students and teachers from Laurentia School, as well as to the Indonesian Teachers Association (Persatuan Guru Seluruh Indonesia/PGRI). This symbolic act was made with the hope that spreading the vision and values of the Earth Charter will help advance ESD in Indonesia.
To close the event, the participants enjoyed another musical performance using bamboo instruments. For the organizers, including artistic expressions in the program was important because for them, ESD is not just about educating the mind, but also the heart and the artistic within, because it is where the caring for the beauty of life resides.
One step taken and we move forward.
The event was supported by The Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation and the Ministry of Environment. Free copies of the book were distributed to attendants and a digital version of the translation is made available on the internet.
Special thanks to the volunteers who made this event possible:
- Susy R. Sadikin, the Ministry of the Environment
- Tari Menayang, comunicator
- Putri Ayusha, Earth Charter Youth Group in Indonesia, Teens Go Green
- Wibowo Sulistio, WiserEarth.org
- Irmayani Sembiring, Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Ratri Kusumohartono, Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Yusuf Maulana, Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Robby Suwarno Hardi, Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Gita Meidita, Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Yuyun Harmono, Coalition Against Debt