Sports, gardening, while raising funds for the future of the Earth. Every activity and small step, as long as it is done collaboratively, can make Earth a comfortable home to live in. This is what Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) echoes through Misi Lestari initiative, which was officially launched on Friday, 28 May 2021, through an online event with the theme “Conservation Dialogue: Mangroves for the Future”.
“Actually, not far from my house in Surabaya, there is a mangrove area. But this has been missed. It was my journey to visit national parks in Kalimantan about 10 years ago, which made me acquainted with mangrove conservation and then understand the function of mangroves. I even thought that mangroves were the same as mangroves, but in fact they are different,” said Ramon Y. Tungka, who was one of the speakers in this online discussion.
Misi Lestari is a collaborative activity in an effort to preserve the earth, by inviting all components of society to care for nature through educational daily activities. In this inaugural year, Misi Lestari carries the theme of mangrove conservation in Indonesia. Also present as speakers, Ayobantu CEO Agnes Yuliavitriani and YKAN Development & Marketing Director Ratih Loekito, with moderator Vania Herlambang, Miss Indonesia Environment 2018 who is also YKAN's Nature Ambassador.
As a campaign partner for Misi Lestari, Virthuatlhon, together with Ayobantu, an online social crowdfunding service platform, have a role in this mangrove conservation. “Environmental issues, unfortunately, are not as popular as social or health issues. Perhaps, this is because the impact is not felt immediately. In fact, we are taking action for the environment today for future generations," explained Agnes.
So, why mangroves? In her explanation, Ratih said that mangroves are a fortress for coastal areas to protect against storm waves, tsunamis, and sea level rise. The mangrove forest ecosystem is also very complex and rich in biodiversity, which is a habitat for various types of birds, mammals, fish, and invertebrates.
Mangroves in Indonesia
Mangrove ecosystems are able to store 3-5 times greater carbon than tropical forests in the same area, so they play a strategic role in climate change mitigation efforts. Based on the calculation of natural climate solutions, the protection and restoration of mangroves can contribute as much as 6% of the emission reductions targeted in Indonesia's Nationally Determined Contribution.
With an area of 3.3 million hectares, Indonesia's mangrove forests store 3.14 billion tons of carbon, equivalent to a third of the world's mangrove carbon stock. The area of Indonesia's mangrove cover is the largest in the world. However, mangrove degradation and deforestation continues to occur, even reaching 50,000 hectares per year in the 1980s. To date, it is estimated that more than 600 thousand hectares of Indonesian mangroves are in a damaged condition and need to be restored to function as a life support system.
Mangrove damage occurs evenly throughout Indonesia. As an illustration, Jakarta—the capital city which is also located in a coastal area—also faces the threat of degradation and deforestation of mangrove forests. The Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve (SM) area is one of the last mangrove forests in Jakarta which is now a pilot area for mangrove ecosystem restoration efforts in Indonesia. With a total area of 25 hectares of SM Muara Angke, the existing mangrove cover is 12 hectares.
Given the vital role of mangroves ecologically, socially, and economically, the active involvement of all community components is very much needed. "It's not just the government, NGOs, or certain institutions to preserve mangroves. What we need to do is understand the essence of mangroves, act from home by adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, and if we feel we live far from mangroves, we can contribute through the donation program that is currently being carried out. That way, we can initiate new projects for mangrove conservation,” said Ramon.
Joining Misi Lestari
Misi Lestari is one of the efforts to reach all levels of society, which is carried out in a hybrid manner, through online and offline activities that carry the 4E concept. Namely Educate: increase knowledge about nature conservation, especially on mangroves; Environment: organize campaigns to conserve the earth; Entertain: doing fun activities virtually while getting closer to nature; and Engage: carry out collaborative activities that will be carried out in groups and individually.
By paying a registration fee of Rp. 149.000.00, participants can register for a virtual run/walk with a choice of a minimum distance of 5 kilometers to 25 kilometers. There are two categories of participants to choose from, namely the family unit, which consists of 1 adult and 1 child, or the individual category. The conditions are that adult participants are 21 – 70 years old and child participants are 5 – 15 years old.
Participants who successfully complete all phases successfully have the opportunity to take part in the peak celebration on July 31, 2021 with influencer families who support Misi Lestari at SM Muara Angke. This limited number of activities while still observing the health protocols also invited selected participants to tour the Muara Angke SM area and find out more about mangroves and their role in life.
Participants who do not register for the virtual run/walk activity can still contribute through Misi Lestari by opening an account at Ayobantu (https://www.ayobantu.com/campaign/misilestari).
Registration will take place from 24 May–10 July 2021, with a mission activity period of 21 June–18 July 2021. Winners will be announced on 26 July. Immediately register through the Virtuathlon application which can be downloaded on the Playstore or Appstore. You can also visit the YKAN booth at Grand Indonesia during 7-20 June 2021 and get a tumbler for registrants. For more information on how to register for the Lestari Mission, please visit the official website www.ykan.or.id.
It's time to take real action to love the Earth and contribute directly to preserving the future together. Earth, our home, our shared responsibility.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.