A word from Dr. Henry Bastaman, MES,
Ministry of Environment.
image by Tedi Yusup
Distinguish guests, and Dear Participants,
To begin with, let us say Grace to the Almighty God, as His Will that we are gathered today in healthy condition, to take part on the 24th Internasional Caretakers of the Environment’s Conference with Biodiversity and Culture as the main theme.
As we all aware, Indonesia as one of world Mega Biodiversity countries, were blessed with biodiversity which have unique ecology and organism in its geographical structure and should be treated as our main resources for sustainable development.
In addition, cultural diversity is one of our nation characteristics. In the comprehensive context of plural society, besides ethnic groups, Indonesian society also consists of regional cultures as the meeting point of different ethnics’ cultures in the area.
However, those we receive from God should be taken care of and manage appropriately. Otherwise, as the occurrence of various natural and man-made disasters mainly affected by people self-centered, greediness behavior that make the environment destroyed. The condition will not be improved if we are not aware of the importance of local culture and wisdom in preserving, conserving and utilizing the nature. Therefore, it’s not always proper to replace those customs with modern regulations.
For that reason, we all – especially the young generations - should always improve our efforts to change people behavior towards the environment and makes them environmentally friendly society. Through education, we believe that we could prepare young generations, as the change agents - to be able taking active role in their communities especially on designing, assessing and implementing “green life style” while promoting local wisdom to preserve biodiversity.
Distinguish Guests, and Dear Participants,
In this outstanding occasion, allow us to share our experiences associated with our effort to make young generations more knowledgeable and comprehend about the environment. Since 2006, the Ministry of Environment has implemented Adiwiyata Program aimed to encourage school community in Indonesia to implement environmentally friendly behavior. By involving relevant stakeholders, such as government agencies, universities and NGOs engaged in environmental education, this program evaluates and give awards to schools which are voluntarily participate and responsible for efforts on preserving environment through schools’ policy, greening the curriculum, participative community’s actions and infrastructure.
Indonesian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Education has recently renewed our commitment to improve environmental education through formal, informal and non-formal education. This commitment is being used as reference for local governments to implement and monitor the development of environmental education, such as maintaining of Adiwiyata School performance.
In the upcoming years, Adiwiyata Program will be scaling up to reach the strategic mass level by influencing local governments to have their own local Adiwiyata Programs in order to spread out the environmental education. Adiwiyata Schools is encouraged to get their influence on other schools to participate on environmental activities. In the meantime, it is hoped that they will built networking with other green schools both within and between countries, especially to share their experience in environmental education with different cultural background.
Ladies and Gentleman,
To end this speech, I warmly welcome the 24th International Conference of Caretakers of the Environment, as a concrete effort to raise biodiversity awareness within young generation through environmental education. We hope throughout this conference it will build a new and strengthen the existing networks of young people, educators, and institutions with the purpose of working together in line with UNEP’s theme “Many Species, One Planet, and One Future”.
In the Name of Allah Almighty, I open the 24th International Conference of Caretakers of the Environment officially.
Dr. Henry Bastaman, MES
Deputy Minister for Environmental Technical Support and Capacity Enhancement, Ministry of Environment.