Village Residents Trained In Journalism To Save The Forests Of Borneo

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By Alexander Mering

Effort to rescue the tropical rain forest remaining in North Kayong District, West Kalimantan, Indonesia is not always by prohibiting the locals in clearing the forests and to replant the trees.
It can also be done through citizen journalism movement by writing and publishing issues related to the environment and climate change through social media on the Internet.
This will lead to public awareness and empathy on the issue.
For that noble purpose, the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) North Kayong and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) work together in Indonesia Forest and Climate Support (IFACS) Programme.
In the programme, they train 20 people living around the Mt Palung National Park (GPNP) to write their experiences and observations in journalistic essays.
GPNP is also identified to be the home to around 4,500 of the remaining orangutans living in the West Kalimantan.
In the recent opening of the workshop, the Deputy Regional Manager of USAID-Regional IFACS Ketapang, Donatus Rantan said that the activity would be taught in the form of Community Journalist Workshop.
During the training, the participants were not only trained to be able to write and publish their works, but also to be more sensitive in looking environmental issues in their own villages especially from a journalist’s point of view.
USAID-IFACS roped in two special trainers; the reporter of The Jakarta Post, Severianus Endi and the West Kalimantan travel writer, Pay Jarot Sujarwo to come to Sukadana to give the two-day training in Pampang village.
Endi and Pay highlighted on citizen journalism, techniques of good reporting and interviews as well as in tackling the issues of climate change and environment around the villages.
A high school teacher, Endi Matius Bibin who participated in the Community Journalist Workshop said that because of the people who were trained in the workshop were mostly villagers, they used a methodology that was easily understood by them where the focus was more on exercise and practical.
“The most interesting part of this training is the applied methodology and the way the class is handled by the facilitators.
“Participants are able to learn in a relaxed environment. They may choose to sit on chairs or on the floor in a comfortable classroom. While, listening to the lessons, they can eat snacks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Budi Miank from Mata Enggang who facilitated the activities said that most of the participants performed their exercises outside the classroom.
Whilst, the session for theoretical lesson was only in about 30 percent taught in the workshop.
Mata Enggang is a local non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Pontianak.
Jumadi, the coordinator of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF), North Kayong hoped that through the training, the participants would write on a regular basis in the future.
The works of the participants will be published at www.matanreview.blogspot.com and in several local media in West Kalimantan in cooperation with USAID-IFACS.
During the two-day training, some 15 writings from the villagers were found good enough to be published.
Labuan Times: Published on Sunday, 29 December 2013 08:11