Interfaith Youth from Banyuwangi Make Biopores and Clean Up Plastic Waste in the Karetan Forest

Caption: ASRI (Aksi Hutan Lestari/ Sustainable Forest Action) invites interfaith youth groups to take care the Karetan forest in Glagahagung, Banyuwangi (Doc. @ecobhinneka.banyuwangi)

Commemorating World Environment Day, Eco Bhinneka Nasyiatul Aisyiyah Banyuwangi held ASRI (Sustainable Forest Action) activities in the Karetan forest, Glagahagung, Banyuwangi on June 5 2024. The Sustainable Forest Action/ ASRI consisted of planting biopores in the Karetan forest, Eco Bhinneka quiz, and action to clean up plastic waste. The choice of Karetan forest as the location for Eco Bhinneka activities was based on concerns about the condition of forests in Indonesia, especially in Glagahagung Village. Forests often become victims of irresponsible hands. Often foreigners who pass through the Karetan forest deliberately throw rubbish there.

This activity involves organizations/communities from various groups across religions and ages. ASRI participants include Among (Eco Bhinneka Blambangan Youth), Orspala (Nature Guardian Organization) Muhammadiyah 8 Siliragung Vocational School, cultural figures, PKK, community leaders, Muhammadiyah Purwoharjo Branch Leaders, Muhammadiyah and Nasyiatul Aisyiyah Branch Leaders throughout Glagahagung.

Chairperson of the ‘Aisyiyah Banyuwangi Regional Board, Laili Dwi Damayanti said that she was proud of the Eco Bhinneka program. “The Regional Board of ‘Aisyiyah welcomes and is very proud of the Eco Bhinneka program because it has succeeded in combining two issues, between nature conservation and inter-religious harmony,” she said.

In her speech, Laili also said that the biopore that would be planted could be a solution for the community because the waste would become compost which would be beneficial for the fertility of the surrounding soil, “We hope that those who take part in this activity can at least implement biopore in their respective homes or environments and the main thing is that it can be transmitted to friends in each community,” added Laili.

Caption: The participants headed to the biopores planting location in the Karetan forest field. (Doc. @ecobhinneka.banyuwangi)

The ASRI activity began with all participants walking from the Village Hall to the Karetan forest which is around 200 m away. Then the participants headed to the biopores planting location in the Karetan forest field. Biopores are holes in the soil that can be used to increase the percolation of rainwater into the soil. Biopore can also be a medium for utilizing organic waste. Then the organic waste that is included is buried in the biopore and will decompose into compost and can also fertilize the soil around the biopore hole.

Next, participants gathered in the Karetan forest field to take part in the Eco Bhinneka quiz which had been prepared by the national Eco Bhinneka facilitator. The quizzes revolve around literacy about protecting the environment and harmony between religious communities, as per the Eco Bhinneka motto: Sustaining Harmony, Nurturing the Nature. All participants were enthusiastic about taking part in the game.

Caption: The participants clean up the plastic waste in the Karetan forest. (Doc. @ecobhinneka.banyuwangi)

The next activity is the action of cleaning up plastic waste in the Karetan forest area, which will then be recycled by related parties. In this clean up series, participants can differentiate between organic and non-organic waste. Non-organic waste collected by participants is put in trash bags provided by the facilitator. Participants collect non-organic waste at various points, such as on forest roads, in field areas, and in the Karetan forest. After that, all participants returned to the Village Hall to chat and enjoy lunch together. Before continuing the agenda of planting tree seedlings and making biopores in residents homes, mosques, churches and temples.

Author: Novia & Winda

Editor: Farah

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