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Field Schools: “Smart Village for Climate Response” to Increase Community Knowledge

Banyuasin (19/11/15) - Belantara Foundation introduces its newest program through Field Schools —an informal learning activity for the community with a focus to learn about the environment and natural surroundings.

We designed the Field Schools in such a way for the learning opportunity for the community is wide open. The Field Schools are our effort to help disseminate information on the dangers of environmental pollution and its prolonged impact on global warming and the climate crisis.

The Belantara Foundation had the opportunity to hold Field School activities for three consecutive days, November 13–15, 2019 in five villages in Banyuasin Regency, South Sumatra (Marga Sungsang, Sungsang I, Sungsang II, Sungsang III, and Sungsang IV).

With the theme "Plastics and How to Use It," the Belantara Foundation invited the village housewives to actively participate in the "Smart Village for Climate Response" Field School. The lessons include: how to identify types of plastics based on the codes printed on plastic bottles, how to use plastics, the health dangers of plastics, and how to deal with plastic waste.

Here, the Belantara Foundation invited participants to safeguard environmental hygiene by reducing the use of disposable plastics and instead use materials that are environmentally friendly and able to be used repeatedly, such as shopping bags made of cloth; bags made of rattan; food storage, tableware, cups, and water bottles made of glass or stainless steel; and so on.

In addition to reducing plastics, the Belantara Foundation also invited participants to implement the 3R system (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle) in tackling plastic waste piling-up in the surrounding environment.

All the communities and village government in Banyuasin Regency, South Sumatra, welcomed this activity. The participants' enthusiasm was marked by the many questions and discussions between the educator and participants, as well as between the participants themselves; they've also requested to be taught about the practice of recycling plastic waste in the future.

We hope that with these Field Schools, the community's knowledge of plastic use, the threats, and ways to overcome plastic waste will increase, and the acquired knowledge can later be applied by the communities in their daily life.

Also present at the event was the Head of Sungsang II Village, Mr. Husni Nizam, who spoke and said to prepare to become a tourist village. He also said that the preparation is not solely the role of the village government, community involvement and participation are also needed, one of which is to overcome the plastic waste in Sungsang. Mr. Husni Nizam also expressed his deepest gratitude to the Belantara Foundation for their support of Sungsang Village in its effort to develop into a tourism village in the Banyuasin Regency.

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