No Planet B
Another week has flown by here on the Edge of the Jungle, I can’t believe how quickly time is passing!
This week we have finished the topic of emotions in our English classes and begun our end of unit tests. In Youth Ranger meanwhile, our students have been designing posters to educate their communities on how to protect the Jungle. Our students have been really proud of their posters and we hope that these messages – about not touching wild animals and not dropping litter, will spread into the wider community here.
Education is crucial in improving environmental awareness. However, education alone is not always enough (this is coming from the Head of Education – ironic I know). It is easy for us to say ‘don’t litter’ ‘don’t use palm oil’ or ‘don’t buy plastic’, but in reality, where there is little infrastructure, even having access to clean water and correct rubbish disposal can be a challenge.
This is why it is so important that those who can afford to help, do. It might mean a little bit of extra effort: to check a product for palm oil. It might be slightly inconvenient for you to cycle somewhere rather than to drive, but these are inconveniences and efforts that many westerners are privileged to be able to afford. The Global North can’t keep criticising developing nations without themselves taking major action against climate change. This is especially applicable to those of us lucky enough to travel to incredible nations such as Indonesia. We all want to see the world, but let us do our best to ensure that the Jungles of Sumatra and the Beaches of Bali will also be there for future generations to see.
I’ve always thought about the motto ‘leave only footprints’ while travelling, and here it’s especially applicable – don’t leave your plastic and cigarette butts in the Jungle, don’t take from the nature in your attempt to get that perfect photo – as we focus on in our #lookbutdonttouch campaign.
We are doing our best to improve Conservation awareness here in Sumatra, and our students are in turn trying hard within their own communities – proving how lucky we are to have such a dedicated young generation. But everyone who can afford to do more, must.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of small islands, situated in an increasingly rising ocean. We need to act fast to ensure that our students have the future that they deserve.
Rosie Plummer - Head of Education