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“Only One Earth” Celebration Increases Children’s Awareness of Indonesian Nature and Biodiversity

On 16 June 2022, UNESCO participated in the  “Only One Earth” event in Depok, West Java, to celebrate World Environment Day and World Oceans Day combined.

Some 60 students and teachers gathered at Sekolah Alam Matoa, a private elementary eco-friendly school, to learn more about nature conservation, for a sustainable tomorrow.  The event, live-streamed through the UN in Indonesia’s social media channels, saw students plant trees, release fish, and join an array of conservation-focused activities.

UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia Valerie Julliand, FAO Country Director to Indonesia and Timor Leste Rajendra Aryal, and Head of the Center for Fisheries Research of the Indonesian Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Yayan Hikmayani were among the delegation of officials who attended the event.

“Protecting the planet really starts with loving it and all the species that depend on it,” Valerie Julliand told the audience of 5 to 12-year-old students seated on the school’s lawn.
                           
Among other activities, the children embarked on a virtual journey to explore UNESCO  biosphere reserves. They discovered how the sites are learning areas for sustainable development, connecting people and nature for an inspiring future. The virtual tour of  Rinjani-Lombok Biosphere Reserve gave them a glimpse of a unique tropical mountain ecosystem with a very high level of biodiversity, home to no less than 447 tree species and 154 species of birds.  

A bamboo school house witnessed Tsunami Ready activities. Some children played the Tsunami Ready board game and experienced animation videos through Virtual Reality. The Tsunami Ready communication tools, developed by the UNESCO-IOC Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Center (IOTIC) and the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG), are designed to build communities’ disaster resilience and prepare them to better respond to natural hazards like tsunamis.

The event also launched three comic strips under the IFISH project, a joint initiative of FAO and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, to increase the protection of high conservation value freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity in Indonesia. The comic strips aim to raise children’s awareness of the need to preserve the environment and protect fish species, including the Arowana, Belida (Chitala) and Sidat (Eels).

The UN in Indonesia’s event at Sekolah Alam Matoa builds on the UN’s global #OnlyOneEarth campaign, launched for World Environment Day on 5 June and World Oceans Day on 8 June.

Photo credit: ©UNESCO/Eliana Bantchev

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