Bappenas Holds Youth Marine Camp, Invites Youths to Preserve Geoparks

BELITUNG – The Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas emphasized the importance of the youth’s role in realizing concrete actions to protect and carry out environmental conservation by holding the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp) Youth Marine Camp on 2-5 July in Kepayang Island, Belitung. 

Run under the theme of ‘The Way of Water: Designing the Future of Island Geoparks through Youth Initiatives’, the event was attended by 87 delegates from various backgrounds, including students from 14 geopark programs in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. 

Bappenas’ Main Secretary Taufik Hanafi explained that the role of youth and programs such as the UGGp camp is very central in helping to protect the environment. 

“The role and participation of the youth in this cause is very important and strategic. For that, I appreciate the UGGp Youth Camp and its efforts,” Taufik said. 

He added that the youth also play an important role in the future of this cause as they will become the leaders who will make the important decisions on various crucial world issues such as climate change, globalization, urbanization, and sustainable development. In Indonesia, one of the efforts to implement sustainable development is reflected through geoparks or earth parks that must be preserved. 

“Seven out of ten UNESCO Global Geoparks in Indonesia are located in island and coastal areas. That makes geoparks vulnerable to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, the geopark can also play an important role in developing a blue economy,” Taufik explained. 

The blue economy is a priority for discussion at the UGGp Youth Marine Camp, which was also held to share knowledge about preserving the marine environment and geoparks. One of the targets being focused on is to invite the participation of youth, the general public, and stakeholders from various ASEAN member countries to gather and declare their commitment towards implementing a blue economy along with sustainable geopark development. 

At the ASEAN Blue Economy Forum, which was held concurrently with the camp, the concept of development and empowering the blue economy for the community was also the focus of discussion, bearing in mind that efforts to create a blue economy in the ASEAN region must be carried out through strong collaboration from all member countries. 

“One of the follow-up examples, which was also conveyed earlier, could be by developing an arrangement regarding sister islands,” Taufik added. 

After attending the UGGp Youth Camp, the ASEAN Blue Economy Forum delegates took part in the Beach Clean Up activity on Lengkuas Island. Bappenas’ Deputy of Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources Vivi Yulaswati said that the beach clean-up effort should be interpreted as a concrete step to protect and preserve the environment. 

“It is important for us to realize that the problem of plastic waste and pollution has reached an alarming level. Through this Beach Clean Up event, we can show the world that we put special attention towards the environment and sustainable development. Through small actions like these, we hope to make a long-term positive impact,” Vivi said. 

Previously, the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, together with the Government of Germany through GIZ, gifted a waste processing pyrolysis machine to the Juru Seberang region. This action is a response towards one of the more important issues in the region due to the overcapacity of the Mount Sadai Landfill. Bappenas also held a pyrolysis waste processing technology showcase as part of the 2023 ASEAN Blue Economy Forum on Tuesday (4/7), to introduce alternative waste-to-fuel technology with pyrolysis to improve good waste management practices. 

As a pre-event for the 2023 ASEAN Blue Economy Forum, the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas held the Running into the Blue: Oceanic Geoventure event on Saturday (2/7) in the 5k, 10k, and 30k Geo Run categories which were attended by delegates from ASEAN countries. The Ocean Geoventure is expected to be able to increase the understanding of ASEAN delegates about Indonesia’s commitment to implementing inclusive and sustainable tourism to Belitung.