Pantau Gambut is a coalition between multiple organization that have concern on peatland restoration and conservation. For the past couple of years, this coalition has been very active in social media in promoting peatland awareness, particularly on the dilemma of peat as the largest source of carbon emission while at the same time it is the source of livelihoods for the local people. This event was the first offline attempt still to introduce the relevant state and challenges to wider and diverse audience using talk show, cooking show, live discussion, even virtual reality (VR) booth to experience being in peat ecosystem.
This event was generally exposed three main themes: 1) Making use of peatland commodities, 2) Public involvement in peat monitoring measures, and 3) Utilizing creative media for peat campaign.
The first theme emphasized the benefit of making peat commodities known to people. Du’anyam and WALHI Kalimantan explained the opportunity to utilize purun (and other palm-like leave plants) to create wicker products which is part of local wisdom in some peat communities. Similarly, the Jungle Chef strives to expose cuisines made of native plants of peat forest, including sago (Metroxylon sagu) that is a versatile plant which provides food, cloth and housing materials. By spreading the words on peatland’s environmental services, the speakers wish more people will take action in conserving the ecosystem. The second theme highlighted the efforts in conservation need a good plan of monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) that allow people from all levels of society to contribute and access the data and information.
This can be done by identifying real-time conversation among netizens and empowering local youth in peat area to be tech-savvy that leads them to be involved in direct MRV and foster citizen journalism. Lastly, the third theme featured creative platforms and ways to reach more people – form casual audience to volunteer – to be engaged in the campaign. Sixtytwo and Communicaption have been working with Pantau Gambut to maintain its internet presence with content that is visually fun, light and engaging yet educational in order to converse in the audience language – current, light, and relevant.
The event ended with a declaration, joined by all the attendees, to promote peatland awareness and change the people’s mindset to believe that peatland is not a wasteland.