In June 2021, TJF celebrated World Peat Day by holding a series of events called the Peat Party. One of the activities in this event was a challenge that encouraged participants to share stories and news about agriculture, especially on peatlands. In this challenge, three winners were selected whose writings were published in Geotimes that supported this event.
The first winner in this challenge, Alifah, had the opportunity to have a light discussion at TJF Live Talks organized by TJF. The TJF Live Talks were entitled “Gambut Kita Kini? Antara Asa dan Siaga” which was inspired by Alifah’s writing entitled “Menumbuhkan Asa Melalui Restorasi Gambut Indonesia.” Ihsan, who was also one of the judges in the previous Citizen Journalism event, moderated this discussion.
The discussion was opened by Ihsan by introducing TJF and Alifah. Alifah is a student at an official school under the Institute of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, namely the Politeknik Ahli Usaha Perikanan. Alifah said that she was very interested in environmental issues, and even felt the destructive effects of forest fires in her area.
Alifah says that peat has various benefits in her writing, such as supporting life by providing oxygen. Most importantly, peat functions as the most significant carbon store that can help mitigate climate change. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness in using peatlands in a sustainable manner, it causes a series of adverse effects such as forest fires. Alifah said she felt sad because of the people who unsustainably use the peatlands but only regretted it when the peatlands had been damaged or had a harmful effect.
At the end of the discussion, Alifah encourages the general public to always spread awareness about the use of peatlands in a good way, either through writing, vlogs or campaigns that can spread this awareness to others.