BirdLife Indonesia Association Award again presents three figures who have concerns about environmental conservation and biodiversity, with unlimited efforts. In the midst of a pandemic that causes a lot of uncertainty, all three seem to give hope from environmental and biodiversity conservation efforts that are on the agenda around the world. These figures also remind us that nature and the resources contained in it are priceless treasures that should be preserved.
Daud Lewumbani is a man from East Sumba who is active in assisting the community in Lewa Tidahu District, East Sumba. This 48-year-old man has successfully initiated village regulations that encourage the protection of springs while seeking rehabilitation of forests and village land. He also started family forest-making activities by planting tens of thousands of forest plants on an area of 5 hectares. This family forest itself is able to produce trees with high economic value. He also encouraged communities around forest areas to utilize non-timber forest products (HHBK) and develop local food, horticulture cultivation, plantation crops and renewable energy. Daud also conducted an independent nursery which was then distributed to the community inside and outside Bidipraing Village, and initiated the Gempo (Tree Planting Movement) which encourages each family to plant 100 trees every year.
Daud Lewumbani in the garden area of his residence. (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Muhammad Meisa)
Meanwhile, from the Land of North Buano, West Seram, a kewang (nature’s ranger) named Sudin Mahelatu presented a way to protect the sea while preserving local customs and wisdom. For 30 years he has consistently carried out his duties as sea kewang in the midst of changing times that have eroded traditional values, and set an example of how sustainable fishing practices can still be implemented. Sudin is an important decision-maker at the state level that encourages the establishment of village regulations governing marine protected areas, and actively mediates conflicts related to coastal use.
Sudin Mahelatu is controlling his boat after going out to the sea (Photo: Rekam Nusantara/Rifky)
Another winner of the BIA Award 2020 is Hendrikus Hibur, a man from West Manggarai, Flores. He developed an integrated farming model linking agroforestry activities, fish ponds, and animal feed. In addition to applying soil and water conservation techniques with terraces and water traps, he also developed various types of agroforestry gardens that have economically productive conservation value. Hendrik also serves as the head of the Gelora Jaya Group, which is active in monitoring natural services and is involved in timber legality certification activities. Furthermore, as a form of his love for nature, he also gave up his teak garden to be a pilot garden for cultivation, including teak plant care and seed source.
Hendrikus Hibur in his teak garden area in Poco Golo Kempo Village, West Manggarai, Flores (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Muhammad Meisa)
The efforts made by the three community leaders have given valuable contributions for Burung Indonesia. “The awarding of the BIA Award is a tribute to individuals who have contributed to the preservation of the environment and biodiversity in Indonesia. This is the second time the BIA Award has been given and will continue to be carried out as part of Burung Indonesia's commitment in encouraging the preservation of birds and their habitats at the site level. We are also optimistic that other champions who inspire us all to never tire of preserving the environment, will emerge.” said the Executive Director of Burung Indonesia, Dian Agista.