M Mushthafa, teacher at SMA 3 Annuqayah, facilitator Plastic Rubbish SCC Team
Environmental week still continues. After celebrating Earth Day 2009 with several environmental activities, that are environmental workshop, live television interview, and my involvement on some activities of School Climate Challenge Competition team, the following week, I had, at least, two valuable environmental activities. On Tuesday, April 28, with SCC full team, I went to Batang-Batang, a sub-district in northeast Sumenep—Banuaju Timur, exactly.
We had two main activities in Banuaju Timur. First, socialization at SMK Bina Mandiri about plastic rubbish. Our team presented their activities on recycling plastic rubbish and discussed about climate change in front of approximately thirty students at that school. Four members of the team confidently gave their presentations. We had a very enthusiastic discussion at that time. They submitted questions, suggestions, and supports to our team. Ninety minutes had gone, and we left the school with joy.
Plastic rubbish team had done a good job. Then, gula merah (Javanese sugar) team took over the SCC team control. At midday, the team started to do a deep research on siwalan (Asian palmyra palm, Borassus flabellifer). Three students and one teacher—the other teacher could not participate this interesting research—digged all informations about gula merah and siwalan. We did the research mainly in one of villager’s house, observing the process of making gula merah closely.
But this field study was not only about gula merah or siwalan. The team tried to focus to the context of conservation of gula merah and siwalan. Of course, they connected this issue with climate change problem, and implicitly conveyed the message of building environmental awareness and promoting ecofriendly values.
Actually, this team had done a similar research at another village about a month ago—at Brungbung, Pragaan. So, the team had a comparison data as a basis of their research. However, they found another important data at this opportunity. The villagers told about widespread logging activities in their rural community. Furthermore, siwalan climbers, the key person to exploit the tree, are rare to be found. The values of siwalan trees degenerated, and this make the conservation of siwalan tree now really in danger.
Sharing and discussing with the villagers at Banuaju Timur was a fascinating chance, not only about environmental issues, but also about cultural heritage of Madura. As considered before, conserving gula merah and siwalan trees actually has a wide-ranging impact, including cultural and economic.
We left Banuaju Timur at 02.00 p.m., and drop in Gapura to visit a friend to make an appointment about socialization in his school. We also went to Pasar Anom Sumenep to buy some traditional kitchenware.
My second activity was talk show at Ganding FM 104.10 at Saturday, May 2. This talk show held to celebrate the National Education Day. I did the talk show with plastic rubbish full team. We discussed about education and our environmental activities in our school. I took that opportunity to underline contextual education on our school curriculum.
At 09.30 a.m., the talk show began. Two hours left with an interesting discussion. We also discussed with audiences from Guluk-Guluk and Ganding by phone. Some of them gave good appreciation, some of them criticized rubbish management on Annuqayah in general, and one of them seemed to underestimate our environmental activities.
We had a really precious experience that day. And we know that our environmental activities still go on.