Published by Bowo on 27 Apr 2010 at 08:00 am
Last week on Earth Day, Indonesia celebrated Coral Day, which is a day of awareness for coral reef protection. Off the coast of Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines is the precious and threatened Coral Triangle, which contains three-quarters of known coral species on earth. In solidarity, I went to volunteer off the coast of Jakarta (where I work remotely for WiserEarth).
Volunteering on Pramuka Island
We went to an island called Pramuka Island in the “thousand islands” (like the salad dressing) which is a group of 100+ small islands about 30 miles off the coast of Jakarta. I did a beach cleanup in the morning with local islanders and people from The Indonesian Coral Reef Foundation (TERANGI) and Teens Go Green. In the afternoon, we went to a dock in shallow waters, next to the coral reef nursery, to do some baby coral planting. It was a hot day and nice to dip into the water!
- Living on a small island necessitates mutual understanding and cooperation. On this island of 1000 people or so, they even agree to rotate who gets to sell vegetables! (These are always in high demand because their soil is too sandy to properly grow veggies.) Now if we could only expand that culture to the entire (levitating) Earth island…
- Picking up plastic bags (loads of them) carried by the waves all the way from Jakarta (and who knows from where else…) sure made me think about buying things with those bags. The next day, decided to use a foldable and reusable bag I purchased from a friend’s ‘green’ company when buying stuff in the convenience store.
- As we came home on a small-ish boat rather late in the afternoon, rocked by strong winds and waves, a conversation with the captain taught me that the clouds and the waves no longer read as they used to. The captain said that he used to be able to tell what the waves would do just by looking at the clouds. That’s no longer possible now. The weather is not predictable and can change very quickly. Climate change?
- I’m not a fan of sunscreen or any other lotions for that matter, but it was probably a good idea because what was changing was not only the climate, but also the color of my skin! And that’s only after a half-day of being an islander…
It’s fascinating to see these phenomena that are talked about so often in the media with your own eyes. It really brings home the importance of taking action as individuals embedded in the local, global and natural community.
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