Bayu is a key staff in one of the Indonesian NGO which focuses on conservation of natural ecosystems, wildlife and its habitat in several parts of Indonesia and Borneo.
1. Briefly give us a summary about what your organization is all about?
We are an Indonesian NGO working in Bali, Nusa Penida and Borneo for the preservation of Indonesia’s wildlife and its habitats. We take a holistic approach which recognises the intrinsic inter-relation between humans, our fellow creatures and the environment. As a small Non Government Organisation we focus on grassroots issues and frontline conservation. Founded in September 1997, initially to support the orangutan rehabilitation program in Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo, we have since expanded our focus to include reforestation, community development, conservation education, rehabilitation and release of other wildlife such as the critically endangered Bali Starling, sea turtles and others.
Our organization is heavily involved in habitat restoration alongside the local communities in Borneo and Nusa Penida; supporting the conservation of rainforest. We work with communities to provide alternative livelihoods in an ecologically responsible manner.
We run a Mutual Learning field school and a demonstration plot to help farmers build skills in agroforestry and animal husbandry. We also introduced a Cow Bank, and are helping train nominated villagers as “livestock paramedics”. Villagers contribute actively, giving ideas, labour, materials and managing many aspects of the programs themselves. We support the villagers to participate in ecotourism, organising skills training, promoting traditional crafts and services, and gaining certification for local forest guides and village homestays. Many of the ecotourism participants are also members of our Community Patrol program, helping Forest Police fight fires, clear waterways and taking part in anti-illegal logging patrols. Together with the local authorities, schools and womens groups, our team runs health checks and seminars for women, children and the elderly; cultivate school and family gardens; and provide teachers assistance and scholarships.
In 2011, our organization acquired a Wildlife Rescue Centre in Tabanan, central Bali.
2.What aspect of the job do you enjoy most while working for your organization?
To be able to bring about positive change in communities, the preservation of endangered wildlife and the environment through learning together and coming up with solutions that are ecologically viable. It has been, and hopefully will continue to be, a journey of amazing discovery and wonderment.
3. What is the level of support from the community towards your project?
The entire island of Nusa Penida has been declared, and is operating as, a bird sanctuary by unanimous vote of the villagers. This is further reinforced by the inclusion of bird protection in the awig-awig or traditional village law. The protection of birds on the island is also embraced by the local temples, where all of the villagers worship
In Borneo, as in Nusa Penida, villagers contribute to our community development projects by giving ideas, providing labour and materials, as well as managing some of the projects themselves
4. What are the interesting aspects of your projects?
Here is some feedback from our volunteers:
“Phone wouldn’t work! Great programme. Lots of different things to do. Felt useful. Will return!” – Anonymous
“Enjoyed planting in the garden and social time at night around the table (music and food)” – Lisa Chominiec
“Built garden greenhouse. Tilled soil for planting. Enjoyed socialising at night, cremation ceremony, visiting Tembeling Cave. Everyone very welcoming and entertaining” - Tilman Schaeffer
“Greenhouse work. Teaching and attended bird release” – Anonymous
5. What do volunteers learn when they volunteer in your projects?
Volunteering with our organization, either on Nusa Penida, in Borneo or with our Wildlife Rescue Centre in central Bali, is a fun way to learn about the environment, conservation and community development, and a great way to meet traditional communities and work alongside them
6.What is the most touching/ inspiring thing have you seen before from your projects?
The growing number of Bali Starlings in the wild through the combined efforts of conservation methods and community endeavours.
The willingness of communities to embrace new ideas and actively taking part in the implementation.
7.What kind of volunteers are suitable for your project?
Volunteers are not required to have field experience or any specific qualification, just a willingness to help and a passion for the kind of work that we do … growing & planting trees, community development, and protection of endangered wildlife and the environment.
Volunteering with our organization is suitable for anyone age 18 and above. Volunteers below the age of 18 must be accompanied by parents or supervising adult. Because volunteers work closely with local staff and villagers, we ask that they are mindful of cultural habits and practices.
Last but not least, bring your enthusiasm, keep an open mind and immerse yourselves in the tasks at hand. Above all, enjoy the opportunity to mingle with and learn from the various fascinating cultures
This organization has several projects which are Wildlife Protection, Hibitat Restoration & Community Development in Bali and Teach English in Bali.
Visit Conservation for more of Ecoteer’s volunteering conservations projects.