An aware society is the best weapon in combating environmental damage. Here journalists play a critical role in helping the public to understand environmental issues. But sadly, there are still a few of them who publish this topic, when on the other side there are many environmental issues in grassroot that are poorly covered by the media, especially in the Leuser Ecosystem (LE). Therefore, FKL wants to invite the journalists in Aceh to seek deeper and understand better about this matter through Environmental Journalism Training.
Though many of our projected programs regarding this are being delayed due to pandemic, thankfully we still have an opportunity to carry out Environmental Journalism Training with the support of our donors, surely with strict COVID-19 protocols. Together with YAKATA (Eastern Aceh Conservation Foundation), IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), TFCA Sumatra and BKSDA (Nature Conservation Agency) to conduct Environmental Journalism Training with the theme “Saving Forests, Saving the Nation”, on 16 – 18 December 2020. This training was attended by 25 professional journalists from Aceh Timur, and invited various experts, namely, NH Lubis from FKL who introduced the Leuser Ecosystem to all participants; Rudi Putra from FKL who explained how important the LE is for Aceh and world’s future, as well as how important it is to conserve, protect and restore it; Wicaksono a professional who shared the basics of environmental journalism; and Edi Syah Putra from FKL who introduced CRU (Conservation and Rescue Unit) Serbajadi.
FKL also held Environmental Journalism Training on 1 December 2020 at Muharram Journalism College hall. We collaborated with Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) Banda Aceh with the subject on “Data-Based Environmental Journalism”. FKL invited various speakers from multi-sectors, namely Head of Sub-directorate IV of Extraordinary Crimes from Aceh Provincial Police HQ; Police Superintendent, Muliadi; Director of WALHI, Aceh M Nur; Forest Law Enforcement Coordinator from FKL, Tezar; and Chief Editor of MASAKINI.CO, Maimun Saleh. The training was attended by 10 professional journalists and 5 members from the student press.
Journalists training aims to raise the awareness about the LE, since there are still many journalists who are still misinformed about it in some respects, for example, assuming the LE is the same as the Gunung Leuser National Park. In addition, environmental news is still rarely reported compared to other issues. In this training FKL wants to invite these journalists to see that environmental issues are as important as political and economic issues. Thereby, we hope that there can be more journalists who will write and publish articles on the LE or other environment-related news factually and reliably.