Schools students Lamongan ID, Lamongan, Indonesia © CBDRM , 2010
This project, run by Nahdlatul Ulama’s Community-Based Disaster Risk Management body (CBDRM-NU) with MFF, sought to involve Pesantren (religious schools) and community members in a mangrove planting programme. The two expected outputs were: 1) knowledge and skills transferred in mangrove nursery management and planting; and 2) the Pesantren and coastal community mobilized for conservation.
The process involved recruiting and training facilitators, providing field work for facilitators in disaster risk mitigation and coastal ecosystem conservation through mangrove nursery operation and planting, and supporting a Pesantren community campaign for nursery production and mangrove planting.
The site of the project is Brondong in Lamongan, where much of the original mangrove cover has been cleared but local people continue to depend on the coastal environment for their livelihoods.
The community here holds strong religious beliefs and has two Islamic boarding schools, or Pesantren, with 1,500 students in total. The project enlisted their support and the support of the Kyai, a locally influential Islamic leader, in restoring lost mangrove habitat. Its main focus was on educating and involving local children in mangrove planting.
Pesantren students, Brondong villagers and the fishing community.
Helping the Pesantren community to establish a nursery and plant mangroves has increased the ability of school students and community members to propagate, establish and maintain mangrove plantations. Prominent local figures became engaged in raising the profile of the project.
The religious approach proved effective. Simply stated, the community will follow any recommendations or suggestions from their Islamic leaders. And, by involving teachers in meeting the project’s objectives, the mangrove conservation message was integrated into school and educational activities. Well-trained and well-informed facilitators helped to build and sustain public enthusiasm during this process.
The survival rate of planted mangroves was low (50%), one cause being the timing of planting in August when the weather was dry and hot. Foraging by free-ranging goats also caused damage to the seedlings.
Follow-up actions included replacement of dead mangrove seedlings, and consultation with a mangrove expert to determine the best time for planting.
Several Bahasa-language articles covering project progress and activities were published in the Duta Masyarakat, Radar Bojonegoro and Zona Berita newspapers (the latter is online at www.zonaberita.com), and in other publications, including www.nu.or.id. Local radio coverage and posters were also produced.
Women accounted for 30% to 50% of the participants in activities, including education, lesson sharing, training facilitators, nursery maintenance and mangrove planting. Of the 20 participants in facilitator training, seven were women. Half of those who took part in mangrove planting were women.
Planting 10,000 mangroves is the community’s response to climate change adaptation. Healthy mangroves help to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events along the coast.
Using religion as a catalyst to mobilize community involvement in mangrove conservation proved effective. Facilitators provided an important driving force in the project, acting as messengers and promoters for the Kyai’s religious and ecological message.
Brondong district, Lamongan, East Java, Indonesia
4th May 2010 to 4th Dec 2010
An in-kind contribution from the Ministry of Education allowed the use of the Community Learning Centre and local radio station.
Ir. Avianto Muhtadi, MM
Community-Based Disaster Risk
Management – Nahdlatul Ulama
(CBDRM-NU), Gedung PBNU Lt 7
Ruang 702, Jl. Kramat Raya 164,
Jakarta Pusat 10430, Indonesia
Tel/Fax: +62 21 3142395
Mobile: +62 856 1029196
“If we plant one tree, then the tree grows and has thousands of leaves; all of the leaves will pray to God for those who plant and take care of it.”
LOCAL ISLAMIC LEADER AND HEAD OF THE PESANTREN