Wednesday, 8 February 2006

ACIL (Anak Cinta Lingkungan)

Children to get green playground in Bogor
City News - February 06, 2006

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Action to create a less polluted city and a greener Indonesia does not only emanate from officials these days.

Children are also expected to come up with bright ideas to produce a better environment, with the Environment Ministry and production house Prime Tivi Indonesia jointly establishing a new children's facility to this end -- Kampung ACIL in Cikeas.

ACIL stands for Anak Cinta Lingkungan (Children who love the Environment). Kampung ACIL, therefore, is a village for children who love the environment.

On Friday, the construction of Kampung ACIL was inaugurated at the Environment Ministry's offices in Jakarta. It is expected that the work will be completed before June when ACIL will organize its "Joyful Week" celebration.

"We hope that Kampung ACIL will provide environmental education to children, and support the Green Open Space policy," said Environment Minister Rahmat Witoelar.

He expressed the hoped that in the near future Kampung ACIL would serve as a pilot project that could be replicated in 440 municipalities across the country.

Located on a two-hectare plot in Cikeas, Bogor, West Java, Kampung ACIL will be housed in a forest planted by 30,000 children from more than 300 kindergarten and elementary schools in Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi during the ACIL gathering on June 5 through June 12, 2006.

A museum to house displays of traditional games and toys will also be established in the village. The ministry will collect these from around the country.

"Besides coming directly from the provincial administrations, the traditional games and toys will also be produced by a workshop in Kampung ACIL," Osby Vebro from Prime Tivi Indonesia told The Jakarta Post.

He added that the workshop also intended to improve the skills of local people and provide more jobs.

Children would also benefit from environmentally friendly science and technology exhibitions presented by teachers, academics and other experts.

"Actually, the idea first came to me when I read about the United Nations Environmental Project (UNEP)'s program to plant 5 million trees around the world by 2008. As of last month, they had already planted one million trees."

"So, we thought, why don't we support the program by planting them here in Indonesia. If we only plant 10,000 trees in 440 municipalities, for example, then that would amount to 4,400,000 trees, quite close to the UNEP target," Osby said.

When asked why children had been selected to play an active role in the project, Osby said that it was easier to create environmental awareness in a child than to change the habits of an adult.