The temperate autumn days of Rizhao may be slowly giving way to the crisper climes of an approaching winter, but warm smiles and bright laughter filled the air as a...
RGE and Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) recently held a screening of the Frontier Sumatra documentary for more than 90 delegates at the 2023 GCNS Youth Forum, which was followed by a lively Q&A. Frontier Sumatra highlights the work of the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) programme to protect and restore 150,693 hectares of peatland rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Esther Chang, Executive Director, GCNS and Benny Lee, Executive Vice President, RGE, provided opening remarks and set the stage for the screening, while Prayitno Goenarto, Restoration Manager, RER, joined the Q&A to provide an informed perspective on the day-to-day operations of the RER project. Topics covered during the Q&A included community engagement, biodiversity protection and programme evaluation, reflecting the breadth of the delegates’ interest in Frontier Sumatra and the issues covered in the documentary.
Set up in 2013 by APRIL Group, and run in partnership with local and international NGOs, the RER programme is spread across two forest landscapes on the Kampar Peninsula and Padang island, in Riau province, Sumatra. Frontier Sumatra tells the story of the work of rangers and scientists to protect what is one of the largest peatland forest landscapes in Southeast Asia, covering an area about twice the size of Singapore. The RER forest areas provide sanctuary to more than 840 plant and wildlife species and support more than 40,000 people living in the surrounding communities. They also contribute to APRIL’s 1- for-1 commitment to conserve and restore one hectare of forest for every hectare of forest plantation.
The screening took place just before the GCNS Youth Forum, which featured two days of discussions focused on sustainability issues and how young people can be empowered to further advance the sustainability agenda in the region. The Forum featured workshops on decarbonisation, collaborating to achieve the United Nations SDGs, and how can young people be change makers. The delegates represented a range of ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.