ROLE Foundation’s fresh facility hosted a “Zero Waste to Oceans” Conference, in conjunction with The Danish Embassy of Jakarta, with an exceptional turnout of 150 knowledgeable and passionate people.
The conference kick off with 6 minute introduction video, produced by Fay Moffat, sponsored by the Danish Embassy in Indonesia. This video shows some very graphic and sad underwater and beach footage of the massive solid and liquid waste damage to sea life, reefs, waterways and beaches. It also shows the hard work of the One Island One Voice Bali wide clean up, and other positive work being done by many across Bali. (Check the video here)
Then the very witty M.C. Willem Loots kicked off with some very interesting facts, like how 72% of our Mother Earth is covered in water, and how 150 millions tons of waste has already been dumped into our oceans, with this figure growing fast. He also commented on how beautiful the view of the oceans across Nusa Dua to Nusa Penida and on to Lombok. Do we want to loose all this? he asked.
Then Casper Klynge, the Ambassador of Denmark, who put up the funding for the conference spoke. He announced Denmark’s extreme concern for the health of our oceans, the need to partner up with our friends Indonesia through positive help with this waste struggle and his personal concern about what exactly we are handing over to our children, and our children’s children.
Next Mr Efansjah, the Senior Advisor to the Indonesian Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, who is the retired CEO of WWF, Indonesia, expressed his concerns. He talked about positive steps being taking by the Indonesian Government, and how he takes to heart everybody’s, both Indonesians and foreigners concern about this huge marine waste problem. He also talked about how 80% of jobs in Bali directly or indirectly depend on tourism. Then emphasized that Tourism must have a healthy environment to survive. “That is why people come to Indonesia’s 17,000 islands. because they are so beautiful.”
Next the Danish Embassy’s, Jakarta sponsored Viral Video was announced. The winner is Ms Retno’s from Bogor, Java Island. Her very clever video was shown on the 4 TV screens. Retno receives IDR 10 million in prizes, with a trip to Bali for Earth Day celebrations, hotel accommodation and spending money all included. This Viral Video is a strong push to engage with our youth to get involved. Again sponsored by the Danish Embassy, Jakarta. The idea was very fruitful and popular among Indonesian youth with many high quality short videos received.
This was followed by a panel of doers.
Rili Djohani, the Director of Coral Triangle Center, said they are fighting hard through education, awareness and assistance to preserve the remaining coral reefs throughout Indonesia. Solid Waste is a huge challenge for them.
Piet van Zyl who has turned every Alila Resort in Bali into a Zero Waste to Land Fill Hotel and who is helping Role Foundation build and make it’s Zero Waste to Oceans Research, Education and Demonstration Center for Local Council training and implementation. With 850 Banjars and 280 Desa (all local Councils) in Bali, we have our work cut out for us. Piet’s message is to all business on Bali, Indonesia and beyond. Alila Resorts can do Zero Waste to Landfill, so can your business. Don’t get left behind. Smart businesses are leading the way in waste management and are gaining customers, making local staff feel proud about their work, and the health of the environment thrives. Win, Win, Win.
Ketut Mertaadi from Eco Bali Recycling fame, disgusted how his company is a trusted transporter, recycler and educator of waste management. He said Governments are reaching out for assistance across Indonesia. With Eco Bali’s professional recycling facility, on the ground waste pick up and recycling, Eco Bali are in a good position to educate and train as they have the hands on know how. Trust is everything in this business. When people pay to get their waste picked up, they want to know it is handled properly. People trust Eco Bali, and that is important.
Kevin Kumala spoke about his company Avani’s cassava starch bags, and other items, that looked like real plastic bags, and do the same job as plastic bags, but are 100% organic and compostable. He drew the attention of the crowd when he drank down part of one of his cassava starch bags after mixing it with warm water. He talked how research and production of alternative organic product is vital to a healthy future of our oceans.
And last the young favorite from Bye Bye Plastic Bags, 16 year old Melati Wijen discussed how her generation felt about this massive waste problem, that today’s youth will inherit. She said she does not understand why everything can not be manufactured with recycling in mind. She spoke about how the youth need to be engaged on this important subject. Melati is speaking at the World Oceans Summit, at Nusa Dua, Bali on the 23nd and 24th February.
Question and Answer time was very interesting with wide and varied questions from the very passionate crowd.
Network went on for hours, with the realization that we need everyone and all to beat this problem. Every idea, action, education, awareness, assistance. It need not be perfect, just heading in the right direction.
The food and drinks presented the old way, in glasses and banana leaf. No need for plastics to be involved here………minimal waste. Thanks to Fena and the Bali WISE staff and students for the healthy food and drink. Big thanks to Casper Klynge and the Danish Embassy, Jakarta for funding this conference, to Muriel Ydo for organising the event, Fay Moffet for a great video, our media staff Handoko Rama for an excellent t-shirt and Denis for the tent design, stage, sound, lighting, screens etc.
Thanks to all the speakers, and all who came.
A Healthy Mother Earth for all living things. She provides us with abundance. We must show her respect ! There is the rubbish. Pick it Up! Put It In the Bin! Recycle it. Better still. DON”T MAKE IT, in the first place.
Thank you all.
*All photos are copyrighted of ROLE Foundation, Sarah Brownlow and Hai Dai