River Watch Group, Young People’s Concern for Natural Resources
[Bogor April 20th 2017] This weekend, on the 23rd and 24th of April, the River Watch Group (RWG) Indonesia will hold the “Main ke Hulu” event in the forests of Kasepuhan Karang, one of the first indigenous forests established by the government under the decision of the Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung) no. 35/2012. This was done alongside the celebration of Earth Day 2017, as a form of public support, especially among the younger generation, on the establishment of the 9th customary forest, the proposal having been submitted by none other than President Joko Widodo last December.
In cooperation with the local youth of Kasepuhan Karang, as many as 50 members of RWG from various groups across Jakarta, Bogor, Depok and Sukabumi will plant trees at the eleven natural springs in one of the parts of leuweung tutupan, or forest covered by the local people of Kasepuhan Karang. Additionally, the participants will also take part in monitoring the quality of the water of the forest by conducting an inventory of aquatic bio indicator animals to collect baseline data in the forest area.
River Watch Group Indonesia is a network of young people that monitor the rivers of Bogor, Jakartam Depok and Jambi. They come from communities such as Relawan for Life, Komunitas Makekal Bersatu, Komunitas Ciliwung Depok, Teens Go Green Indonesia, Lindalang, BBC Lengkong, Hi Lo Green Community, Uni Konservasi Fauna, Pramuka SMKN 3 Bogor and Teras Kali Suren Community.
The River Watch Group Indonesia program is a part of the Sungai Kita Hidup Kita (Our Rivers Our Life, or OROL for short) campaign that had children and young adults from Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia involved in taking care of rivers. The OROL campaign aims to strengthen youth interest of the rivers of Java as an integral part, as well as voicing out on the rights of children to enjoy a clean and safe environment (Ecological Child’s Rights) where many violations occur due to the many agrarian conflicts that occur in the government’s efforts to improve the country’s economic sector.
The campaign was created by Rimbawan Muda Indonesia (RMI) in collaboration with Sokola Rimba and was initiated by Relawan for Life with support from Terre des Hommes Germany and BMZ.
Contact us for more information:
Yayuk (River Watch Group Indonesia/Relawan for Life coordinator) : 
Rimbawan Muda Indonesia (RMI)
Rimbawan Muda Indonesia (RMI) is a non-profit organization engaged in the management of natural resources in Bogor since 1992. Working towards their vision, RMI strives to provide assistance in the fields of education and public awareness-raising regarding the issues concerning community-based natural resources. For more information, please visit www.rmibogor.id
Our River Our Life is a Southeast Asian regional campaign that started in the Mekong region in 2007, ensuring that children get the right to a good environment for them to learn and grow. One of their many activities was the promotion of ECR (Ecological Child’s Rights) to encourage policies that recognize the rights of children and the environment that they grow up in. (http://ourriversourlife.blogspot.co.id/p/contact-us-orol-campaign-partners.html)
River Watch Group Indonesia
“Kelompok Pengamat Air”, or River Watch Group (RWG) Indonesia is a youth group with people from various communities who work together to monitor the condition of the rivers that flow through the cities they reside in. RWG is also a venue for young people to realize and establish their hopes and expectations of change in the environment. As of now, there are 10 groups with members from youth groups, study groups, student activity units, pramuka SMA (high school scouts) to environmental groups located in the West Java province such as Jakarta, Bogor, Depok and Sukabumi. The River Watch Group has been running since 2013, forming many activities such as learning about natural resources while learning english, monitoring the quality of the river using aquatic invertebrates, to more practical activities like making bio-pore holes in houses, photo documentation, filming multiple river poi8nts and taking care of endemic tree nurseries.
The Traditional Forests of Kasepuhan Karang
The forest of Kasepuhan Karang is the only customary forest in Java recognized by the government under the decision of the Constitutional Court (MK 35/2012). Customary forests are forests owned by indigenous communities and are administered in accordance to their customs, not belonging to any government, company or organization. The indigenous forest of Kasepuhan Karang, which is 486 hectares of land that is a part of leuueng tutpan, leuweung paniisan, cawisan and garapan, is the source of livelihood for the indigenous Kasepuhan people, and has been managed by their customary rules for hundreds of years. The Kasepuhan Karang Indigenous Forest was removed by the government from the state’s conservation efforts under Gunung Halimun Salak National Park. For more information: http://rmibogor.id/2016/12/30/hutan-adat-kasepuhan-karang-resmi-diakui-presiden/