The current average age of Indonesian farmers is 56 years old. With the social forestry scheme lasting for 35 years, there is a need to pass the baton of social forestry implementation to the young generation. “This is where youth becomes important. Youth involvement is at the core of social forestry success”, Bambang Supriyanto, the Director General of Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, stated in front of students from 14 universities in Indonesia during the Crash Course of Social Forestry for Youth at Manggala Wanabakti, 28 November 2019.
The eighty students who participated in the Crash Course were engaged in not only lecture, but also a speed dating session with the representatives the Kalimantan village forests from Kapuas Hulu, Malinau, and Berau districts to improve their understanding on social forestry.
“The crash course is an effective learning process because the participants are encouraged to not only listen, but also communicate with the real actors of Social Forestry.” said Ahmad Arsyad (21) from Universitas Lambung Mangkurat, Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan. “With its great numbers, I think the youth should be involved in assisting and educating the local community to help excelling social forestry.” he added.
In addition to educating the youth on social forestry, the forum also provided a focus group discussion to accommodate the aspiration of youth on how they want to be involved in social forestry.
After the event, a report will be prepared and submitted to the Director General of Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships for further discussion to develop a scheme of youth involvement in social forestry.