Hi! I’m Ellen Fitria. I’m 22 years old and currently work as Conservation Assistant in PT. Rea Kaltim Plantations, Indonesia
Can you tell us about your experience in the world of conservation or the environment?
I have been working on environmental movement for 2 years. In 2018, I interned at WWF Lampung to patrol the Sumatran rhino in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBNSP). I also participated in planting mangroves and coastal cleaning in Pesawaran, Lampung, with WWF in the same year.
Then I conducted research on wild cats of BBSNP, I did the species surveys through camera traps and observed the behavior, type of feed and active time of wild cats through camera traps.
I once gave environmental education to children in the village of Padang Manis, Lampung. I taught the children the basic of conservation, and how to love the environment. I use games, pictures, discussions and stories as a method of educational learning.
Now I educate people in 14 villages in Kutai Katanegara regency, East Kalimantan. I teach how to protect fauna, flora and what should not be done in conservation areas. I also encourage people to start saving water, electricity and protect the environment. The participants are children to adults that lives near the company area.
Community response is very open and support about conservation. The message we convey has a positive impact on society. They began to reduce the use of garbage and began to like to bring their own water bottle everywhere.
Well, what makes you interested in Indonesia's conservation field?
Because Indonesia is rich in biodiversity, and currently the conditions are in need of people who care about conservation. Therefore, I was moved to pursue the field of conservation to help preserve Indonesia's nature.
Is there any unique experience while working in the environmental field?
Once I was chased by students and children after finish giving them the materials. Maybe they were impressed with the delivery of conservation education that I gave. They were very enthusiastic and never forgot our team's educators.
During the rhino patrols, I was taught how to survive in the forest with survival training. I was told what can be eaten in the forest, how to make a makeshift tent / tent with rattan, wood and leaves, where to build it. The team said we should build the tent near the river.
Do you think that young people who protest on the streets for the environment will open the eyes of the government and society to save the environment for the next 10 years?
In my opinion, such actions are good and brilliant, but actively providing education and make a movement to save the environment to the community is also important. It’s good that the action is disseminated to social media.
Is there a final message for young people around the world about conservation and saving the environment?
I hope we all care more about the environment because if we don't care, the future will not be good for our children and grandchildren. So, start the action!