By Admin
from Pantau Gambut
Pantau Gambut organized an event with the title "Decoding Nature Amidst the Haunting Specter of Development" to link the momentum of Halloween with the ongoing ecological crisis.

This event was held at the Ciliwung Community in Depok, West Java, focusing on the theme of the impact of environmental destruction and the depletion of tree cover on the harmony between the two worlds.

In Eastern culture, trees are often associated with supernatural spaces, whether in contexts of reverence or fear. "The question arises: what will happen to spiritual beings if forests continue to be cleared?" expressed Abil Salsabila, a Campaigner for Pantau Gambut. However, Pantau Gambut has discovered a loss of 536.9 thousand hectares of tree cover within the Protected Peat Ecosystem (Fungsi Ekosistem Gambut – FEG) area between 2015 and 2019. "The trend of corporate production area expansion under Business Use Rights (HGU) and Timber Forest Product Exploitation Business License (IUPHHK) permits continues to increase as the government grants permission to use land designated as protected FEG," he added.

At this event, Pantau Gambut invited Tommy Utomo (Ciga TV Kasepuhan Gelar Alam), Damar Shashangka (author of the novel Sabda Palon), and Yuyun Indradi as representatives of groups capable of bridging communication between the human and spiritual worlds. The discussion delved into the ecological crisis not only impacting tangible material aspects but also the groups of supernatural beings often associated as malevolent figures. Damar Shashangka stated, "Nature and humans are closely connected. This universe is actually a unity with humans." Tommy Utomo further emphasized, "We only perceive nature as a commodity. However, nature is akin to humans, and thus, it needs to be protected."

National Coordinator of Pantau Gambut, Iola Abas, clarified, "This event does not support anything polytheistic. Our aim is to provide an alternative perspective that the relationship between science, environmental degradation, and local spiritual culture is a tangible reality that should be respected." In addition to discussions, Pantau Gambut, along with the Ciliwung Community in Depok, invited visitors to play the angklung together. The event concluded with a performance by the music group KarOKean.

Through this initiative, Iola expressed her desire to raise public awareness regarding the ongoing issue of land conversion in peat areas by extractive companies. "Peat has yet to become a significant issue in environmental preservation efforts, and not many are aware of the peat ecosystem, whereas Indonesia actually owns the largest expanse of tropical peat in the world. However, peat plays a crucial role in global preservation," clarified by Iola.

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