24 May 2021
Every 22 May, the world celebrates Biodiversity Day. Every year, the theme is different. The Secretariat for Biodiversity Convention through its official website has announced that the celebration of 2021 annual Biodiversity Day will have the theme of “We are part of the solution #ForNature”. This theme was selected as a continuance of last year’s momentum themed “Our solutions are in nature.”
In Harapan Island, Thousand Islands, KEHATI Foundation, since 2017 with Divers Clean Action (DCA) through the Save Ocean and Small Islands (SOSIS) Program, has tried to be a solution to various environmental issues there, for example by planting mangrove, restoring coral reefs, managing plastic waste, and establishing Cura Stores (a store to refill household cleaning products – the word cura is derived from curah, which means ‘in bulk’ or ‘to refill’).
To reach a wider audience, the SOSIS Program in Harapan Island has already engaged various parties, starting from university students, communities, private companies, and other parties. “As a popular tourism destination in DKI Jakarta, Harapan Island must have an environment with high durability and sustainability, particularly in facing the climate change issue. This awareness must be shaped not only by the local people but also by tourists,” said the Ecosystem Program Manager of KEHATI Foundation, Yasser Ahmed.
Harapan Island is one of the inhabited islands in Thousands Islands that is densely populated. Based on the date of Harapan Island Village (Kelurahan), this 6.7 ha island is populated by 2,462 people of 468 Heads of Households. The island that has 30 island clusters and is located on the northside of Thousand Islands has several tourism potentials that can be enjoyed by tourists, such as swimming, snorkeling, looking at turtle conservation on Kelapa Dua Island, and even eagle conservation on Kotok Island.
As a tourist destination in Thousand Islands in DKI Jakarta, Harapan Island can be said to always be crowded with tourists. In 2020, 222,253 tourists were recorded to have visited there. Unfortunately, the area whose status is inside the Thousand Islands Marine National Park also has its share of problems, one of which is plastic waste.
Recorded in 2020, household activities in Harapan Island produced household waste of 20 tons/month, 21% of them are plastic waste. This data was not including waste carried from the sea and tourism activities.
To address this problem, in 2020 KEHATI Foundation collaborated with its partner, Divers Clean Action, initiated the opening of “Cura Stores”, namely stores that sell refills of some household products, such as liquid soap, shampoo, detergent, carbolic, and other cleaning liquid products. In Harapan Island, there is one Cura Store that exists until today, which is managed by wives and mothers of Tanjung Harapan Waste Bank.
KEHATI Foundation, in collaboration with The Body Shop, also provides training to Cura Store managers, such as displaying store products, marketing, stock taking, team management, and how the store can serve as a means for education and campaign regarding environmental conservation.
Previously, KEHATI Foundation and DCA also conducted mentoring to waste banks and creating eco-brick from plastic waste, managed by wives and mothers in Harapan Island.
“Going forward, we hope this Cura Store model can be adopted by other tourist destinations so that the plastic waste issue can be reduced. In the spirit of this year’s Biodiversity Day theme, let’s hope people can become a solution to problems facing Planet Earth, not adding to the pollution,” closed Yasser.