It was such an honor to be officially invited by Denmark Embassy of Indonesia. Everything started when the embassy was conducting an interactive competition where youths of Indonesia should speak about what is the most crucial challenge which is facing by Indonesia in term of development, the embassy was asking what the youth think about it. I was then decided to give several tweets talking about marine issues including the ecosystem destruction which is happening continuously, worsened by the effect of global warming.
This issue is crucial due to many of coastal communities in Indonesia are depending in marine resources, and yet it could dangerously impacting the resiliency of these community in the future. I was then received an email by the embassy official saying that they are really interested to further discuss with me about my statements on twitter.
It wasn’t a formal meeting, just an interesting dialogue with delicious burger for lunch. The Ambassador for Danish Embassy, Mr. Casper Klynge was really warm and welcoming as the first time I got into the Danish residence in Jakarta. He was saying that very happy to welcome me and other 8 students from University across Indonesia who were also attending the meeting.
The discussion was started when Mr. Klynge opened the lunch while subsequently asking us further about our backgrounds, and what we’ve been working on youth initiatives. Some people were coming from outside Jakarta and choosing various backgrounds which made it quite interesting and dynamic. We discussed broad-range of topics such as Education, Gender Equality, Counter back Terrorism, Freedom of Speech as well as the Maritime issue.
It was my turn to deliver some ideas while having our burger at that time. I exactly spoke the matters to my previous tweets and sharing my experiences during my internship with MantaWatch in Komodo National Park. Mr. Klynge was particularly intrigued by then asked me what did me see in Komodo National Park. “I have been in Komodo National Park for several times, I enjoyed snorkeling and diving there!” He smiled. “Did you recognize something very strange there? There were lots of rubbish along the region of Labuan Bajo, plastics, beer bottles and other debris. As a westerner, generally, once we visited a place with rubbish, we will not come back next!”
It left me ashamed of myself, and I felt so much pain by acknowledging this issue. He was then asked me another question of what movement the youths have to address this debris problem. Denmark and Indonesia currently having a project to develop the method of trash management for sustainable energy in Indonesia, and yet the challenge have been so much especially in the years ahead.
“Tackling the issue of marine debris is a big deal, it’s not something that we can build in ten or twenty years, it is slow motion, slowly but surely. We have to change many aspects, including how we can develop people mindset to be more aware, especially people in Jakarta.” He said.
Mr. Klynge closed our meeting at that time by offering the opportunities of collaboration with all the youths invited about the upcoming projects that Denmark and Indonesia have, and the participation of youth is very crucial to sustain this in the future.
It was an enlightening discussion, I realized that Indonesia is a big country which facing huge challenges in different fields either social or environment. But the thing I have to underline from the meeting was it’s not the matter of how big your actions but how passionate and consistent you are to help Indonesia reaching its development in the future. I was so happy and indeed very lucky that I found another friends whom I believe will be the next change maker in every side of the world.