2-minute read

The Emerging Guardians of Indonesia’s Environment


Victor Tang

Victor was a lost soul. Many hats has he worn. He was an Ice Cream Uncle, Musician, Wannabe Celeb, Underwater Filmmaker... In the end, Victor decides to Do Good.

I could not help but ask this question of myself as I worked on Our Better World’s environment series Our Better Earth – could I reverse the tide of pessimism surrounding climate change and the era of “climate boiling”? Headlines and sound bites stick in my head. Day in and day out as we wipe the sweat off our brows, that’s all you read, hear and discuss. Could I possibly make this life altering moment in history any different?

I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded. Doom and gloom messages had not had a contagion effect - at least not among the young in Indonesia. Hope springs eternal especially in the heart and soul of the youth.   Everywhere OBW  surveyed, there were grassroots movements led by energetic individuals. These individuals kept a laser sharp focus mapping out the tangible steps to take, in a fast changing future. There was no leaning back against the armchair and conversing instead they knew what needed doing for the environmental issues.

What’s encouraging to see firsthand is how youths are all about making a change. They take action. They move with intent. They force change. Indonesia and its young people are a case in point. A cadre of Gen Z eco-warriors are taking centre stage, galvanised into action by the evidence that their country still has some ways to go to protect their natural heritage. 

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world to form a state. As a country consisting of five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagoes it is surely an understatement to say how rich in biodiversity and natural resources the land is. But along with that comes the  unique environmental challenges confronting the thousands of islands that is Indonesia. Sure, progress has been made. But there are still significant areas for improvement when it comes to environmental protection. The litany of challenges are long and painful – deforestation, illegal logging, land degradation, and marine pollution stare you in the face.

The young and the brave though reveal a maturity that belies their age. They don’t  believe in being mere firebrands. Change can only happen with a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach. In their voice we hear just what it takes to bring about change, spread hope and have a richness to pass to the next generation: 



Stories of Good, Delivered to You

People doing good. Causes you can support. Subscribe for a weekly dose of inspiration.