Picture and text by Yenyu Lin (Taiwan); link to video recorded interview by Mahtuf Ikhsan (Indonesia)
The Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) offers students from the Asia-Pacific Region the unique opportunity to engage and interact with members from other Local Committees. Not only does the meeting enable the delegate to engage in cultural and languages exchange, it also helps to build and cultivate friendships and develop long-lasting memories.
This year, the APRM was organized by the LC from Bogor Agriculture University from Indonesia, with the theme ‘Forest Value towards Sustainable Development Goals’. The event was officially opened on May 15th . The opening ceremony started with a traditional dance of Indonesian cultural groups, followed by a key-note by the Minister of Environment and Forestry. During individual sessions, speakers aimed to enhance the student’s understanding of the Indonesian forest sector. The program further consisted of several forestry-related public lectures on the theme ‘Peatlands Matter’, which was meant to provide an international overview of the important role of peatlands and current issues related to their preservation, such as peatland fires that subsequently cause air pollution. The program further included a poster session and short presentations where the participants presented their research.
The program further consisted of several field trips. For example, to the Gunung Walat University Forest in Sukabumi West Java. The tour provided the students with insights into the management of the university forest. On day three, the group gathered in Gunung Walat, where participants were given the chance to learn about the culture and traditions of the local indigenous (of Indonesia at Sindang Barang Cultural Village) For example, the traditional use of bamboo for the construction of housing and the maintenance of these traditional buildings. Other field trips included a tour in the Bogor Botanical garden.
Filled with traditional songs and dances from different represented countries. Time flies but memories and friends last. The event allowed us to return to our homes with a widened perspective on the forest sector in the Asia-Pacific region and an understanding of the importance of cultural integration and development of strong relationships with students from different places.
The Author, Yenyu Lin, is a third-year student in Forestry at National Chung Hsing University (Taiwan) and responsible for the content of the above contribution. Yenyu can be reached via e-mail under: qwsd9087)(a)gmail.com
Mahtuf Ikhsan, student at Bogor University and member of the APRM organizing committee, conducted an interview with Dr. Petrus Gunarso, ex-Sustainability Director and current advisor with Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL Group) during the event. The company is a developer of fibre plantations and a producer of pulp and paper, with operations mainly in Indonesia and China. Mahtuf interviewed Dr. Gunarso about the current role and vision of the APRIL group in promoting sustainable forest operations.
Link to the video-recorded interview below: