In May 2017 I visited Sungai Tohor on the Island of Tebingtinggi. The visit was organised by with the Singapore group People’s Movement to Stop the Haze – PMHaze.
While there I met a man whose insight into the problems facing his community impressed me greatly.
The Story of GEMAST
I am Izul Azri Fatra, often called Azri, I am the head of Gemast (Young Generation Sungai Tohor)
GEMAST (Generasi Muda Sungai Tohor) is an organization engaged in the environmental field. In this context, over recent years I have frequently encountered peatland fires in several villages, especially in the vicinity of the Tebingtinggi Timur. I for one have been directly involved in firefighting.
In evaluating the situation I believe that the fires have been the work of human hands, so I hope in future the area where I live is no longer responsible for smoke blowing to other areas. Much damage is sustained when a fire occurs, its impact on health is bad, its destroys forest sustainability and beauty, and many habitats within forest are burned to extinction .
Given these circumstances GEMAST began carrying out environmental awareness campaigns by planting natural timber in several places of peatland to:
- motivate the community,
- protect the environment and
- develop awareness of the importance of protecting the forest.
We also plant natural timber species in the vicinity of community settlements. We have also developed a mangroves nursery to overcome coastal erosion and work in agriculture.
We advance according to our ability, because there is a lack of funds to carry out these activities, this is because to the purchase the seeds for natural timber species and the other activities requires substantial funds.
I aspire to campaign for this activity in every village, especially in villages in the Tebingtinggi Timur District, so that in the future all of the community will realize how important it is to protect peatland forests.
What’s more our area has deep peatland soil as much as five metres deep, so if there is a fire it is very difficult to extinguish.
Through relating this story GEMAST hopes to encourage support from people who love the environment, because we are also unable to move to protect the environment without involvement. and the help of others, and related parties.
Supporting this project
Izul Azri Fatra can be contacted via WhatsApp. He needs our support in this ambitious project. Please feel free to contact him.
If you don’t speak Indonesian or Malay use Google Translate to post your messages to him
Sungai Tohor is not well marked on maps. In time more images of the locality will be added to this map.
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