Medio, March 2021, Women’s Union of North Kayong Regency (SETARA), conducted a meeting and group discussion which resulted in a written attitude statement from the management board and members to make an agreement of agricultural land protection in order to keep the source of livelihoods and the environment so that it remains sustainable and also as an effort to realize community welfare.
This group meeting was held separately in five different villages in North Kayong Regency in two different Districts, which were in Banyu Abang Village in Teluk Batang District, while in Seponti District there were four villages including Podorukun Village, Wonorejo Village, Seponti Jaya Village and Telaga Arum Village.
From the result of the agreement, it was obtained that the total area which will be protected was 110.2 ha, consisting of plantation and rice fields. This letter of agreement was then validated/recognized by the local village government as a commitment of group members and in synergy with the respective village government.
Ridho Faizinda, Program Manager of Gemawan Association said, the reason to do land protection is to prevent the conversion of agricultural land into large-scale plantations, to maintain the function of agricultural land as a source of food and a source of village community livelihood. “The main thing is to avoid threats and damage on land as a source of community livelihood, this agreement was made.” he explained.
He further explained that the steps taken as an effort for land protection include: 1. Providing understanding and explanation to the surrounding community to protect and conserve the existing land; 2. Not carrying out activities which can endanger the land; 3. Performing cultivation regularly; 4. Providing an explanation to the community not to change the function of land/plantations/fields into large scale plantations.
The Head of SETARA, Mrs. Jamakatun, in this case strongly supports this agreement considering that the landscapes of Seponti and Teluk Batang are peatlands that are prone to fire.
“With this agreement, at least every one of us is committed to and understands why we need to protect our respective lands in order to avoid the threat of environmental damage such as land fires, for example, and this makes us more cautious. In addition, our land is more productive since we have maintained it and we keep cultivating it and it will definitely be useful as a source of livelihood for the community. “he revealed.