This project trains Indonesian youth in the North Maluku region (eastern Indonesia) to become effective change-makers in their communities to address critical regional environmental issues, including plastic pollution, poor air quality, and food waste. Students will participate in a five-week curriculum where they learn science and diplomacy via role-playing as negotiators. Afterwards, we help them develop their community projects and send funds to implement the project with faculty guidance.
The North Maluku region in eastern Indonesia is a hotbed of marine biodiversity, with the beautiful coral reefs driving a food and tourism economy. However, the reefs are threatened by various environmental stressors such as climate change and plastic pollution. Local mitigation efforts that can slow or reverse these environmental problems, such as energy conservation and recycling, are uncommon due to a lack of awareness.
Role-playing is a powerful way to help people adopt different perspectives that can encourage action, as opposed to lectures and admonitions. By using a digital distributed environmental diplomacy game, students are trained in interpersonal and diplomacy skills, as well as perspective-taking. The simulation games are followed by starter projects that students implement in their communities to take what they practiced in the simulations and put into action in their communities.
Participating students live on islands throughout the North Maluku region. By learning interpersonal and environment communication skills, they are able to discuss these issues with their elders and broader community. Faculty at Khairun University are helping direct the project to better connect the university with local schools and teach multiple generations about waste management and its positive impact on the environment. Improved waste management will remove a big stressor on corals.
Khairun University (Regional Partner University)