This project will train Indonesian youth in the North Maluku region (eastern Indonesia) to become effective change-makers in their communities to address critical regional environmental issues, including climate change, plastic pollution, and air quality. Through digital communication technologies and realistic scientific simulations, participants will role-play as policy makers and diverse stakeholders negotiating global environmental challenges, then apply those lessons in real life.
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, youths will be trained in interpersonal and diplomacy skills, as well as perspective-taking. The simulation games will be followed by starter projects that youths can implement in their communities to take what they practiced in the simulations and put into action in their communities.
Participating youths live on islands throughout the North Maluku region. By learning interpersonal and environment communication skills, they will be able to discuss these issues with their elders and broader community. Starter projects based on the games will provide youths with the skills necessary to implement change. With a successful program, energy and plastic usage in the area can be reduced, removing some of the reef ecosystem stressors.