GMIM Church Supports Yaki Conservation

When working towards pro-environmental behavioural change, it is important to target efforts to key audiences we want to reach. This effort includes tailoring our approach to deliver conservation messages which meet the cultural and religious background and needs of our audiences in North Sulawesi. This approach makes it easier for people to relate with our messages, to understand and feel empowered to take action for wildlife.

One of the major threats for North Sulawesi wildlife is hunting for bushmeat consumption. Previous research and direct experience in the region have shown that bushmeat consumption within North Sulawesi is mostly observed within Christian communities. North Sulawesi is a majority Christian province, with 80% of the populace practicing Christianity. Therefore, the church provides a big opportunity to deliver conservation messages from a religious and moral perspective. GMIM (Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa) is one of the largest denominations in North Sulawesi, with nearly 1000 churches and over 800,000 members across the region. Therefore, the GMIM denomination plays a major role and platform for messaging to reduce bushmeat consumption and end illegal wildlife trade of protected species in bushmeat markets.

Last week (13th June 2019), the Selamatkan Yaki team, supported by our Yaki Ambassador Indonesia, Khouni Lombang Rawung signed a 5 year collaboration agreement with GMIM. This agreement was signed by Dr. Hein Arina, the Synod Executive Board of the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa (Ketua Badan Pekerja Sinode GMIM). The SY team are thankful for this opportunity to spread our conservation message to such a wide audience. We have already worked with GMIM on a letter that urges the congregation to reduce single use plastics and to stop bushmeat consumption.  This will be distributed to all of the churches and socialized to the whole GMIM congregation.

Yunita Siwi – Ketua Yayasan Selamatkan Yaki Indonesia, Khouni Lomban Rawung – Duta Yaki Indonesia, Pdt Hein Arina – Ketua BPMS GMIM

 

We will also continue to implement our Green Gospel program within the church.  Our Green Gospel program focuses on developing conservation messages of environmental protection and sustainability through engagement with religious leaders and providing a wildlife and environmental focused Sunday school syllabus (co-created by priest and church representatives). We expect this pivotal collaboration will enhance and encourage pro-environmental principles within church community, help foster a sense of pride in North Sulawesi biodiversity, and reduce threats to its valuable wildlife like the Yaki.


You might also like…

Yaki population surveys underway

With support from EPASS and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, SY are taking on the enormous task of surveying the population of Yaki...

Hydroponic trial in Kasawari

A hydroponic system has been trialing since October 2017 at Kasawari village as an initiative to reduce the threats to...