“We Discuss : Macaca nigra conservation in Minahasa”

We are so happy, the Yaki Pride Campaign is about to start in a new area. Minahasa! After doing our social demographic survey, assessing the result and collecting strong reasons to support our campaign activities, we are ready to kick off this campaign by inviting related stakeholders to talk about how important is this action. How lucky to have stuff moving in the middle of COVID-19 outbreak! We are allowed to hold this event with certain regulations; limited participants and following COVID-19 prevention protocols.

The education team headed to Tondano ini Minahasa around 6pm a day before, excited to prepare the venue and make sure all the preparations are set for this kick off. The journey was a bit longer than expected but all needed materials were set and coordinated well with the help of Minahasa Regency staff. We were getting lots of help and support! However, the night was a bit long where finding a place to stay that night was not as easy as usual. Tondano, the capital of Minahasa Regency itself is not a busy business town. Especially during the outbreak, many hotels stopped operating or even charged a large amount of money. The team managed to find one.

15th of October was the day! The invitation was for 8am and the team arrived a bit earlier, a bit nervous to welcome people during this pandemic but made sure everyone got the temperature checked, washed their hands, not too close to each other but still engaging. Everything was once more checked and all set. We were so ready to start this Yaki Pride Campaign!

This Stakeholder Meeting as part of the Yaki Pride Campaign is an important stage, not only to socialize about the yaki but most important is to start the collaboration with all levels of community; from high top related governments, head of traditional markets, to representatives of communities such as head of districts and villages.

It was mostly raining during the day and started a bit late but we were very lucky to get full support during the opening speech by Ir. Wenny Talumewo – Assistant to the Minahasa Regent for Regional Development that really brought positivity and optimism to start the meeting. He even encouraged the participant to commit to join the conservation effort to protect the yaki and surrounding forest. Our Education Coordinator Purnama Nainggolan then delivered the talk about the Selamatkan Yaki program and about the plan of the Yaki Pride Campaign in Minahasa. Started it by showing the result from our socio demographic survey to 400 respondents; the strong baseline of why the campaign is very urgent in the area where it shows the knowledge about the yaki is still low and more than half of the respondents had eaten yaki. Purnama also shared the success story of the Yaki Pride Campaign in previous areas in North Sulawesi to give hope that Minahasa can do the same and even more. This was supported by the talk from Dra. Khouni Lomban Rawung, MSc who delivered a talk about Stakeholder Role in Protecting Nature where she has been involved in yaki conservation efforts as an Indonesian Yaki Ambassador since the Yaki Pride Campaign in Bitung city in 2015. She shared her experiences in maximizing our own capacity to do our best in contributing to nature protection and highlighting that everyone has a different role and expertise to take part. From a scientist perspective, Dr. Saroyo who experienced research about Macaca nigra was presenting about the behaviours and threats to the yaki and most important is why saving the yaki from extinction is beneficial to humans life. We were also learning about Minahasan Culture in Biodiversity Conservation presented by Dr. Johny Tasirin shared that the culture is actually shaped by nature. At last, Mrs. Feibie Karisoh from Minahasa Environment Agency shared about Environment Management Policies where conserving wildlife is one of their goals. So she made sure that the local government in Minahasa will be collaborative in this campaign.

The day went by very quickly. The participants were still engaged and in full spirit, so after lunch we had two interactive sessions of Focus Group Discussion. First was to identify the role of each related stakeholder in supporting the Yaki Pride Campaign and the second was to choose the right message and campaign activities that can be done by them. This step is very important, not only to get the commitment but to get the sense of involvement in the whole campaign planning in Minahasa regency. All roles, messages and activities identified were compiled and will be integrated into the campaign strategies. Around 4pm when the rain stopped, the stakeholder meeting as a kick off of the Yaki Pride Campaign in Minahasa was done! 

The team was happy with the attendance, engaging sessions and mostly the support and enthusiasm. This has given us a big hope to reach more people with yaki conservation messages. We would like to say a huge thanks to Minahasa Regency government for a good start of collaboration, to the speakers and all attendance of the event, and our sponsors Wild Planet Trust, Wildlife Reserve Singapore, Dublin Zoo, Rotterdam Zoo and CERZA Conservation. We Protect the Yaki because We Care!

Participants with Dra Khouni Lomban Rawung, M.Si – Yaki Ambassador Indonesia
Opening by Assistant II for the Economy and Development of the Minahasa Secretariat, Ir. Wenny Talumewo, M.Si

Focus group discussion to identify the role of an institution or organization in yaki conservation efforts during the Yaki Pride Campaign activities in Minahasa.

One of the participant was reading a flyer about Macaca nigra

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