The Forest Guardian program initiated by JPIK West Sumatra Province aims to voice the importance of preserving conservation areas through campaigns using digital media and providing insight into forestry and journalism to young people. One of the activities in this program is the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) “Young People Who Guard” Internalization and Socialization of the Young People Guarding the Forest Program which was held on Thursday, 22 February 2024 at the Whiz Prime Hotel Padang.

This activity involved 40 people from various government and non-government institutions, including BPBD West Sumatra Province, GAKKUM KLHK West Sumatra Region, environmental organizations such as WALHI, media such as mongabay, as well as members of the West Sumatra Forest Guardian and others.

This FGD began with opening remarks from the Regional Executive Director of West Sumatra, Khalid Khalilullah and continued with Danial Dian Prawardani as Program Manager. Furthermore, material was delivered by several speakers, including Samsul Bahri from the West Sumatra Provincial Forestry Service, who discussed community-based forest protection. Next, Eka Dhamayanti from the West Sumatra Province Natural Resources Conservation Center explained the conditions and challenges of managing conservation areas in West Sumatra. The discussion also involved AKBP Three Heads of Sub-Directorate for Certain Crimes from the West Sumatra POLDA, who spoke about the role of law enforcement in protecting forests, as well as Khalid Saifullah S. Sos, former Director of WALHI West Sumatra, who shared about building a youth movement to restore forests.

In his presentation, Samsul Bahri explained the role of the community in forest protection, including the formation of Nagari-Based Forest Community Institutions (LMPHBN) as an effort to support forest sustainability. Eka Dhamayanti explained the main tasks in managing conservation areas in W Sumatra, covering various aspects such as protection, preservation and utilization of natural resources. He also conveyed several initiatives involving the younger generation, such as the nagari children’s patrol and the formation of the green movement.

Alen Saprika, as event manager, highlighted the importance of LHBN in BKSDA, nagari children’s patrols, and the forest guardian program as opportunities for young people to play an active role in protecting forests in West Sumatra. The discussion continued with questions to Khalid Saifullah about how to build a youth movement to restore forests, emphasizing the importance of involving the younger generation in environmental conservation efforts.