The National Kaohsiung University held the "Medan International Co-learning Camp" for one weeks. Students visited the Padang Sidempuan area in Indonesia, experiencing multiculturalism and expanding their international horizons. Before the end of the event, the students shared their experiences, and proposed different sustainable programs to promote the residents in rainforest area.
Rubber and oil palm are the important resources that Indonesia’s economic relies on. Therefore, it is impossible to reverse the original economic structure. However, the implementation of small peasant economy in the rainforest region is a feasible entry point for promoting environmental protection and sustainable economic development. Not only localization but international influence, especially in the face of global climate change, the protection of the rainforest is a rational choice.
The founder of the Bodhicitta Foundation(菩提心曼荼羅基金會), led students to visit the Padang Sidempuan Rainforest Reserve. The founder said that the Foundation actively sought to stabilize the economic income for the residents to reduce the sale of land to the consortium or the illegal logging.
Each partner village has a principal person in charge of purchasing coffee and roasting coffee. They teach coffee farmers how to grow coffee and provide basic equipment. In addition, they will establish sales channels in the local area. Establish clear process and acquisition criteria for farmers to comply with.
The Foundation will also teach local residents to extract the juice of palm trees and cook them into "sugar tree ". The sugar can be used in coffee, tea and other beverages, which is healthier than sugar. The Foundation also created traditional weaving workshops to encourage women to learn weaving techniques.
Through this Medan International Co-learning Camp, students learn how to maintain the rainforest ecology through the establishment of a local economy and the cultivation of a friendly environment.