WALHI East Java and XTGT Crew Jombang collaborated to create graffiti artwork themed “The Sadness of Orangutans and Sea Turtles,” as a message to all residents of East Java on Earth Day. This activity is part of the simultaneous Earth Day commemoration themed “Sister Place for Earth” held on Friday, April 26, 2024, and Saturday, April 27, 2024, in Jombang, East Java.

The graffiti art depicting orangutans and sea turtles on the walls was first granted permission by the wall owners. The artwork was created by 14 individuals, including women, expressing their concern upon witnessing the numerous damages surrounding them.

Trash is scattered everywhere, rivers are no longer clear, and pollution is present at every point, both in major cities like Surabaya and Jombang. Currently, we witness much environmental damage, with orangutans and sea turtles being the most visibly affected in terms of declining populations.

Orangutans are threatened by deforestation, with many forests being destroyed due to palm oil plantations and mining. Similarly, sea turtles, aside from being hunted, suffer from deteriorating ecosystems due to worsening seas and coasts, caused by land use changes, mining, and waste.

Perhaps even today we are in danger, as forests in East Java are dwindling; approximately 700,000 hectares of forests were lost from 2014 to 2017 in East Java. Then, in 2018, around 8,886 hectares were lost, increasing to 10,508 hectares in 2019. Finally, in 2023, approximately 5,000 hectares of forest were lost. The condition of mangroves in East Java is also dire, with nearly 198,000 in damaged condition. The destruction of mangroves indicates the deterioration of East Java’s coastal areas.

This condition is a sign that the earth is not doing well. The quality and quantity of water are decreasing, food is becoming more difficult and expensive to obtain, and the climate crisis is an everyday sight that must be acknowledged. Day by day, we find ourselves in difficult situations, with human life being threatened.

Imagine, it’s already difficult to find butterflies in our yard. Fireflies are also becoming rare, only found occasionally on electronic screens. Birds are also becoming harder to find, with their chirping becoming increasingly rare. Perhaps in 10 years, we will struggle to find them.

The climate crisis is escalating, and damages are becoming more evident. Disasters are looming. Indeed, it’s time to come together to save the earth. Because there is no other way. Because there is no second planet earth.

We from WALHI East Java and XTGT Crew Jombang want to convey through this graffiti illustration as a reminder to all of us that preserving nature for the sustainability of the earth is crucial. There needs to be a significant change in our way of life, remembering that we do not live alone.

Animals, plants, and all living creatures within an ecosystem have rights, not just humans. They cannot speak, but they also suffer from the consequences of our actions. It’s time for us to repair our relationship with nature, by promoting sustainable living, for a better future for the earth, especially in East Java, Indonesia.

Contact Person:

Lila Puspitaningrum (Campaign Coordinator of WALHI East Java)

lilawalhijatim@walhi.or.id


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