Diverse Environmental Education
The Environmental Education Center PPLH (Pusat Pendidikan Linguan Hidup) Bohorok is well-equipped for the future. The EcoLodge, environmental education and the Center for Organic Farming provide domestic and international visitors a diverse insight into sustainable livelihood.
The Hotel EcoLodge lies at the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park and the site is accessed after safely crossing a suspension bridge over the Bohorok river. Friendly, traditionally furnished rooms and a large garden provide an inviting retreat. The goal is to operate the entire facility sustainably. A few examples of this type of operation include the plant-based wastewater filtration system, alternative energy sources and an organically farmed vegetable garden. Indigenous medicinal plants are grown in the vegetable garden and, to our surprise, in the garden we can even identify some of our houseplants. On the freshly planted fruit trees we recognise some of the fruits we eat as desserts in restaurants. The restaurant serves up a local cuisine based mostly on organically grown products. Excursions and tours led by well-trained local guides can be booked at the reception.
The PPLH is engaged at all class levels in schools in the village and surroundings. Sustainable development programmes such as waste management, hygiene, organic farming and the development of our planet are the main topics. The team invites teacher groups to the center to raise awareness. The topics and methods are tailored to meet the individual needs of each class. Most important is the emphasis placed on active experience over passive consumption. Students can produce compost, sow seeds and then take seedlings home with them. In the village, craftsmen fashion coconuts into modern pieces of jewellery, which we also sell in Switzerland.
Center for Organic Farming
The "Pusat organic" was established over the course of three years to great success. Out of a fish farm and rice fields has risen a thriving oasis of almost a hectare. The site now houses a plant-based wastewater purification system and duck farm, rice fields producing old varieties, vegetable patches planted in mixed cultivation and much more. The aquaponic system is a focal point for the centre. Visitors can refresh their knowledge on anything from agroforestry to medicinal plants. Students from various universities such as Medan and Aceh, but also from Switzerland conduct dissertation work on site. The government of Sumatra Utara is interested in collaboration. The organically-cultivated vegetables and fish are sold to the EcoLodge or at the local market. It is important that these topics are promoted by working groups in all the villages. This requires a great deal of stamina and motivation from the staff.