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A nationwide event known as a ‘lintas alam’ was held on 21 December 2022, to highlight the beautiful forest of Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan. Students from more than 20 local schools participated in the event and had the opportunity to visit the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Each school brought multiple teams to join the Lintas Alam, with five participants making up each team. A total of 200 students joined, with 40 teachers accompanying them. Samboja Lestari staff provided them with T-shirts, hats, raincoats, snacks and lunch, certificates, and exciting prizes for the winners.

The starting point for the Lintas Alam was at State Elementary School (SD Negeri) 007 Samboja, and the finish line was on the football field of Margomulyo village. Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati, the Samboja Lestari Program Manager, led the participants at the start line as they set off for the 8.5-kilometre walk. A committee determined four stopover points that the participants had to reach within a set timeframe. The first was in Sumber, the former coal mine excavation site; the second in the Samboja Lestari forest area, Sempayau; the third next to an Orangutan Island; and the fourth at the Sun Bear Sanctuary.

Assessment of each team’s performance was not based purely on speed, but rather on a variety of factors. Punctuality was important, as officiants recorded when each team departed from one stopover point and when they arrived at the next post. In addition to speed, other points could be won by participants based on their answers to the prepared questions and their environmental conservation actions, such as collecting litter encountered along the way or stopping to plant a tree.

Participants begin at the starting line (Photo credit: Fachmi)

Lintas Alam (Photo credit: Fachmi)

Participants are taking a break while working on assignments (Photo credit: Fachmi)

Learn more about the sun bear sanctuary (Photo credit: Fachmi)

Lintas Alam (Photo credit: Fachmi)

Lintas Alam (Photo credit: Isna)

Lintas Alam (Photo credit: Isna)

People behind Lintas Alam (Photo credit: Mursidi)

The overall outcome was rather unexpected; we originally estimated that participants would arrive at the finish line around 1-2 p.m., however, several had already reached the finish line by as early as 11 a.m. The elementary school students were particularly enthusiastic about crossing the finish line first!

Each team was required to shout their special group cheer upon crossing the finish line, with the jury evaluating their performance and awarding points accordingly to determine the ultimate winners. The elementary division was won by the team Beruang Kutub Squad from SD Negeri 011 Samboja. Meanwhile, the junior high school division was won by the Bear Squad of Madrasah Tsanawiyah Negeri 4 Kutai Kartanegara. Lastly, the senior high school division was won by Kucing Hutan Squad from SMA Negeri 2 Samboja.

Each participant received a certificate of appreciation, with the winners receiving an education fund for their school. The students and their teachers had an enjoyable time and expressed their desire for Lintas Alam to be held every year. To complement academics taught in school, both students and teachers said they were eager to learn more about nature and the environment around them.

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