UGM students strengthen eco-tourism in Ngawi

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UGM students support eco-tourism and the use of natural resources. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Yogyakarta – Amount of 25 Gadjah Mada University (UGM) students participated in Community Service Programs for Community Empowerment Learning (Kuliah Kerja Nyata-Pembelajaran Pemberdayaan Masyarakat-“KKN-PPM”) activities in Jaten and Brubuh Village, Jogorogo District, Ngawi Regency, East Java. During the program, the students brought out the theme entitled “Empowering and strengthening community capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic to support eco-tourism and the use of natural resources”. 

“Connectivity between tourist destinations, infrastructure improvements and promotion of Kenebejo continues to be encouraged,” said Totok Sugiarto, Head of Tourism and Tourism Office Ngawi, as quote at ugm.ac.id on Friday (7/3/2020). 

Jogorogo District is part of the Kenebejo region on the northern slope of Mount Lawu, which includes four districts, namely Kendal, Sine, Ngrambe, and Jogorogo. Aside from being a mainstay tourist destination of Ngawi, Kenebejo functions as a protection and conservation area for biodiversity and springs. 

In the previous period of KKN-PPM which took place in Sine Subdistrict, one of the sub-districts also in the Kenebejo region, UGM students pioneered the Green Tourism Village of Girikerto (DeWiGiri). Meanwhile, the new Sumber Koso tourist attraction earned appreciation from the public, industry players, and local government. 

The Community Service of Jogorogo District Team, led by Zulfa Parulian, Unit Coordinator, planned various programs such as the preparation of the Jaten and Brubuh Village master plans. Besides, there were the empowerment of village and youth apparatuses to optimize village websites and social media to support the promotion of nature tourism and homestay initiation on the slopes north of Mount Lawu. 

The students also organized a program to educate the public about New Normal and proper health protocols. It aims to process household organic and agricultural waste into Liquid Organic Fertilizer (POC) with a stacking bucket technology, and to produce a yard during the COVID-19 pandemic with food, herbal and ornamental plants. 

A lecturer at the Faculty of Forestry who acted as a field supervisor, Atus Syahbudin S.Hut., M.Agr., Ph.D., revealed that with UGM Community Service Programs this year hope the community will be more empowered and bring up the village youths who were excited to improve the welfare of the community by preserving the nature of Mount Lawu. This action is vital for the sustainability of the Community Service programs that have been initiated by UGM. 

“ T h e r e f o r e , t h e K e n d al-Sine-Ngrambe-Jogorogo region which surrounds the northern slope of Mount Lawu will have more sustainable biodiversity and more prosperity in the community. Big thanks for the cooperation between UGM, Ngawi Regency Government and the local community,” he said. 

This year the UGM Community Service Program was held online amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was directed to be able to develop various themes of the Community Service Programs, such as educating the public in facing new normalities, enhancing clean and healthy living behavior, strengthening the rural economy, and developing village tours. 

The KKN-PPM activities this period began on June 29, and was opened directly by the Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim, running until August 18. A total of 4,504 students, 178 Field Supervisors (DPL), and 15 Regional Coordinators (Korwil) fulfilled one of the tri dharma responsibilities in 27 provinces, 77 districts and 263 villages. (*/est)