Following the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA) Conference which was held on May 2019, Research Center for Politics (P2P-LIPI) and APPRA presented the APPRA Discussion Series on August 7th, 2019. Located in the Main Meeting Room of P2P LIPI, the purpose of the series is to flourish academic thinking among those interested in peace studies and related topics.
There were two speakers in the discussion. The first speaker was Professor Alberto Gomes, a professor emeritus from La Trobe University-Australia and the founder of DEEP Network. The second speaker was Dr. Sylvia Prisca Delima, an APPRA Fellow from Jakarta Institute of the Arts. Both of them presented a discussion theme "Fostering Peace and Ecological Regeneration”, which was moderated by Mouliza K. Donna Sweinstani, a researcher from P2P-LIPI.
Professor Gomes talked about “Fostering Peace and Ecological Regeneration in a World of Crisis.” He started the presentation by emphasizing ecological crisis that happens in our surroundings, including air and water pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, and climate change. Those types of crisis are the mass effect of anthropocentrism and ecological imperialism, where human is the root of all problem. Furthermore, not only human is the cause of the ecological crisis, but also social and humanitarian crisis, including violent conflict, inequality, alienation, marginalization, bigotry, racism, discrimination, social injustice, and displacements.
Seven Vices is the nature of human being, but the roots of all crises. The vices are ignorance, fear, hatred, arrogance, competition, greed, and apathy. He underlined that we all need to transform those vices to Seven Virtues to save the ecological system and the overall future of human being. From ignorance to knowledge, fear to hope, hatred to understanding and compassion, arrogance to humility, a competition to cooperation, greed to generosity, and apathy to empathy. He founded DEEP Network to promote diversity and intercultural understanding; to bridge divides; to foster empathy; to empower communities that have been marginalized, and to transform conflict to avert protracted violence facilitate policy innovation. With DEEP Network, Prof Gomes tries to spread the awareness of ecological regeneration by growing after loss or damage and bringing new and more vigorous life to an area. Their program includes educational projects to critique conventional ideas; to dispel myths and misconceptions; to create awareness; and to inspire future change-makers.
The second speaker, Dr. Prisca talked about “Contentious Peace: A Facet of Development in the City of Batam”, a summary of her four years of research in Batam-Indonesia. Prisca started with 5Ps of sustainable development, which are people, planet, peace, partnership, and prosperity, correlated and interrelated to be achieved. The problems of Batam are the doubtful situation whether the peace condition is believable, or peace is a somewhat a vague concept that full of question marks.
She mentioned three thoughts based on her research. First, a city can achieve high economic growth and development with the right newcomers (periodic newcomers) who bring technology to transform a limited physical environment to a more sustainable one. Second, the city should be maintained and supported by right government policies that will enforce the growth by various stakeholders (especially the local and central governments). Third, the metropolitan city in the border can become a minority due to mainstream policies and can create confusion in the social environment and to the city residents. It creates echoes of contentious peace in society. She concluded her presentation with two important points. First, economic and political powers are highly correlated with fostering sustainable peace. Second, ecological aspects in terms of coastal and archipelago area with their physical and environmental problems should be taken into consideration to sustain the island and the generations of the city dwellers who will come.
A fruitful discussion was followed after the presentation. The audience from various background and profession engaged in exchanging ideas and thoughts about the topic. (Putri Ariza Kristimanta)